Isn’t it Romantic?

So, in book club the other week, we read this book (I’m not telling you what it was, because I’m going to give away the ending here and I don’t want to wreck it for you.)   It was a lovely book about star-crossed lovers dealing with a major impediment to their being together.  There was some magic involved.  The ending was somewhat convoluted and a little melancholy, but the gist was that they more or less sorted it out and kind of/sort of died/became immortal and were thereby able to live together happily ever after.

Forever.

Because they were immortal.

Until the end of time.

Until the end of time.

And so, it came up in our discussion (because I brought it up) (because apparently I am not the most romantic person in the universe) that maybe, after a certain amount of time, eternal love isn’t that romantic a concept.  I’ve got to say this occurred to me when I got to the end of the Twilight books too.  (So, you’re madly in love and you’ve solved every potential danger in your life and no one you care about will ever die or get old or even really sick and now that whole situation is going to carry on for eternity?  Huh.)

Don’t get me wrong here.  I love a happy ending to a love story.  I do find it romantic.  I am very conventional like that.  And love is great.  And me, I’ve found the other side of my coin and I plan to stay with him until one of us dies.  But that’s the thing – we have this certainty that we will eventually die.  Probably in under 70 years.  And my brain can wrap itself around that.  Keeping the love alive for 80 years?  Sure, it might be a challenge sometimes, but I am game.

Forever though?…  that’s kind of a big commitment.  I mean, at some point, you’re probably going to run out of things to talk about.  Am I wrong?  Am I the only one who thinks that the idea of eternal love when you’re immortal sounds less like romance and more like a prison sentence?

Because when my husband got home and I brought it up with him, he gave me a look that perfectly combined hurt and horror.  (Because he is the romantic in our happy little twosome.)  I eventually brought him around to my point of view though and we came to the agreement that should medical science and/or the discovery of magic result in a turn of events wherein we celebrate our hundredth anniversary together, at that stage we might visit the idea of an open marriage.

So.  What do you think, my lovely readers?  Do you find the idea of eternal love romantic or just too much?  In fiction?  In real life?  If you do agree that it’s too long, and if it was you (yeah, that’s right – I just decided my readership are all vampires), how many years do you think would be reasonable to arrange an amicable separation?  What is the magic number where eternal love moves to boredom?  Or, if you think eternal love would be all sunshine and lollipops, how do you think you’d keep the spark alive after, say, 500 years?  (I’m honestly curious what people think about this, so please do tell me in the comments.)

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15 thoughts on “Isn’t it Romantic?

  1. I gotta say, I love this post, Stephanie. I was starting to believe that I was the only one out there who thought eternal anything was downright scary. As much as I love a romance, I prefer immortality to stay in the realm of books and film. Something to be admired, but never achievable. An eternal reality is just too frightening to consider. P.S. Without guessing the title of the book, did baked eggs play into the story at all?

    • Thanks! Yeah, it is an awfully long time, for sure. I don’t remember anything about baked eggs, but it was a few weeks ago. I wonder what you’re thinking of….

      • It probably wasn’t the same story. Baked eggs played a significant part in the tale and I’m sure you would have remembered it. Great novel by Samantha Sotto. I think it’s her only published work so it shouldn’t be too hard to narrow down. 🙂

  2. GREAT topic. Yep. That would be way too much. I love my man, but I mean, come on – I think it would be natural to explore a bit if we knew we had FOREVER. That said, I laughed about the Twilight example, of course, because doesn’t everyone love that strongly when they’re nineteen years old? The difference, I’m beginning to learn, between that uncontrollable lust and infatuation that occurs when you first meet someone and the more settled, comfortable feeling that happens after 10 years of commitment (aside from the obvious) is that after 10 years (or 5 or 2) when that initial craziness wears off, we’re CHOOSING to love each other. It’s a choice. And while it may not be as exciting than flutterbies in the tummy, knowing you’re making the choice to work on your relationship, to make a commitment, and to continue to love, is a hell of a lot more romantic of a notion than simply going along with a feeling that can’t be helped.

    • I agree that that does sound like a more romantic notion. And I’ve heard the like before. I’m still not necessarily at that stage yet though. I’ve always been more of a head person than a heart person though, so that might be tied up in it all too and make it more sustainable than feelings alone.

  3. Personally, I think it’s a little much. I don’t know. I just imagine that as the world would change, wouldn’t you kind of change with it, and to still be with that same person, I don’t know. Frankly, it impresses the hell out of me when I hear about people that have been married 40 years–that’s quite an accomplishment these days.

  4. As a young Catholic school student, I often heard descriptions about Heaven and how we could be happy there for eternity. It always made me want to run screaming from the room.

    • Oh gosh. Yeah, actual eternity. That’s a mind-blowing idea, isn’t it? Especially the Christian version with the clouds and the harps. It does look a little dull.

  5. Pingback: Quote: True Love Doesn’t End | DDMBOSS

  6. Staying committed for 20+ years is an accomplishment. Thing is, no one ever knows but the couple involved what compromises, spoken or unspoken, take place every day. And, honestly, I don’t think I’d want to do that for all eternity. For me, today is enough. If we make it through tomorrow, that’s even better.

  7. Having made the 40 years of marriage, I have to say it just gets better. You understand that neither of you is perfect, but each is prepared to give and take. Having parents who managed almost 64 years, I know they felt the same.

    However, the ‘eternity’ bit…..At what age do you choose to become immortal? I certainly don’t want to be any younger than I am, and am quite enjoying the benefits of maturity as I am at the moment, and looking forward to a few more benefits over the next few years (e.g., not working, more travel etc etc) . But old age really has its downsides (health-wise, mobility-wise etc etc). So I am not quite sure which age I would like to choose. But I haven’t seen the Twilight movies, so maybe they had a solution ….

    • No, Twilight was just ridiculous. You didn’t miss much. 😉

      I like your positive views. I’m not saying I’d necessarily throw everything in after a hundred years – just that if either of us wanted to, I wouldn’t have hard feelings about it, because that’s a pretty good run.

      And I think I’d choose 38 to stop aging if given a choice. Seems like a good number.

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