Honestly, I blame Disney movies for turning me into a hopeless romantic. They taught me from childhood onward that everything in my life would be perfect if the right man came along to save me. Growing up, I didn’t get the same messages from media of female empowerment and therefore have really only recently started to realize that I’m a strong, independent woman who can take care of herself. As a result, my views of romance were horribly skewed, making my early dating life almost completely miserable and disappointing.
True romance is hard to find.
Our dating culture has changed, though for better or worse depends on who you ask. Dating apps have us scrolling through potential partners (and hookups) like products on Amazon. We almost completely depersonalize each other to the point that dating feels almost meaningless. If things don’t work out with one person, we’re eager to replace them in order to avoid being alone as if the previous one meant nothing. Maybe that’s an abysmal view on modern dating, but that’s just what I’ve observed.
I’m often left feeling disillusioned about love.
I broke up with my high school sweetheart after I started college. I wasn’t fulfilled in the relationship and wanted to be with someone that would give just as much to our relationship as I did. As a hopeless romantic, I’d make grand gestures even from afar that went unappreciated and unreciprocated. My ex-boyfriend was far too eager to play League of Legends and even more eager to play with my emotions. The men I met in college fell into a similar trap of being apathetic and distant, only looking at my girlfriends and me like pieces of meat. Sigh.
Hopeless romanticism gave me unrealistic standards.
Growing up with a romanticized vision of love is going to be the death of me when it comes to dating and finding a partner. I envisioned marrying my high school sweetheart and having a big, white wedding but boy, was I wrong. I thought we’d have a life together where he’d bring flowers home every other day and we’d end every night with a romantic dinner together, even if it was just takeout. This might not seem like much to ask, but it began to seem like an unrealistic standard after the millionth “U up?” text at 2 a.m.
I’m always left wanting more.
I was met with so much disappointment in dating early on that I’d get excited when my partners would text back in less than five hours. I know you’re probably thinking, “Girl, why don’t you move on?” and you’re right to think that. Why didn’t I? I was disillusioned and convinced that the person I dreamed of in my wildest romantic fantasies didn’t exist. I would be left with a hunger that would never be satisfied, and worst of all, I began to accept that. I settled for less than I wanted and less than I deserve out of the need to never be alone. And it sucked.
Being like this might not be a good thing.
Hot take: even though we glamorize hopeless romanticism, it might not actually be the best thing for any of us. With divorce rates as they are, plenty of people are disillusioned and uninterested in getting married. This leaves the rest of us with high expectations that won’t be met. It’s heartbreaking to hold onto a vision that will never come true. It’s even more heartbreaking to find yourself settling for less than you dreamed of in the hopes of not being alone forever.
Then again, it could be a great thing.
Being a hopeless romantic helped me in a lot of ways too. For instance, it helped me redefine my standards. I want someone who will make corny, romantic gestures. I want someone who will cry with me while watching Love, Actually. Heck, I just want a relationship of Love, Actually proportions. Is that too much to ask? I don’t think I’ll settle for less.
I don’t regret wanting my own fairytale romance.
Overall, I’m happy to be a hopeless romantic woman. It keeps my relationships fun and passionate. My current partner appreciates my gestures and reciprocates them. It took some waiting, some patience, and some miracle work, but I’ve finally found a partner that treats me like his princess.
Ultimately, I’m convinced this outlook will help me find my one true love.
This is such a corny way to end this article, I know. What can you expect from a hopeless romantic after all? By defining my standards and staying true to them, I won’t settle for less than I deserve again. I won’t settle for a guy that will leave me hanging and questioning my worth. I won’t settle for someone who is only interested in booty calls and not any kind of commitment. I will change my status of being a hopeless romantic to being a hopeful romantic since there’s always hope when it comes to true love.
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