I have always been a sucker for happy ends. I used to love reading books where a boy and a girl meet and fall in love and dance around each other until they finally end up together. Happy End. I still do love these stories, they are easy to read, give me a good feeling, a glimpse of something every girl is supposed to secretly dream about.
Or take those wonderful films that you do not actually need to watch to know the ending, beginning with Disney films or all the other chick flicks. Romantic. Idyllic. Love is the answer. A prince or something similar to that, a hero.
What has always been bothering me about those books and films is: nobody knows how the story goes on AFTER the happy end. And I have been wondering: what has been their story after they got together? And, am I the only one that is bothered by this industry of selling happy endings to masses?
Today when I binged on Julia Engelmann – do I LOVE her poetry!!!! – it struck me, a quote she has: it is not about the “Happy End”. It is about your own story.
Maybe that is why so many films and books end when the couple comes together. Because in fact, this is the point when it often gets messy. We know it all, don`t we? Falling in love, being on cloud nr 9, smiling and sending early morning kisses via the phone or silly good night texts. This is the part that feels like cloud walking, that is easy and addictive and a ridiculously happy phase.
After that, it is not always easy. Two people, two lives, two mindsets and sets of habits and dreams and wishes. Who gives up their apartment when it comes to moving in? Who considers moving to another city even, if the partner needs to? How do you best spend Sunday evenings? What about silly things like chores, that always are the object of an argument? Where to go on holiday? How much time is spent actively being with each other?
Everybody today wants to realize their dreams, pursue their own way of happiness. It is a fine line to walk as a couple: having enough in common and spending enough quality time together to keep the connection and on the other hand following your own road and having me-time, for your own dreams and desires. What seems harder to me still is finding your balance on the tightrope between letting go and holding on to each other, and still not losing sight of the person you love – yourself, and him.
Having said that and realized that, I must reconsider what I said before. It is obvious why those films and books end with the “Happy End” exactly at the moment the couple is finally together. It is the only palpable way to picture happiness: we are together now, yes! (short of ending the story with a wedding, but that would be super cheesy and is only cool in Lord of the Rings, if you ask me…!)
A relationship that is real includes all kinds of moments of happiness, that might be so individual to the story and the people in it that someone from outside, a viewer or reader, might not even get. This of course includes two people walking the line I tried to put into words above, and this is neither 100% romantic in the common sense nor really tangible, and it does not have a time limit. How could anyone put this fight for balance and love in a film of 90 minutes, or in a book of 270 pages?
Is this not something that takes a lifetime to figure out?