The movies we watched as children lied to us. They turned us all into dreamers with unrealistic expectations of what life and love are. We’re all waiting for true love’s kiss. We fantasize about the day when Prince Charming will come and save us, riding off into the sunset on a white horse. Love can overcome all obstacles. The most commitment-phobic man will change for the right woman, showing up with a grand gesture to win her back. The list of tropes can go on and on, but they have one thing in common: they turned a whole generation into hopeless romantics.
But what is a hopeless romantic? A hopeless romantic is a person who is always looking for love. They fall in and out of it quickly. Each person they date is the one, but each time, they’re disappointed. Instead of being disheartened, they brush off the failure and try again. Hopeless romantics know that their Prince Charming is out there, even if they need to kiss many frogs to find them. In their mind, love conquers all, and the challenges of finding it only makes it sweeter once they do.
If that sounds delusional, that’s because it is. When considering what is a hopeless romantic, people fail to realize that real love takes hard work. You don’t see what happens after the movie fades to black because that’s when reality settles. It’s less about the chase and more about the day-to-day routines. Once the couple gets together, they must work to stay together. But even if you are a hopeless romantic, there’s hope for you as you look for love.
Let’s discuss what is a hopeless romantic, examine whether they are destined for heartbreak, and discuss how changing your perspective to be a hopeful romantic can help improve your love life once and for all.
So, What Is a Hopeless Romantic?
Hopeless romantics have their heads in the clouds. They are always dreaming of Mr. or Ms. Right. They likely even have a secret folder on their computer with wedding plans and engagement rings picked out—for when they meet the right person, of course.
When considering what is a hopeless romantic, think about people who have overly positive outlooks on life and only see the best in people. It can be extended to the point that it may seem a little delusional at times. No matter what, a hopeless romantic believes in happily ever after. Love is the most important thing in their life, and it will take priority over other relationships, no matter how new it may be. Love conquers all, and anyone who stands in the way of destiny will be true love’s roadkill.
If you’re still wondering what is a hopeless romantic, think of someone who rushes into their relationships quickly. Every person is the one, and they will put their needs secondary to their partner’s in all things. Their partner can never do anything wrong, and they’ll ignore all the red flags, just hoping that this person will be the love of their lives. They will romanticize everything.
Despite the name, hopeless romantics never lose hope that love will find them. Love will fix all their problems, and if they just believe, hope, and pray hard enough, love will finally come their way. In a nutshell, that’s what is a hopeless romantic, and if you think it sounds like a quick path to constant heartbreak, you may be right.
How Can Being a Hopeless Romantic Impact Your Dating Life?
If you’re considering what is a hopeless romantic, you likely are one. It’s nothing to be ashamed of—we all have guilty pleasures, after all! Romantic comedies and cookie-cutter movies can be great, mindless fun. You never have to wonder if they live happily ever after. The movies always end in a kiss as it fades to black. Fun to watch, sure—but the problem comes in when you lose sight of reality.
So what is a hopeless romantic, and how can being one impact your dating life? Here are seven signs that you may be a hopeless romantic along with the negative effect each sign may have.
You Have High Expectations
You’ve been dreaming of your perfect match for a long time, and you may even have a checklist of all the qualifications you’d like this person to have. You have extremely high expectations because you grew up watching all the handsome princes save the damsel in distress. Her real life started when she married a man. Everything before then was just a fever dream. That’s the textbook definition of what is a hopeless romantic.
Once you meet someone who checks off all your boxes, that’s it. You settle in. While you initially have high expectations, once you start dating, you lower them significantly. If they don’t meet your expectations, you begin to make excuses. If they only looked good on paper, you only talk about the positive qualities that your partner has. You refuse to admit that they’re not meeting your unrealistic and sometimes unachievable standards, so you improvise and settle until the next one.
You Ignore Red Flags
You view your relationship with rose-colored glasses because you’ve met someone who meets all of your qualifications and is the ideal man. Your partner can do no wrong because they are the one. That is a significant concern when considering what is a hopeless romantic. Because of your commitment to being in love, you ignore many red flags. Maybe they said a lot of pretty words to sweep you off your feet, but as soon as you were hooked, they became inattentive and dismissive of your needs. Or maybe they’re isolating you from your support system to make you rely only on them.
Many toxic relationships persist because one partner can’t see the truth that’s in front of them. They make excuses to justify negative behaviors or ignore them all together. This does not lead to healthy relationships in the long term.
You Fall Fast
Love at first sight is not just a movie trope—it’s your dream. You fall in love quickly and often, convincing yourself that every new partner is the one. That’s one of the main characteristics you should be aware of when considering what is a hopeless romantic. You can have an entire relationship within just a few minutes, with happy memories, marriage, animals, and children flashing before your eyes.
It’s intense when considering how to identify what is a hopeless romantic. Your ability to fall in love is legendary, and you’ll be gushing to your loved ones about how you met the perfect man in no time. You may also rush to say I love you, and because of it, you may have scared partners off who aren’t as ready for commitment as you are.
Each time it happens, you move on to the next guy instead of retracing your steps to see where it went on. Dating apps make it easy for you to see who matches your needs, so you don’t lose sleep as you keep swiping to find the one in this modern dating world.
You Give More Than Your Partner
Picture what is a hopeless romantic to you, and you’ll likely think of someone who gives more than 100 percent in their relationship. They are so committed to being in love and in a relationship that they are willing to go above and beyond for their partner and expect very little in return. This would be extremely draining for most couples, but not for the hopeless romantic.
