Lessons Learned: Happily Ever After

What does happily ever after mean? In fairy tales, it’s about the man and woman going off into the sunset and knowing that their life will be perfect and the most wonderful thing in the world forever and ever. As we all know, this is like winning the lottery—something pretty much out of reach. Relationships are work with many ups and downs in life. I love how the princess always dreams of her prince coming to save her when something evil cometh. There’s turmoil and conflict yet there’s also hope and determination to get the end goal…that prince.

Fairy tales provide the GMC – Goal, Motivation, and Conflict – that every story needs. But what happens after? Once the guy gets the girl or the girl gets the guy? I don’t know one person who really has had the happily ever after. And I’m not being pessimistic. The heart of a relationship is about sharing events together. By being strong for each other when life takes a downturn, to weep and comfort each other in sorrow, and to find humor in each other’s idiosyncrasies. It’s also about sharing odd moments that make you realize how much you love your partner, when you get encouragement or spend a moment in a kiss; when you see the love within your circle of family and friends that you’ve created together. It’s about the good and the bad.

At the end of the day, it’s about wanting to be with each other because you’ve had the fights and the laughter. Things won’t always be perfect. And even though there may be other dreams out there, don’t think that it’s the happily ever after. Don’t keep searching if what you have fits. The saying “happily ever after” means that you have a challenge to meet. You want to grow old together.

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