My Hopeless Romanticism Has Turned Into Plain Old Depression

I’ve always been a hopeless romantic. I truly believe that real, lasting love is out there and I’m determined to find it. However, the longer I spend looking for it, the more depressed it’s making me.

Keeping the faith is exhausting. The more terrible dates I go on, the more my faith in love and good guys is tested. I haven’t given up, by any means, but keeping that belief strong and thriving takes a lot of effort and willpower. Frankly, it’s exhausting and takes a lot of emotional and mental energy that would be better spent on other things like, well, literally anything.

“Hopeless romantic” isn’t synonymous with “idiot.” People assume that because I believe in romance and I want to be swept off my feet that I must be an idiot with no semblance of understanding about how the real world works. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I have a firm grip on reality, I just want love to be part of that reality. Why is that so hard for people to understand?

The guys I date seem to think romance is temporary. I’ve dated guys who’ve started off as amazingly romantic. They hold doors open, they memorize my Starbucks order and bring me Doritos when they come over—you know, the little, thoughtful things that make a girl swoon. However, once they think they have me right where they want me, the effort just… stops. I end up feeling like I’ve been duped. Why can’t romance go on forever? Why shouldn’t it?

Otherwise, it’s all liars, cheaters, commitment-phobes… Obviously I’m generalizing here—if I didn’t believe that decent guys are out there, I would just quit dating altogether and join a nunnery or something. However, a good portion of single guys on the dating scene seem to be on totally different wavelengths than me. I’m looking for a strong, long-lasting relationship with an equal partner and they’re looking to get laid or to find a second mother. It’s incredibly depressing.

All my friends keep telling me to lower my standards. I don’t think I have particularly high standards. I just want a guy who’s loyal, mature, willing to pull his weight in the relationship, and who loves me deeply. Isn’t that what every woman wants? However, whenever I go on another disastrous date or I end a situationship with a dude, my girls try to give me a come to Jesus talk about how I might want to reevaluate what I’m looking for if I want to find a relationship. I don’t settle, so no thanks.

It’s tempting to give up sometimes but I know it’ll be worth it in the end. At least I hope so. It’s not that I’m desperate for a relationship or I can’t survive on my own, it’s that I truly love love and I want someone to share it (and my life as a whole) with. Isn’t that what living is all about? I’m keeping the faith that love is out there for me. If I don’t believe, how will I ever find it?

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