Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Photo of a "Love" sign
Rebecca Karlous
Sex + Relationships

Why You Shouldn’t Give Up On A Happily-Ever-After

I am a huge fan of romantic comedies.


No matter how cliché, or unrealistic, there’s something charming about watching Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan banter back and forth about their competing bookstores, or seeing J-Lo fall in love with Matthew McConaughey while she plans his wedding. I am a sucker for a happily-ever-after, even if the circumstances should’ve made it impossible for the two protagonists to find each other. So often, I hear people discrediting these movies as just being “dumb” or “impractical.” I understand that we now live in a world where women don’t need – or even want – a Prince Charming to sweep them off their feet. Many of these movies focus on a heteronormative society, but I can’t help but feel like I’m taking away something from these films that other people are not.

Original Illustration by Gina Escandon for Her Campus Media

Rom-coms were made for two things: One is that you’re going through a breakup and need to have a good cry while watching two people fall in love. The other is that you’re a hopeless romantic, such as myself, and watching these movies makes life seem the tiniest bit more doable. I don’t watch romantic comedies for the long distance relationships from New York to Seattle. I don’t watch romantic comedies for the incredible strokes of luck that bring two love interests together. I watch romantic comedies because in all of them, one or both of the protagonists hold onto some kind of hope – hope that they will one day find the love of their life, or that they will eventually reunite with their significant other.

love is love
Yoav Hornung

I know that the idea of a happily-ever-after has morphed over time, that it doesn’t just equal a man and a woman falling in love. Anyone can have a happily-ever-after; maybe I’m naive for saying that, or maybe I just have unrealistic romantic expectations. I firmly believe that a happily-ever-after doesn’t have to mean that the couple ends up together perfectly, without problems along the way. It doesn’t have to be final either – it can come in stages throughout your life, and with different people. I’m a realistic enough person to understand that no one’s life is without hardship, but I don’t think it’s fair for people to go through life without some semblance of hope.

dark LED red heart

No one gets to have a happy ending without putting in the work; sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right. You might think you’re already there, but then get your heart broken – by a person or by a set of circumstances. Happily-ever-afters are not as easy as they look in the movies, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t exist – it certainly doesn’t mean that they aren’t worth working towards. It probably won’t be picture perfect, and I can promise that there will most likely not be a crescendoing soundtrack when everything finally falls into place. All I’m saying is that everyone is deserving of love – the love of a partner, the love of a friend, the love of a family. No matter what your happily-ever-after might look like, no matter how much it deviates from the stereotype we’ve seen over and over, it is still worth believing in.

Love sign
Photo by Ben Mater on Unsplash

Hey there! My name's Isabella and I'm a senior at Adelphi University. I'm an English major with a concentration in Creative Writing, and while I love most fiction, I’m a sucker for love stories. When I’m not reading (or writing) said love stories, you can find me drawing, binging New Girl and Gilmore Girls, or getting coffee with my friends!
Similar Reads👯‍♀️