Trope Tuesday #19: Happy For Now

Welcome to Trope Tuesdays, a meme/series created by yours truly. Every Tuesday, the goal is to discuss, define, and explain one trope that you feel any range of emotion for, and then give your verdict on the trope. The trope can be one you dislike, love, feel indifference or annoyance towards, ones you think are problematic, or those tropes that just make you want to throw them out the moon door à la Petyr Baelish. You can learn more about Trope Tuesday here.

More romantic than HEAs tbh

Happy For Now, also known as HFN, is a Romance trope that has been debated. Unlike the HEA, in HFN the state of the couple’s relationship is together but they have an ambiguous future. There’s no wedding ring and no babies in HFN.

Some people think that HFN is a conflict with the HEA which is essential to the Romance genre. I disagree. In fact, I like HFN more than HEA.

Despite the couple not getting married, HFN still end with the couple being committed to moving forward in their relationship. Whether it be running after your ex lover to admit your feelings like in Better At Weddings Than You or admitting that your hook up relationship could lead to more like in The Paths We Choose, HFN still have a hopeful ending. Just because they haven’t “sealed the deal” doesn’t mean their relationship is going to tank off the page when the book ends. It’s still hopeful.

I find HFNs a lot more compelling than HEAs because they tend to make more sense. Not everyone wants to get married or have Babies Ever After with their significant other. I’m a big fan of hopeful, open endings and that’s what HFNs are at the end of the day. The ambiguity also makes a lot of sense for couples where one or both of the characters has commitment issues or is emotionally immature. It’s rare that I buy into a character who has sworn off love or marriage for most of their life to be ready for a life time commitment with someone by the epilogue.  .

My Verdict: The Reason I’m Alive. Give Me More Romance.

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What do you think of Happy For Now? Have you come across it or any of its sub-tropes before?

6 thoughts on “Trope Tuesday #19: Happy For Now

  1. I didn’t realize this was a trope, but I totally agree with you! I find the concept of HFN relationships so much more realistic than HEA. Real relationships take time and work and compromise. I like seeing a couple struggle a little bit and then agree to work together at life. And as someone who’s been engaged (with no wedding plans) for over a year, weddings are overrated tbh (unpopular opinion!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree. I like HFN better than HEA simply because it’s more realistic. Yes, there are people who know they’re meant for each other right away and don’t waste time in getting married and having babies but for most people it doesn’t happen that fast. And that isn’t less romantic or hopefull in any way, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

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