What After “Happily Ever After”?

Posted on August 22, 2010

By Siddhartha Roy:

Where majority chick-lit novels and romantic movies stop short is an oft repeated term ‘and happily ever after’. They don’t zoom in their binoculars further down the road. To see what happens after six years. Heck! Even four months!

We leave the theatre happy and upbeat (with maybe a tear streaming down our cheek) after the onscreen couple come together and mouth an ‘I love you’. But we forget that perhaps if this were a real story then maybe the road further down wouldn’t be that smooth.

It was while watching the Bridget Jones’ series (the two movies: Bridget Jones’ Diary and Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason) — after the first movie ended on a ‘happily ever after’ note and the second one began — I stopped for a second and broke into fits of laughter.

Don’t misunderstand me. I am not a cynic. Like countless others, I do believe in the healing power of ‘love’. I do believe that this holy grail of all human attributes is reason enough that the world is such a grand place to live in. But slow down for a second. You really think we can be mushy all the time and still enjoy it? It’s the traits of human beings — both virtues and flaws that make a relationship all the more interesting.

What do you think happens after two people declare that they are in love? Yeah, they do stare into one another’s eyes and promise to be together ‘till death do us part’. Well, death is far away. But life just got interesting, baby!

I think the time spent between saying ‘I love you’ and ‘I do’ (and I hope all couples have the opportunity to have the guts, make the commitment and enjoy even after saying ‘I do’) is both crucial and an eye-opener. There are no rules as to how long does it take to fall in love. For some it may be a few months. For others even half a lifetime. But after you feel it bubbling inside and it does burst out, the real show down begins.

As you get to uncover your partner, you see sides of them which may not appeal to you. Perhaps you share different ideologies over important things you both share. Maybe habits aren’t alike. You discover a second side to many things. And this not only helps you discover the potential ‘other half’ of you but also goes on to uncover sides of your own self you never knew even existed.

You begin understanding the meaning of virtues like honesty, care, respect, trust, sacrifice, communication and humour. You see the parts of you that become even more whole because of the other person in your life. It seems better and brighter. And you have to fight your own shortcomings to prevent you from ruining it.

Taking the case of Bridget Jones (which is a bit extreme), the girl who is possessive, stupid and even impulsive sometimes (in the second movie after the first movie declares a ‘happily ever after’) and the journey that ensues is that in spite of the qualities and actions which may jeopardize everything, love triumphs over people willing to take a chance. To go beyond the obvious and stick around — try to make it worth.

Because after all is said and done, the one thing that only matters ever — no matter what stage of a relationship you are in — is IF IT’S WORTH IT! If the girl/boy you are dating is someone who is special and (despite her/his flaws — which apply equally to you as well) is worth any hardships/insecurities/differences that come along, it shows strength of character and the supreme capacity to love in all seasons.

Because, as a young boy of 14 declares in the Steve Carell starrer classic movie ‘Dan In Real Life’, “Love isn’t a feeling, It’s an ability”.

And it’s then that the ‘happily ever after’ modifies a bit to become ‘together no matter what and hence happily ever after’!

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