Happily Ever After

Wedding couple on the road in the light of the evening sun and sunset. Beginning the happily ever after fairytale
Happily Ever After. Psychology Fanatic
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We shed a few sentimental tears watching the happy ending culminating from a life of struggle. Certainly, we are romantic by nature. We cheer for the underdog. We embrace love. Romance gives richness to life. But reality often doesn’t meet Hollywood’s standards—much too ordinary. Early romances don’t fluidly flow into maturing relationship. The greatness of early romance is not beyond the reaches of time. With these magical expectations, the normal settling of desire with a continued relationship set the stage for disappointment when happily ever after plans inevitably run into a few normal annoyances with a partner.

“I think relationships are work, but love is a gift.” 

~Anne Hathaway

Imperfect Love

The greater the need for security, the more firmly we grasp beliefs of salvation, attachments where unconditional love abounds, no matter how unlovable our behaviors might be. But these shallow pictures of love require a partner without a soul, where the partner’s limited role is quelling our desires for security. We have no room for their expressions of individuality because those expressions arouse suspicion and fear.

​These visions of love do not portray the selflessness necessary for intimate connections. Being loved imperfectly can satisfy the need for companionship. A partner can be selfish at times, without being unloving. We all have moments of selfishness. Occasionally, we require assistance in soothing our relentless search for the impossible, a perfectly satisfying lover, and. instead, settle with the realistic, enjoying the benefits, while managing the drawbacks of connection. We need to build love.

When faced with the limits and demands of romance, some choose to bypass attachment and spend evenings alone (there is nothing wrong with this). Unrealistic demands destroys many promising relationships. I settled for imperfection. And I’m ecstatic my wife was also willing to settle with my collection of nicks and glitches.

“But these shallow pictures of love require a partner without a soul…”

~T. Franklin Murphy

A Few Final Thoughts on Happily Ever After

In conclusion, overtime unrealistic views end in disappointment, discouragement and pain. The distorted lens of idealism begins to view the imperfect partner as the enemy, to be fixed or abandoned. Most failed relationships are not because a chosen partner transformed to the evil villain. The failed relationships slowly deteriorate from accumulated misunderstandings, false attributions, and failure to actively build connections. The lofty expectations provide goals to work toward, not the standards that must be met. 

Reach out to your partners in their imperfections, learn healthy conflict resolution, and build meaning together. You may not experience happily-ever-after Hollywood style, but you can enjoy a rich mixture of appreciation, joy, and sprinkled with patience.

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