The hopeless romantic thrives in these situations. They have been training for this their whole lives. When asking yourself what is a hopeless romantic, consider someone who will bend over backward for their partner, often losing themselves in the process.
You Think Life is a Fairy Tale
You lived on fairy tales as a child, and as you grew up, romantic comedies became your jam. Maybe you even started to read romance books, losing yourself in the regency fantasy of being swept off your feet by a handsome duke. You have a hard time separating reality from fiction now because of it.
You genuinely believe that life is a fairy tale. If you continue to live your life, you’ll eventually find a partner who will change everything. Only then will your real life begin. The only problem with this, when asking yourself what is a hopeless romantic, is that they spend a lot of time waiting. They may be the story’s heroine, but they’re not the main character. They only come alive once the hero enters the scene.
You Expect Grand Gestures
Valentine’s Day is one day a year to celebrate love, but you observe it all year long! When considering what is a hopeless romantic, you are constantly looking for grand gestures. If you’ve fought, you expect him to stand outside your window with his boombox playing music. You want elaborate, planned-out dates that show he cares. The bigger the gesture, the more he loves you.
The problem is grand gestures are usually apologizing for something. Your partner has messed up, and they’re trying to win you back. That’s not healthy or sustainable. Settle for the little things, like how he cares for you or leaves you love letters. Those are the gestures that matter.
You Never Give Up
You never give up. Just because hopeless is in the name, you never abandon hope. You may take time to grieve the loss of your relationship—you’ll pop on a heartbreak playlist you have on the ready, take a bath, and wallow in a pint of ice cream—but eventually, you will always get back up. You will be prepared to love again, no matter how badly the last relationship ended or how few prospects you may have in the dating scene.
That persistence can be mistaken for delusion depending on the situation, but that tenacious commitment to defy the odds to be together can be admirable in certain circumstances. Love is hard work, so you’ll do anything to keep it once you’ve found it. If you lose it, you’ll double down on your commitment to finding true love. That’s a defining characteristic when considering what is a hopeless romantic.
Are Hopeless Romantics Destined for Heartbreak?
Unfortunately, when considering what is a hopeless romantic, they may be destined for heartbreak. Hopeless romantics tend to be delusional. They have unrealistic expectations that are impossible to achieve, and because of it, they find themselves in an endless cycle of hope and disappointment. Their hearts are constantly breaking, but they can’t stop themselves from falling in love repeatedly.
Rather than learning from mistakes, hopeless romantics often write the person off as not being the one and move on to the next. Because they don’t change their behaviors, the outcomes stay the same. They tend to date the same type of person, looking for the perfect man or woman. They ignore the red flags as quirks.
If hopeless romantics stay in this pattern, they will be destined for heartbreak. When considering what is a hopeless romantic, it’s in the name. They are hopeless. They are committed to an unrealistic idea of what love is. They want to create this perfect vision that matches what they’ve dreamed of their entire life, failing to recognize that real life and love are messy and complicated.
But they are not without hope. Instead, think about what is a hopeless romantic. They possess an eternal spring of hope because they continue to seek the idealized version of true love, no matter how many times they’ve been let down. Unfortunately, if a hopeless romantic does not make changes, they will always be destined for heartbreak.
How to Be a Hopeful Romantic
You may still be wondering what is a hopeless romantic and why does it matter? If you’re a hopeless romantic, you may be destined for heartbreak, since you have impossible standards for love. But if you shift your mindset, you can change the outcome. Instead of being a hopeless romantic, you can be a hopeful one. Here’s how to do it.
You can be optimistic about love, but you have to balance it with realism. Don’t romanticize the bad. You’re not on a quest where you need to overcome challenges before you can have your happily ever after. Instead, take time to reflect on what went wrong. Turn inside yourself to understand if there are toxic behaviors and pushing away.
Consider if you expect too much of your partner and feel disappointed when they fail to live up to your expectations. That’s another huge sign when considering what is a hopeless romantic. At the end of the day, you’re not perfect, and neither is your partner. Your love can be perfect for you, but it won’t be for everyone else, and that’s okay.
Love isn’t a game of chance. Don’t expect grand gestures or a meet-cute. You know what you’re looking for, so go for it. Dating apps can be hard to get used to, so try something different if that’s not your thing. Despite the saying that love happens when you’re not looking for it, go out there and look for it. Be an active participant in your love life. If you’re tired of being alone, do something about it.
Part of what is a hopeless romantic is waiting for everything to happen to you. If you do this, you’ll miss out on many great opportunities.
One of the hallmarks of what is a hopeless romantic is that you compromise your own needs. You refuse to settle for less than everything you’ve ever dreamed of as a kid. Now, you need to make sure that your dreams are possible to achieve. For instance, if you wanted to ride on a magic carpet with a fake prince, now’s the time to recognize that it isn’t likely to happen unless you visit a theme park.
Once you have a set of realistic goals, stick to your guns and set healthy boundaries that you can enforce. Your needs are just as valid as your partner’s, so if you need to have constant check-ins to make you feel better, your partner should be able to meet them. Love is a give and take, and that’s one thing that you may forget to take into account when you’re considering what is a hopeless romantic. Love isn’t about the big moments. It’s strengthened in the small micro-interactions over time.
The Final Say on What Is a Hopeless Romantic
When you are considering what is a hopeless romantic, just because you’ve identified yourself as one doesn’t mean that you will be destined for heartbreak. If you are committed to making changes, grounding your expectations in reality instead of the movies and books, you have a chance to change your pattern.
The next time you think of the question of what is a hopeless romantic, you’ll be able to answer with ease, knowing that you’ve transcended hopelessness to become hopeful in love.