A vampire romance that ends with happily ever after has missed the point.
There was a post on Tumblr a while ago that brought me up short. The premise was “A vampire romance that ends with happily ever after has missed the point.”
Considering that every vampire romance in romanceland ends with happy-ever-after, that’s quite a statement.
Or is it?
Vampires are an unhappy lot to begin with.
I can’t think of any vampires in fiction that can honestly say they are thrilled to be undead. The longer they linger through time, the less happy they seem to grow. The vampire species is a negative one from all perspectives.
Shackle that negative status to romance and ask the fundamental question: Why would a vampire attempt to draw another into their very unhappy lives in the first place?
Given that vampires begin life as human, with all a human’s beliefs, values and psychology, it is understandable that the longer they pass through human history, the more they might start to believe that love is a solution to their sorry state. Love, afterall, is supposed to heal and resolve so many of life’s problems, including that biggie: loneliness.
They can’t indulge in drink or drugs to resolve their issues, so love and sex would be a powerful draw.
Now add Romance.
There’s any number of ways you can spin a romance involving vampires these days. Vampire + human; vampire + vampire; vampire + other paranormal breed/species/combination.
It doesn’t matter which combination you pick, or how you play the romance, any of these combinations has doom built into them.
A human will eventually die. Any other paranormal creature may not be immortal, either, plus they have their own species’ demands and politics to live by.
Love with another vampire may look like the most ideal combination on the surface, and a human could easily be converted to vampire to arrive at this “ideal” situation, but in fact, vampire + vampire romances could arguably have the greatest potential for trouble, depending upon the fictional world the vampires live in.
If there is a strong, sharply competitive political system controlling the vampires, there could be issues with two of them being together in the long term (are there casts or houses or overlords who object?). If the vampires are in hiding from humans, is there sharp competition for suitable blood donors? Does that set up jealousy at all? (Some vampires find feeding a highly sexual affair.) Who made the vampires? If one made the other, it sets up master/child dependencies inside the romance that could add complicated power surges to the relationship.
The Über Vampire Complication – Nothing Ever Ends.
If none of these complications or any of a dozen other potential snags and barbs rise, then there is the ultimate vampire + vampire romance complication: The relationship never ends. It’s not just happily ever after. It’s happy forever. If the two vampires endure for millennia…does the relationship?
One-to-one monogamous long term relationships are unusual, and found among only a few higher-order mammals, and not at all among naturally long-lived species (those that live for hundreds of years). Vampires live for centuries via unnatural means and while they are human at the core and inclined to mate in human-style relationships, those relationships are not set up for and may not suit extremely long lives.
So it is certainly possible that standard, human-like MF relationships between vampires would not fair well, either – not in the long term.
Ultimately, that is every type of romance relationship available to vampires…all of them listed at short odds for unhappy endings.
So yes, it seems to me that while most vampire romances end with a happy-for-now at the end of the book, ultimately, the poor vampire is just fooling himself.