Why Does A Romantic Book End At The ‘Happily Ever After?’

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I suspect we all know the touching moment we waited for after we were going through the adventures of the romantic couple. We smiled with them when they found each other. We were happy with them when they fell in love. We cried with them when they lost each other because of some horrible misunderstanding. And, of course, we celebrated when they found each other again, kissed and ‘lived happily ever after.’

And now?

Don’t we ask ourselves how their wedding looked like? How are their families, how their friends? Don’t we wish sometimes we could play a ‘fly on the wall’ seeing how their relationship develops when challenged by marriage?

And that’s when my imagination runs wild.

Of course, it would be amazing and heartwarming to see their wedding. Because weddings are always touching and celebrating and viewing the ‘good’ in everything and everybody.

And then our couple moves in with each other. Both go to work… every morning she makes her favorite coffee, every morning he tells her that this particular brand gives him bad reflux. Then they climb in their own cars and drive off, only to see each other late at night, due to overtime and traffic jams.

She cooks, but he’s not home. Disappointed, she covers his meal and puts it away in the refrigerator, leaving him a note before she goes to bed. He comes home late, makes himself a sandwich because he can’t stand that particular dish, and never dared to tell her.

The weekends they often spend with their in-laws’ camping or in the one or other backyard with a barbecue. They can’t go on vacation… because they can’t get off the same time – and of course, they cannot stay away from work longer than a weekend.

Even though everyone waits for them to announce that they are expecting, that never happens because both are too busy to make money and soon buy their own house… Unfortunately, they don’t realize they are waiting too long until she’s in her forties and finally decides it might be too risky to have a child now.

Occasionally they’re going out for dinner, but mostly they don’t have to say much to each other unless they discuss the job… and then it’s Monday, and the routine starts from scratch.

They might buy the house everybody expects them to buy. It’s a breathtaking museum, but they’re too busy with their job to enjoy it… it’s not a home, it’s just a status symbol. And they both continue working.

And at one point they realize… they don’t have that much to say to each other. They don’t know, do we actually know each other? Or did we just rush into our marriage because everybody expected us to; our families, the readers…

Basically, their marriage is the wrong coffee, and a woman who cannot cook… it’s everything everyone expects, but to them, it’s just routine and boredom.

And that’s why a romantic book usually ends with the kiss and the ‘happily ever after.’

10 thoughts on “Why Does A Romantic Book End At The ‘Happily Ever After?’

  1. We do occasionally get a film starting after the wedding. Things go wrong, as you say, but even there they make up and there’s a happy ever after.
    I wrote a fantasy prequel to my Wolves of Vimar series, where the young lovers didn’t end up as a happy ever after. But because of that it’s not a romance, apparently.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s true that not all marriages remain “happily ever after,” but despite huddles in life, heartaches, or the shaky moments of misunderstanding that may last for more than a day, there are some people who make it through the union still loving each other the way they did the day they first fell in love. And those are the things we think about at the end of a romantic story. The dream hoped for.

    When there is information after that romantic kiss at the end of my story, or even when I’ve included the wedding as part of it, I add it in the Epilogue. The reader then has the choice of leaving the story with “The End,” or getting a glimpse of what happened later, if they’re like me and need all the loose ends tied up. LOL But it’s not for everyone. Readers have very good imaginations, and some like to envision their own story after “The End.”

    Most people read a good romance for the very reason you stated above. We want to celebrate love. Never mind the pitfalls that come later. Well done, AJ.

    Liked by 1 person

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