Should all leads end up together?

Isn’t that why people read romances?  To see the characters fall in love and be with their soul mates.  A shining example in a dull reality.  A heart escape.

Why do we want these together?  I can think of two television shows that immediately went downhill after this happened.  Maybe even a third.  There’s a certain historical movie where the one leaves because he just didn’t care anymore and I do believe most loved that as much as they wanted the two together.

I started with this genre under the under the guidelines of no HEA –no leads staying together.  That made for a more interesting read, write, for me.  And now brings the whole idea of how the one we fall for or want are best only for the short term.  Opening the other or each other to find and recognize the right love, true love.

There are leads I want to be an item, a match, but also don’t want to lose the banter and relationship as it is.  Almost a disappointment if they do and if they don’t.

Is it still a romance if they don’t have the HEA??