Having sparks between someone has often been our indicator that we like someone and could be a good match with them. But perhaps feeling a spark with someone isn't such a big deal after all. And maybe it doesn't mean what we thought it meant.
Earlier this week I took an entire day off to rest and recover. I had a busy weekend starting with a best friend getting married followed by a 4 day long trauma healing training. So when Tuesday hit, I was spent. So I decided to watch a feel good movie. Enter the Princess Diaries 2 movie.
Now for those of you not born in the 90s/early 2000’s, let me fill you in on the legend that is the Princess Diaries. The movie stars Ann Hathaway who plays a girl named Mia. At age 16 she learns she is next in line for the throne of a country called Genovia. The first movie consists of Mia reconnecting with her long lost grandmother (Queen of Genovia) and learning the basics to being royalty. Here she decides that she would like to embrace this side of her family that she has been estranged from.
Fast forward to the second movie. Mia is now 21, has just graduated college, and is returning to Genovia to study under her grandmother the Queen. Things quickly fall apart for Mia when she learns that in order to be the next eligible heir she must first marry.
This is where things start getting juicy. Mia is given 30 days to marry or she forfeits the throne to a rival family.
In the movie, Mia is set up with an eligible single from England who checks all her boxes. He is kind, he is thoughtful, he has a good family, he is even a former Olympian, and has served in the Air Force, etc. etc. The list goes on and on for all the reasons Andrew is a great pick.
For a short time, Mia gets to know Andrew via cute dates. However, it’s not long before the rival for the crown enters the stage.
Nicholas comes to stay at the palace where Mia is forced to see him on the grounds and at events. It is here that we learn that Nicholas has been instructed to woo Mia into liking him so that she will not marry Andrew, therefore forfeiting the throne.
Nicholas begins to seek Mia out one on one. When no one is around, Nicholas seems to always find Mia caught off guard. When he is with her he is continuously smirking, smizing, or smoldering. Despite all the good things going for Andrew, Mia and Nicholas’s energy can be felt a mile away. They quickly begin bantering with each other and we as the audience get sucked into their little love affair.
Queue the SPARKS.
Nicholas, is the type that we know we should hate and yet we just can’t because he’s so freaking charming and good looking.
So this leaves us as the audience in a dilemma. Do we root for Andrew or Nicholas??
Nicholas was written so as the audience we can’t help but be drawn to him. I mean we hate what he’s doing to Mia, but dang do we get butterflies when he talks to her. We know he may be manipulating her but we also can’t help wonder are there genuine feelings too?
In one scene, Mia explains to Andrew, there are just no sparks. She says this after he kisses her for the first time. This kiss is not a cute or romantic kiss. This kiss is an unexpected rush and last ditch effort to save their arranged marriage. There are cows mooing in the background and palace staff spying on them. Imagine it. They have just smashed faces in the least cute or consentual way possible and she does not feel it. Who would feel “it” at that point?
The “it” she’s referring to is an electric and magnetic connection. The kind where you are just drawn to someone without even knowing why. You can’t help but be pulled in by their energy. The passion between you is palpable. There is a deep sense of otherworldly familiarity. It’s as if you’ve known one another in other lifetimes. Sounding familiar to anyone?
What Mia doesn’t say, but we can gather she is thinking as she speaks to Andrew, is she doesn’t feel the heat and intensity with him that she feels with Nicholas. Nicholas is a dark and mysterious night. Andrew is a sunny walk in the park with your grandma. Nicholas is the misunderstood and misrepresented “bad boy”. Andrew is the boring and safe nice guy.
It's either safe & boring or spicy & dangerous.
As a child I remember watching this movie and cheering on Mia’s connection with Nicholas. Every time Andrew was on the screen I would shake my head thinking, “this poor guy is just so blah”.
Now, watching this movie as a 27 year old I am shook at how I now see the characters. And I also realize yet another reason I was probably in so many unhealthy relationships in my early 20s.
As children and preteens, when Mia says she has no sparks with Andrew, we learn that sparks are an indicator of how much you like someone. If there are no sparks, you are not a good match. The best relationships, the most in love partners, have sparks. In fact they have lots of sparks. And these sparks start at the BEGINNING. We are talking love at first sight people. Meaning, when you see your person, you will know.
We learn at a young age that sparks are an indicator of how much we like someone.
Conversely, if you are with someone and you don’t feel these fireworks, especially if there is none on the first date, pack your bags because this is going nowhere.
Passionate, fiery, spicy, forbidden, intense, mysterious, and complicated connections are the golden ticket.
Safe, slow, kind, gentle, stable, practical, reliable, genuine, honest, constant, and open connections are a recipe for a loveless and unpassionate relationship.
What I now know, that I wish I could go back and teach young Sarah, is that sparks are a myth in many ways.
TRUTH: Sparks are a myth in so many ways.
Sparks with someone does not indicate it is a good match or that it’s going to last. It most likely is signaling you are attracted to each other. There may be some old karma here as well if you’re feeling a sense of “familiarity” but that is also not another indicator that someone is meant for you. There are many people we are going to ‘remember’ in this lifetime. But we should not date them just because of it. We may remember people who were actually toxic or abusive to us in past lives.
I would also tell her that the “good guy” is not going to remain boring if she gives him a chance and gets to know him. The boring she feels in the relationship is most likely a sense of safety and a lack of drama (or passion as young Sarah called it). Passionate and fiery energy is not an indication of our love for someone or someone’s love for us.
I would also tell her that attraction and love take time to build. They are not always there right off the bat. How much you are drawn to someone can change. And as you get to know them, they can become the most attractive person you know.
There are many things to be in this life, but before we become “enlightened”, let’s just practice being compassionate. Especially towards ourselves.
I’m a full believer that if Andrew and Mia had been given even 3 months to get to know each other vs the one week they had, that she could have found the passion and connection that she felt with Nicholas. I also think she would have been able to see all the parts of Andrew vs the ones she had originally liked on paper.
Good things take time to grow. Our gardens don’t simply bloom when we meet someone. The house doesn’t magically appear. We have to lovingly water the seeds and intentionally lay the boards down piece by piece with someone.
So if you’re dating and using sparks to be your guide, you may want to pause and experiment with dating people who you don’t feel those immediate sparks with.
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Book a free discovery call with me if you are only letting sparks be your guide and you’re not feeling it’s not actually leading you to the relationships you want. Together, we can learn other ways to see if someone is a good match for us.