It’s not a spoiler to assure you that it has a happy ending. It’s a romance, after all, and that is how they end. Trust me; I’m an expert! I’ve never counted, but I’m guessing I’ve read several thousand of them over the years and, no matter what the plucky heroine and her macho hero endure, they always end with them beginning their lives together.
The end of the story is just the beginning for the newly-committed couple. But what, exactly does happily-ever-after mean?
Critics of romance novels and their readers would say that they encourage unrealistic expectations for life in the real world.
I disagree, but I doubt that comes as a surprise to anyone! I’ve always been a hopeless romantic, even when love seemed determined to bypass me.
The romance novels I read gave me hope. They helped me believe in love, in romance, in possibility, even when I doubted that it would ever happen for me. And I know that they helped me overcome my fears and take a chance on love.
Trust me; it was worth it
But what does happily-ever-after look like?
First of all, it’s not perfect. Life is messy and frustrating and even infuriating at times. Colin and I sometimes disagree, and, yes, we even argue. But the occasional quarrel doesn’t mean we aren’t happy and that we aren’t still crazy in love. All it means is that we’re normal humans who aren’t always at our best. So we screw up, we apologize, and we make up (ah, making up is magical).
Second, it’s hard work. Regardless of how much you love someone, navigating a relationship is not easy, especially when you’re in it for the long haul. It requires communication. Compromise. Compassion. Oh, and a sense of humor, because if you can’t laugh with someone, then there’s no way in hell you’ll stick it out for fifty-odd years.
Finally, it’s worth the effort. Happily-ever-after doesn’t mean spending every second of every day in a state of perpetual bliss. It’s simply not how life works. But having someone to hold your hand when life gets rough makes the less pleasant moments bearable. And having someone who wants to hold your hand can even make them beautiful.
Am I happy every second of every day? Nope.
But I am happy! My life is filled with joy and wonder and love, and I have enough moments of pure bliss to make the less perfect times fade quickly. I don’t need perfection. I don’t think I’d want it, even if it were possible.
My life is, at times, messy, loud, and borderline crazy and I wouldn’t change a damned thing. It’s everything I ever dreamed of and never expected to find.
I got my happy ending. More importantly, I got my happy beginning, one that continues to grow and change and, incredibly, to get better and better.
So is happily-ever-after for real? Hell, yeah!
Now, if you haven’t read my story, I highly recommend that you do so as soon as possible! I may be a little biased, but it’s sweet and funny and touching and lovely.