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“Happily Ever After” – Does It Really Exist? | Kevin Bulmer

By December 3, 2016February 24th, 202112 Comments

Tale as Old As TimeIt’s a “Tale As Old As Time.” Fall in love and live happily ever after. We’re all familiar with it and most of us aspire to experience it.

So why do we keep getting it wrong?

I see there is soon going to be a live-action film version of “Beauty and the Beast.” I find it ironic that some Hollywood producer has decided to re-tell that same story yet again. When it comes to love and romance, we tend to do that: tell ourselves the same story over and over, looking for different results. And yet it often ends the same.

Tale As Old As Time.

Listen: “Thriving Loving Relationships” with Kim Von Berg (No Schedule Man Podcast, Ep. 25)

I referenced the animated Disney version of the “Beauty and the Beast” story in a video blog I did over the summer (below). I was having fun with it and have no issue with the enjoyment of a nice fairy tale or adventure story. But there was a point to be made in there, too: we keep believing in these fairy tales without paying attention to the actual work it takes to make them real. And we end up broken-hearted and disappointed, convinced we haven’t yet found the right prince, or princess, after all. We keep watching these tales unfold and when our situation doesn’t work out the same way, we feel there must be something wrong with us. Or our partner. Or both.

I’m not suggesting you avoid watching or enjoying films like that. By all means, if it gives you pleasure, go for it! Personally, I find it a challenge to find a film that I enjoy from start to finish. When I watch a movie, I want to be entertained. I like adventure, a little bit of action, some humor, and perhaps some dramatic element. What I don’t like is vulgarity just for the sake of it, blood and guts and needless violence or anything that makes me feel darker than life is already equipped to deliver. Oh, and I also like to see the good guys come out on top (with the lone exception “The Empire Strikes Back”). And so, if you look at my DVD collection, you’ll find a lot of stuff that is simply not based in reality: superheroes, pirates, time travelers, spaceships and the like. They don’t reflect reality. I don’t expect I should actually be able to use The Force after watching those films. But they’re entertaining, at least to me.

Poker Buddy

He’ll make sense if you watch the video

Perhaps that’s why romantic stories like “Beauty and the Beast” are the way they are. But the notion of meeting the right person and then feeling immediately and permanently fulfilled and everything being good and fine after that, forever and ever without further effort, is no more realistic than assembling a squad of other-worldly mega-heroes to combat the many various forces of evil, or lifting an X-Wing Fighter out of a swamp by merely thinking about.

At least with Beauty and the Beast, Belle seemed to have a pretty solid idea of who she was and seemed to be okay with that. I like that. Self-love is an important thing to be exploring in my opinion. As I mentioned in my video blog, I would have liked to have seen the Beast remain the Beast rather than turning back into a prince-like guy at the end of the film. I also would love to be able to check back in on those two and see how they are making out a few years into their storybook romance, once “real life” has set in. Are they working and collaborating as a true team and thriving because they respect that the other each has their own viewpoint, needs, and emotions, and because they both have a very healthy sense of self and level of emotional maturity? Or, when things get rough, are they just off looking for a more perfect prince or princess to solve the issues again and try one more time to live happily ever after?

Find True Love? Yes. Live Like a Pirate? No.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be overly cynical about it. I realize that these stories are fantasies. They are designed to help us feel good and be entertained. It’s hypocritical of me to criticize a story like “Beauty and the Beast” and then turn around and list reasons why I enjoy a superhero movie or a film about pirates. It’s not real. Pirates were not really swashbuckling and romantic. They were filthy, disgusting criminals who lived in rat-infested squalor, for months on end, teeth rotting and bodies withering away from lack of nutrition and total absence of hygiene. But I don’t want to see that movie. I want to like the characters and feel entertained. So I guess as long as we know what is

PIrate Ship

Nice-looking boat. But I wouldn’t want to live on it.

fantasy and what is not, it’s all in good fun. The question is … do we really know the difference? Do we have to be reminded more than we have been?

I’m fascinated by the idea of nurturing a mutual, loving relationship and exploring effective, healthy communication. They are both very natural, fundamental parts of our human experience and yet we continue to get them wrong over and over again. Why? It’s a Tale As Old As Time, just like in the “Beauty and the Beast” film(s). I just hope that, unlike these movie producers, we are someday able to stop telling ourselves the same stories, expecting and hoping for a different result.Divider Line


For anyone interested in exploring relationships further, I highly recommended the book “Hold Me Tight” by Dr. Sue Johnson. Read about it, and other helpful books, on this page ==> Kevin’s Book Shelf

Kim Von Berg, a certified singles and couples coach, joined me on the No Schedule Man Podcast in Episode 25. To see some of what she shared on relationships or to hear the conversation, click here ==> NSM Podcast, Ep. 25


Can you recommend a resource, tip or insight on what works for you? Please share in the comment section, below!


  • Bruno says:

    Hello Kelvin. You have just spoken to my desire. I am a great lover of Relationship books and articles. I am a lifestyle, nature and relationship writer. I hope your recommendations will be of help for my better knowledge in this field.

  • Shob says:

    I resonate with you man.
    These days people just make movies for making you I don’t like watching movies that are unrealistic in true life.but sometimes I just might want to feel unrealistic and watch a vampire movie.
    Do you also feel like that at times?
    Thanks for this great post.keep up the good work.

  • Arina says:

    Hey Kevin, very interesting post. Sometimes books are much more intresting than watching movies.
    Thanks for the advices

  • Maurice says:

    After 38 hrs. of marriage I definitely know life goes on after the credits role, my movie doesn’t stop. See my life has taught me to love the little things in life.

  • adelaide says:

    Hey Kevin, Just the other day I was telling my friend how important it is to love yourself first before you even seek that someone else fills that void and loves you – and you touch on that exactly!
    I like the angles you take in dealing with a subject. Makes it easier for anyone to relate and understand because you keep it at normal day to day life – not draining deep psychology or philosophy.

    Your website is such a well of knowledge too! 🙂


    • Kevin says:

      Thank you, Adelaide! I appreciate your kind remarks, and I agree with you completely: self love is SO important. For much of my life, I had it confused with conceit or arrogance, but that’s not it at all. I just assumed I liked (loved) myself. But .. wow. When I actually turned my attention to it, I realized very quickly I had a LOT of work to do.
      Thank you for visiting and for your kind words.
      Best wishes,

  • Furkan says:

    If they shoot a “real life” pirate movie I would not want to see that as well. But we need to be entertained. And I get older, I saw all “told tales” are not real. Still it was good to believe in them. Thanks for great post Kevin

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