Are you a hopeless romantic? Before I started to write this, I was thinking about how many songs are about love. Falling in love. Losing love. Breaking your heart over love. Hating over love. Wanting love. Crushed from love. Then there are the Instagram posts. The memes (oh, the memes!). Images that portray passion. Sex. Love in action. Crushed hearts. Hearts recalibrating after a breakup. Twists and turns along the path of healing. Overtones of anger and hurt. All of this, in images and some with text. Movies are the best at showing us a hopeless romantic in action.
We respond emotionally to all of these. We idealize romance and want it to be a daily staple in our life. There’s even a song and a movie named exactly the same thing: Hopeless Romantic. However, there are no romantic images anywhere of a couple changing a toilet roll. Nor are there any of a couple doing their tax returns, servicing the car, or loading the dishwasher. Grocery shopping, none. Messing the sheets yes, washing them, no.
This got me thinking. I realized I am not much of a romantic at all. I am a practical soul. I have a huge heart and I love to give and be loved, but I am not good at PDA’s, receiving poetry, random flower deliveries, and long, romantic stares that melt me into a puddle. Eh. I am not into this at all. I said to Natasha, “Maybe I shouldn’t be writing this post? I am not much of a hopeless romantic!”
What do I think of Valentine’s Day? Not a lot. I think love is best celebrated on a daily basis. Not some pressurized event where you have to prove your love by coming up with surprises. Besides, it’s more of a ploy to get people to spend money. And many have been broken-hearted over not getting something. And many more are broken-hearted when they aren’t in a relationship and V Day seems to highlight that (which Natasha has already written about – because we shouldn’t be defining ourselves by a single day and what it represents). We are whole, regardless of whether we got a dozen roses and a candlelit dinner. We are lovable, regardless of that one day in February.
And if you do love and value these things, there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as they aren’t your gold standard. Because if that is the litmus test for you, an absence of these things might suggest to you that you aren’t being loved in the way you think we should be loved. Or you may think that you aren’t lovable.
Wedding days are 100 percent romantic – marriage is not. Yes, it can be full of happiness, love, and intimacy, but its’ really about growing together and sharing life as a couple. And all that goes along with that. Which is (often) not romantic.
So what exactly is a hopeless romantic all about?
What does hopeless romantic mean?
Some traits are…
- Rose-colored glasses.
- Romantic notions about life.
- Overly sentimental.
- Overly idealistic.
- The proverbial eternal optimist.
If you have been hurt in love but are determined to go on and find the love of your life, I actually don’t think that is being a hopeless romantic. I think that’s knowing you are worth being loved and that you also have love to give. That’s a great thing.
But, if you think you are a hopeless romantic and it isn’t serving you well… Read the following. I hope they help you navigate the sea of love out there – love songs, memes, and all.
1. Look for patterns – not isolated actions and words.
We know this one, it’s a hot topic here on the blog. Small romantic deeds don’t necessarily add up to someone being worth investing your time into. Watch out for huge declarations of love and showy displays that match it. Think steady, slow, and consistent. This is what you want. Not mind-blowing, ostentatious, contrived, or manufactured events and gifts to impress not only you, but everyone else you know. Love doesn’t have to be loud or impressive to be real.
2. Life is about the small things.
The little daily things. When someone is there for you through the mundane, the boring, and the necessary… They are the ones worth your time.
The ones who say they love everything about you, talk a big game, promise you lots of wonderful things, but are frequently not available and rarely deliver… These people are not really who they appear to be. They are good at the hard sell, but you will end up buying a lemon. And it is not your job to spend years trying to turn it into lemonade. Next!
It is precious. It heals and it shows you consistency. Remember: People don’t change. They reveal themselves. Over time. Time is your trusted friend in all matters concerning love. So, as romantic as it seems to have met your perfect match, if things are running hard and fast, do the same, but in the opposite direction. Do NOT rush into sharing a home, becoming engaged or married. This is a massive red flag (NEON light actually) and we are not starring in a movie, we are starring in real life. Our own lives. Forget the ‘faster than the speed of light’ kind who tell you they love you after two weeks. That isn’t love. It’s a red flag.
4. Real love is about sharing life. It’s never about partaking in a transaction (wrapped in romance) in which you can own, use, or manipulate someone.
Be careful of those who seem to love what you can offer them. You are not a pin-up model to make someone feel great because you are walking beside them. You are not there to upgrade someone’s lifestyle, housing or social circle. Look out for those who say things like “you make me happy” because that is a huge responsibility – to be accountable for someone else’s happiness.
It might feed your ego when you hear these words, but it isn’t very romantic or healthy at all. We choose to be happy with ourselves. True, there are people in our lives who we enjoy being around and add to the happiness of our lives, but anyone (you included) who looks at another and feels that this person is who ‘makes them happy’ – you are setting yourself up for failure. Whenever they are not feeling happy, you will be at fault. And as great as everything was at the start, things will start moving downwards at an even faster pace. Be very careful about idealizing another, idolizing another, or expecting them to constantly keep your bucket full. This isn’t realistic. It’s enmeshment. And it is a recipe for a broken heart.
