The ‘Happily Ever After’ Syndrome
We know the story, boy meets girl (or in our case, boy meets boy), boy and boy run into a minor issue, boy and boy gets back together and live happily ever after. Americans have a tendency to focus on two parts of a relationship: the meet and the wedding. We romanticize every aspect of a relationship’s first such as the first met, the first kiss, the first sex and then the marriage. Yet everything in between goes completely unnoticed and unrecognized.
Take for instance any romantic movie ever made. The majority of them not only make the first everything seem amazing, but the pursuit of love is the main drive of the film. These movies depict two strangers whose first encounter is so mind blowing that they immediately know they were destined for each other. Has it ever occurred to anyone that stuff like that doesn’t happen? First meetings (especially first sex) are usually utterly awkward. But no one wants to show that side of love.
Movie sex scenes are another prime example. Usually the guy enters the girl all effortlessly, and immediately they have this intense feeling of pleasure. Then they both seem to climax at the very same time. We all know that doesn’t happen in real life. Sex takes effort, so does mind-blowing chemistry, and so do relationships.
This idea of happily ever after is messing us all up. We aren’t trained for real life and struggle. We were taught that we’d meet the man of our dreams and instantly know he is the one. We were taught to equate perfection with destiny. I don’t remember being told that there will be struggle after struggle in life. I don’t remember seeing a sex scene where the guy had a hard time putting it in. Can someone please write a love story that doesn’t involve instant gratification? How about we get a movie that shows the middle years of a relationship, like years three and year four?
We need to talk more about what it takes to maintain a relationship, not just what it takes to get one. There should be more of a discussion about the many (and I do mean many) variables involved in a relationship. Life is hard, love is hard, relationships are hard and even sex is hard sometimes, but we have to stop running away at the first sign of struggle just because we aren’t getting that movie idea of happily ever after.
After all, life doesn’t end at happily ever after, it’s just beginning.