I think I have landed on the underlying problem between men and women. The core issue. Probably the basic cause for all misunderstanding. Are you ready? Here it is. The story of Cinderella.

Little girls are brought up with this story implanted in their brain at a very young age. Our first role model.

Boys, on the other hand, could care less about this story because there are no action figures. The prince is merely a backdrop. Even the mice get higher billing.

Anyway, here is a quick sketch of the plot.

A young, physically beautiful girl is left in her father's care after her mother dies. The father remarries and turns his daughter over to her new stepmother. Stepmother is demanding, ugly and mean and has two ugly, mean daughters.

Here comes the first premise. Physically unattractive equals mean. Physically attractive equals good-tempered. Therefore it makes perfect sense to focus on outer beauty and the inner beauty will magically come along for the ride.

Cinderella is used and abused. She is a 100% victim. The way she handles the abuse is by passively and totally accepting it. She keeps her good-natured spirits up by singing and talking to the birds.

Here comes useful lesson number two. No matter how badly you are treated, continue to be sweet-tempered and understanding. If you want to be loved, be passive and accepting of abuse.

Cinderella cleans, sweeps, waits on her stepmother and stepsisters and daydreams. Does she dream about becoming a brain surgeon? Finding a cure for cancer? Exploring the world? No. She dreams that some day her prince will come and take her away. Like Calgon or a trip to the spa does today.

An announcement comes that the palace is throwing a dress-up ball so that the local prince can find a suitable bride. Here comes Cinderella's big chance. She musters up all her courage to ask her stepmother if she can go. answer is no. She sinks immediately back into Passive City.

Now what? Have no fear; mice come to her rescue. This really works for me, since I can recall quite a few of my own life crises that have been solved successfully by a team of friendly mice.

Anyway, they ingeniously manufacture a beautiful ball gown out of scraps of fabric and ribbons. Things are looking up for our heroine. Then the ugly stepsisters unceremoniously rip the dress to shreds.

Back to square one. Cinderella pulls out the big guns now. She cries. She doesn't get angry or rip her sister's heads off their bodies like normal sisters do. She collapses and cries.

The next rescuer comes on the scene. The fairy Godmother. Thank goodness. She whips up a fabulous dress, glass slippers, changes the mice into horses without their permission, conjures up a coach and tells Cinderella to go have a good time. Then she threatens her.

Cinderella has to be home by midnight. Now everyone knows that a really good party doesn't even get started before 10:00PM. That gives her two hours max to snag the prince. If she is even one minute late everything will change back into the way it was originally.

Apparently, short-term solutions executed under tremendous performance pressure that mask the real problem are acceptable in fairyland.

The ball happens. The prince and Cinderella meet. The clock strikes twelve. Cinderella runs away and loses a shoe in the process.

The prince is brokenhearted and decides to search the land for the woman whose foot fits the shoe.

What is that about? Can't he recognize her without her party makeup? Is the size of her feet the best way to pick his future bride?

Well anyway, back to the story. The prince finds Cinderella. He puts her on his horse and they head for the castle where they live happily ever after. The end.

Here's how this story is problematic for both men and women.

According to this story, if you are a girl all you have to do is show up, look good, be sweet tempered and passive.

The prince has to rescue you from distress, provide wealth and fulfill all your needs since you are hopelessly passive and have no coping or problem solving skills. No work or effort other than tending to your looks is required on your part.

This is a big problem waiting to happen. If the prince starts turning his attention to other things, like his career for instance, or anything but Cinderella, this doesn't fit into the program. The princess might start thinking that she picked the wrong guy. She might start wondering if he really is a prince after all.

On the other hand, if the prince does what the story says and focuses all his attention on trying to make the princess happy, guess what happens? Unless he has an unlimited inheritance, he neglects to build a successful career and becomes a financial loser. This is not very princely either.

So it seems that very shortly the unsuspecting prince may find himself in a bit of a double bind. A catch-22. No matter what he does, he will never measure up to the adoration requirements laid out in this story.

Now, if you discover that you are carrying unconscious Cinderella expectations, here are a few suggestions. Cut your prince some slack. Start to identify your unfulfilled needs. Begin to take responsibility for discovering and uncovering your personal power. Take steps to activate your innate creativity to fulfill your own needs.

If you are a prince, take some time to identify what you are looking for in a life partner and what you genuinely have to offer. Take responsibility for expressing your feelings as well as your thoughts about how your relationship is working for you and what you want to work on to help it grow into a solid partnership. If you are a potential prince searching for your Cinderella, remember that the size of her… um, feet…shouldn't be your only criteria. PS. What does this have to do with my expert topic of intuition? Nothing.

Author's Bio: 

Susan McNeal Velasquez has been writing and producing personal development seminars for over three decades. She was the Exec. Director of Leadership Dynamics Inc. and one of the founding members of Lifespring Inc. She has over 45,000 hours of facilitating experience and still loves it! For more information, check out: susanvelasquez.com and beyondintellect.com.