Why Happily Ever After?

One of the criticisms of popular fiction in general and romance fiction in particular, is the guaranteed happy ending.  Critics claim it isn't realistic. In real life, not everyone gets a happy ending.

Sadly, it is true.  Not everyone has a picture perfect happily ever in their lives.  But rather than being unrealistic, I'd say "happily ever after" is idealistic.  We are all striving for our own happy endings.  We don't need to be reminded of the possible horrible endings many aspects of our lives - not just the romantic ones - could have.  But we want to visualize and concentrate on that one, best possible ending for ourselves and our families. That's where romance novels and their guaranteed happy endings come in.  As readers, one of the things we may be looking for in a novel is a sense of hope for the future - our own future as well as the fictional one of a book's characters.

So what does a happily ever after look like?  Is every problem the main characters ever had solved?  Does their every worry and care disappear?  No.  But in romance novels, the hero and heroine have formed or renewed a partnership by the end of the story.  They are facing the good and the bad of life together.  Compromise may have been involved, but never compromise of principle or value. They've made a commitment, based on love and respect and trust.  That's a happy ending that is possible.

Here's wishing you all your own "Happily Ever After."


  1. HEA is, after all, halfway to HEAVEN. What's wrong with a goal like that? :)