People often ask me, “What is Hollywood’s biggest misconception about real life love stories?” Of course, there are many inaccuracies in movie clichés, but two things really bug me. First, people in real life are never as happy as the characters in scripted movies. Second, sometimes it seems like the writers of these love stories don’t know what is realistic or not. Here are two examples:

Misconception #1: Happily Ever After

At least once a week someone asks me, “Is it really true that the couple in your book/movie will be happy forever?” To which I usually reply, “Yes, it is really true.” I know what you are probably thinking, “Then how come they don’t end up together in the end?” Well, you would be surprised at how often this happens in real life. People want to believe that happily ever after really does exist, but it takes a lot more work than people realize. Take King Arthur and Guenevere, for example. In the movie they fall in love at first sight and live happily ever after, right? Well, maybe not. It turns out that their families didn’t approve of their union, so they had to wait until their parents died before they could legally wed. Despite this hurdle, their love was so strong that it survived even death. Unfortunately, they never got the chance to live happily ever after. Later in life, Arthur was poisoned by his enemies and he and Guenevere were never able to experience what they were missing out on in the beginning. When she found out she was going to die, she told Arthur that she believed their love was stronger than death itself. Sadly, this proved to be true, but it wasn’t enough. She asked Arthur to end her life because she still believed their love was worth the pain it had caused them. Arthur tried, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. He died with Guenevere by his side, knowing that their love was as strong as ever and that they would see each other in heaven. This is a true story, which proves that even when fate deals you a bad hand, you can still find happiness. I would say that Arthur and Guenevere really are a perfect example of how genuine love can overcome all odds. This is why it makes me sad whenever I see people in movies assume that the happy ending is all there is. It’s not. There is always more than one layer, which is why the perfect film is almost never as simple as it seems. You never know what unexpected turn the story is going to take. Even in the best of stories, there is always something more that you didn’t see coming. This is the beauty of life, not the movies.

Misconception #2: Genuine Concern For Your Well-being

The second mistake people make is thinking that the characters in a love story are always just trying to boost each other’s self-confidence. I have news for you. Sometimes they are genuinely worried about you, even when they don’t show it. Believe it or not, some of the most moving stories are the ones where the characters show a lot of vulnerability. To give you an example, let’s take a look at William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. In this famous love story, Romeo is initially reluctant to get involved with Juliet because she is too low-class to be worthy of his attention. He only decides to pursue her after she saves his life. Once they are together, Romeo and Juliet are constantly arguing about class issues. For example, Romeo feels that his family is more important than anything and he should put his obligations to his class before his feelings for Juliet. In the end, however, Romeo learns to put his feelings for Juliet first, which makes him a much better person. Even though they are fundamentally opposed to each other, their love conquers all. This is why it really bugs me when people say that the characters in a love story are only in it for themselves. For one thing, it totally disregards the fact that they are trying to improve themselves as people through the process of falling in love. Despite everything that happens, they never lose sight of what is truly important to them: each other.

These Stories Are Never As Simple As They Seem

When someone asks me whether they will end up together in a love story, I usually tell them that this isn’t as simple as it seems. You see, love stories aren’t like that in real life. They are always more complicated. Even in the best stories, there is usually something more you didn’t see coming. For example, take a look at George Lucas’ original Star Wars. In this classic sci-fi saga, the two lovers are separated at the end of the movie because the audience didn’t believe in their love. This happens even though they have been through a lot together and have saved each other’s lives numerous times. In the climactic battle, the audience’s opinion actually matters. If the viewers think that the love between these two is hopeless, then their love is also doomed. Despite this, George Lucas and Carrie Fisher went on to have a real life together and are still going strong after all these years. Their love story proves that even the most impossible love stories can happen if both people are committed to making it work. This is why it bothers me when people say that it’s easy to write a love story and that all you need is “a couple of passionate people.” Even though these stories can be based on true events, their structure is usually very different from how it seems in the movies. This is because there is always more than one layer, which is what makes these stories interesting. Even if the events that led up to the romance seem unrealistic, the fact remains that real life is rarely as simple as it seems. This is why I always say that people in love are never as happy as the movies make you believe, but it’s also why I never say that a love story will end in tragedy. This is because, as I’ve mentioned, even the most impossible of love stories can still have a happy ending. It just takes some work and some luck.