Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Happily Ever After How-to

Hi, Winnie Griggs here.
I read an article recently that purported to have identified 10 steps to forming a personal happily-ever-after in a marriage. As I read over the steps I thought that they had application to how our fictional characters find their happily-ever-afters as well. 
So here are those 10 steps and my writerly thoughts about each.

Step 1. Carve out time for each other.
It’s important that we show that no matter what else is going on in their lives, our hero and heroine make the effort to set aside time for each other.

Step 2. Conversely, spend some time away from each other.
At the same time, our hero and heroine are individuals and need time to pursue their personal interests. Being overly-clingy or needy is not attractive.

Step 3. Look for opportunities to make little romantic gestures.
Who doesn’t like a hero who isn’t afraid to show his romantic side? Small things like picking wildflowers, sending thoughtful notes, leaving small gifts of sweets or quirky but meaningful tokens, are guaranteed to endear him to both the heroine and the reader.

Step 4. Always fight fair.
Arguments happen, but no one likes to read about a hero and heroine who engage in vitriolic or insulting bickering, or who take cheap shots at each other.

Step 5. Take a genuine interest in the interests of your partner.
Having our hero and heroine introduce each other to their favorite pastimes or guilty pleasures is a good way to show growing attraction.

Step 6. Truly listen to your partner.
Here’s where you can focus on some of the differences between men’s and women’s communication styles. A woman is much more likely to express feelings and emotions than a man is. A man is not going to be entirely comfortable with either receiving or providing this kind of expression. Show he cares for her by having him really listen. Show she cares for him by having her read between the lines those things he can’t say.

Step 7. Accept your partner for who they are.
By the time your hero and heroine approach their happily ever after, they should understand that love means accepting the other for who they are at the core of their being, and not be trying to old them into someone different.

Step 8. Express your commitment to each other.
It’s not enough to feel love for one another, at some point the hero and heroine have to express the feelings to each other. And the way they act toward each other needs to reflect it as well. No more wandering eyes for either of them!

Step 9. Trust in each other.
Once they’ve reached the point of commitment, our hero and heroine should implicitly trust in the character of the other, even when all evidence points to the contrary.

Step 10. View your partner as your best friend.
This is the "for better or worse, in sickness and in health" part. Our hero and heroine should enjoy each other’s company and take pleasure in making the other happy, regardless of their circumstances.

So there you have it.  Do you agree with these or disagree? And do you have any steps you’d add to the list?


  1. I think forgiveness should be included. As this can be key for bog issues n miscommunication otherwise can be bad for any relationship

  2. Excellent catch! Forgiveness absolutely should be on the list!

  3. I agree, Scrap.
    LOL, I always said that my hubby and I shouldn't go to bed angry at each other.
    Easier said than done!


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