Questioning the traditional Happy Ending

While we’re on the subject of love (and aren’t we ALWAYS on the subject of love) why do people think a happy ending to a love story means two people end up together forever? From what I’ve seen and learned in my 27 years on this planet, it’s more likely than not, ending up together is a recipe for disaster, heartache, regret and overall misery.

There is this film… It’s called “Once.” It’s a musical. The basic premise of the story is that there is a boy, and he meets a girl, and she changes his life. Now, that story ends with him moving along with his new life, and her moving in her own direction. The impression is that it’s a sad love story; because she gets “left behind.” But when I watched it for the first time, I was completely convinced that it was one of the happiest love stories I have ever watched.

(Aside: It’s a wonderfully real story for those music, love and musical lovers out there; I recommend it.)

You see she served her purpose in his life. She played such an important role (she didn’t mark a fork in the road, she created a fork in his road, and helped him change the course of his life) in his narrative, but once her purpose was fulfilled she was no longer needed. So they parted, with only a story of intense emotion and happiness to show for their time. They had this relationship of absolute purpose. How many people have that? And how many people are stuck with a person who no longer serves a purpose in their narrative?

Isn’t that was divorce is? Two people who can no longer serve a purposeful role in each others lives? Think about a couple who were married for 15+ years, and have 2 wonderful children, but then after the children leave the home there is nothing to hold them together. No purpose. Think about people who get married for the wrong reasons (though I am hard pressed to think of the “right” reasons to get married) there is never a strong purpose holding them together; so from the get go they are destined for disaster. 

(Aside: in my completely baseless medical opinion commitment-phobia (not unlike arachnophobia, acrophobia, agoraphobia etc)  is a real problem. )

Don’t ask me to explain the outliers who find the person who serves purpose in their life forever. IE: the  long faithful marriages that last 50+ years. I certainly can’t explain that one. My parents and grandparents are a great example of that kind of “togetherness.” But I can’t explain what makes them different from all the other couples in the world- except my completely biased opinion that they are just the most awesome human beings ever.

How do people  continue to believe that they can be the exception to the ubiquitous stories of infidelity, lies, divorce, murder? How do people have so much faith that “those” things happen to “other” people? Are we so blind? Or so stupid? This question has been bothering me for sometime now.

My point is that a story doesn’t have to end with two people together, in love and living “UNhappily ever after” for it to be happy. The story by itself can be happy- two people who journey from point A to point B, and then part ways.

The Journey is the Happy. The ending is just the guarantee that there is no opportunity to mess it up.


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