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.
Because they were immortal.
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.)