We love our Shona Community! It’s full of incredible, powerful and authentic women. Every now and again, we have girls and women reach out to us with some advice about an experience they have overcome. They share their stories so you don’t feel alone. Today, Natalia wanted to share her experience with love, finding it and dealing with heartbreak. So Natalia, take it away! 

Everyone listens to thousands of love songs, building up an idea and fantasy that love is an ideal single moment in time, something we cannot forget.

It’s shown in almost all of the movies, especially the Disney classics with Princesses finding their Perfect Princes. Just like when Sleeping Beauty was saved by her one and only with a kiss, and how Snow White was woken up by the kiss from her one true love. We can’t forget how Cinderella got rescued by her Prince and the glass slipper, and how Jasmine fell in love with the poor boy Aladdin who gave her everything he could. It’s just what we grew up with, and what we wish for; the perfect kiss, and the feeling of love. Not to mention the under-represented love, the pretty girl falling for another beautiful girl where her eyes glisten and skirt flows in the wind. Or the shy boy with books in his hand, falling for the tall athletic boy on the football team. Perhaps the tomboy girl falling for the prettiest, most popular girl in school, and the feminine boy with painted nails falling for the bad boy in a leather jacket. Those are the yet to be made Disney movies, the ones representing everything and everyone. Such as Le Fou in Beauty and the Beast finally finding his Prince Charming, if anyone even noticed that!


I think we forget, life is not a Disney movie, and a beautiful Princess or Prince Charming won’t ride in on a white horse, or on a motorbike with their leather jacket, and save us with the perfect kiss, and then live happily ever after, riding off into the sunset. Plus, it’s funny, adults always tell us that when we are young, before we even turn 20 years of age, that we are too young for love anyway. Fun fact, Snow White is 14 years, Cinderella is 19, Aurora from Sleeping Beauty is 16 and Jasmine is also 16.  I first fell in love at 14, so who’s to say what love is? All of these ideal princesses/princes that fall in love with a happy ending are so young! So, why are we taught only the good things about love and then told we are too young for love anyway?

None of these beautiful stories has the ending of heartbreak, they all live happily ever after, with a perfect wedding and happy life. Reality shows us something a little bit different though, and it’s something every girl should know because I wish someone told me these things before I fell in love and had expectations of having the perfect first kiss, with my very own prince charming!


So, I wanted to share the 15 things I wish someone told me about love and its flaws. Some of these will hurt, but trust me, they will only make you stronger in the long run and make you appreciate every moment of being in love, whenever it finds you!


  1. A perfect Princess or Prince Charming doesn’t exist, no boy or girl will save you, you have got to save yourself.
  2. The perfect kiss doesn’t exist either. It’s always the most awkward moment, and it’s messy and a little bit gross, nobody knows how to kiss for the first time anyway, so don’t worry!
  3. You CAN fall in love young. There is no age limit on falling in love with someone, and that is okay, but we have to remember that sometimes love doesn’t work out, especially when we’re young.
  4. Boys/Girls never live up to the standards of Disney Movies, that’s why they’re movies, and that’s okay! If someone climbs up to your window in the middle of the night, it may not be so romantic, it’s kind of a little creepy, right?
  5. During your first, third and every heartbreak, you will cry, a lot. I’m talking about a cry where your eyes are gone red and your nose is so blocked you have to breathe through your mouth. Girls, know this is okay too! Heartbreak hurts, so deal with it however you need to.
  6. You are allowed to cry and feel sad, and listen to the sad sappy music to make you feel more in the moment, grieving is a process we are all allowed to do.
  7. People often make mistakes, perfection is very hard to reach and we cannot hold people up to unrealistic standards.
  8. Communication is key. My first relationship taught me that you cannot read someone’s mind, you have to ask questions! It will solve a lot of issues.
  9. Sometimes people won’t love you the way you love them, it doesn’t mean you have to stop loving them, but you have to ask yourself if that is worth putting your energy into someone who isn’t willing to give the same to you.
  10. Even at an early age, you can feel things you may mistake for love, sometimes it’s just close friendship, don’t be afraid to talk to people you trust and ask them. Pressuring yourself into love won’t make it happen.
  11. Sometimes, just sometimes, people don’t care about you, and it is not your fault.
  12. Someone who says they like you or are falling for you will be patient and won’t rush you into anything. Never rush into relationships if you don’t think you’re ready, even if you are scared you will lose that person. If it’s real, they will give you time.
  13. You don’t have to get flowers and chocolates to be shown, love. Movie love shows very little of real love. Real love can be shown in many shapes and forms, not just huge romantic gestures.
  14. Love songs are a fantasy, but some of them are very catchy!
  15. Sometimes, love isn’t romantic. Loving your pet, parents, siblings, friends or anyone else, it’s enough. For a huge chunk of my life, my dog was the biggest love of my life, and he still is.



So, there you go, a few tips from someone who wishes they were told all these things about 6 years ago, before the first night full of tears and swollen eyes in school. This may change in a few years, but maybe not. But remember, no concept lasts forever.

The biggest piece of advice I can offer is – whether you are dying to talk to that tall cute boy with a football in his hand, or the short blonde girl that reads a book all the time, the tomboy that climbs trees in ripped pants or the boy with glasses on and red painted nails, talk to them! You may fall in love, you may make a friend, or you may feel rejection that’ll teach you more than any book will (but never give up after rejection, maybe the second person will be the love of your life!).


We’d love to hear from you! If you have something you would like to share with our Shona community, pop us an email to info@shona.ie

If you would like to support us and the work that we do,  you can donate below ❤




Supported By

Our Pro bono Partners