As an adult, I understand the "happy for now" ending which is more prevalent these days, but part of me feels a bit short changed by the "now". That could be for five minutes for five decades! I think I prefer a story to end well so you can see the characters can be happy for the rest of their lives, while knowing they will have to work at their relationships to make that happen.
The happy ever after is a symbol, I think, of the wish for good things in life to never go away and for positive things to always be with you. This is why I think happy for now is a kind of compromise but also why it doesn't really satisfy. I want the potential for happy ever after to be there. For me the "now" implies that Character A will dump Character B the moment something/someone better comes along. That may well reflect reality but I can't say I like it much.