5. Don’t “fall in love with love” for the sake of it. The love you feel at the beginning of a relationship is about endorphins and oxytocin. You are on a literal high.
Over time, 3-12 months, they change and lower back down to their pre- romance levels. This. Is. Normal. This. Is. Healthy.
Some people, however, think when this happens that the relationship is dwindling. It’s not, it’s just moving into a more steady, reliable and realistic love. If you find yourself often disappointed in love, feeling that things start off great but then fade into boring after a few months, pay attention to this one. It’s very important.
6. Romance and passion are wonderful components that add depth and quality to an already healthy relationship.
But if that is all you’ve got, things will burn out quickly (refer back to number 5). You don’t want a relationship that is like lighting a match – quickly lit, burning strong, but gone in a hot minute. Romance and passion fade over time, but they co-exist in a long term healthy relationship because they are pieces in the puzzle, but not the whole picture by themselves. Slow burning, constant warmth is the goal here. Not gasoline-ignited infernos. Huge difference. Don’t set yourself up to get burnt.
7. Divorce statistics are numbers that tell a story about patterns.
Second and third marriages fail at an alarming 67 and 73 percent. We have a view that “falling in love” is like a fairytale. First marriages are broken fairytales. We often boil broken relationships down to a mismatch of a partner. But remember to also look at yourself. We all play a role in a relationship. If you just blame another for things not working out, you are not taking responsibility for your part. Don’t give your power away. Look at the way you operate too. Or else, guess what? The pattern will keep reappearing in future relationships. With different people. Check your boundaries (are you giving too much, getting too little?). Check your expectations (what do you want from this person? What do they want?). Are these things clearly understood?
Put some time into this one, as it will keep you safe. Learn from other people’s mistakes. Stats exist for a reason. Don’t become one of them.
8. Communication is everything.
Sometimes, we are hearing a lot of what we want to hear. This can be incredibly intoxicating. Romantic. We feel loved and appreciated like never before. But look for the substance in it. If it is just compliments, promises, and creating a glossier version of your current life, what you are hearing is a red flag flapping in the breeze. There is nothing romantic about a broken heart, so listen carefully. Hear the message. And look for depth. Love cannot exist in sweet words alone. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
Despite saying I am not especially romantic in my views, I am a positive and optimistic person and I think it helps us see the light in dark situations and teaches us to find the silver lining. But you need to temper it with realistic expectations. If you have unhealthy expectations in life and love, you can end up being disappointed many more times than you need to be. In love, you need to know who you are first before you really get to know another. If you are very in tune with yourself, you will know what your deal breakers are and not waste time looking through rose-colored glasses. Don’t imagine what isn’t there will magically appear. Stay grounded.
10. There is nothing wrong with romance.
There is nothing wrong with hope. We all want to be loved and cared for. There are three great things in life that make a difference: Someone to love, someone to love you, and a sense of humor. But don’t try too hard. Don’t idealize too much.
If your ideal guy is dark, tall and handsome and a blue-eyed, blonde, 5 foot six guy with a kind heart comes into your life, you just might miss him.
Keep a level of serendipity in your life. Live your life, being the best version of you. Allow others to see that, feel that and watch you glow and grow as you walk your path. I know I said I am not a romantic, but I do believe in love. Don’t spin stories in your head of how you think it might be or look. Instead, focus on being YOU, and let love appear when you least expect it.
Hopeless romantic or not, we can all agree on one thing: Being loved for who we are, faults and all, is a wonderful thing – to aspire to and to experience. Relationships are a huge and important part of life. They are also often the most problematic for us to work out.
If we are honest, we can see ourselves in our relationships. They mirror the way we operate and what we want.
You can ride your white horse but remember… There is no Prince Charming out there, even if it seems so. You are actually looking for Prince Normal. He’s your man. Flawed but lovable. Interesting but agenda-less. Able to give and to receive. Able to communicate and knows what he wants. Is strong enough to show his boundaries. Wants to know who you are and enjoys being with you. Loves you for who you are, flaws and all. Wants to build with you, a future of shared goals and happiness. Trustworthy. Practical. (men are definitely, as a rule, more practical than women and this is an underrated trait). And there will be times he will be romantic too, and passion will exist as well. Except with him, you no longer equate passion with attaining anything that is in limited supply.
But he’s there in a deeper way. An everyday reliable way. A steady way. A consistent way. You might not always agree, but he will accept that, and you will work through your differences. He buys you a caramel latte because that’s what you love the most, and he knows you like satin pillowcases, so your hair stays smooth. He remembers your friends’ names, picks you up from the airport and shows you respect at home and in front of others. When you are sick, he’s kind and picks up your medicine.
He might not believe in splashing out on expensive gifts all the time, but he bought you that silk scarf you loved as a birthday present. Maybe he isn’t as thoughtful, poetic or idealistic as you might romanticize he could be, but when you need to flush and there’s a full roll of toilet paper there… well…that might not be romantic but you definitely aren’t in a hopeless situation either…
This post was written by Natasha Adamo Team Member, Lorelle.
+ If you need further and more personalized help, please look into working with Natasha here.
Such a beautiful, grounded post. I recently met a guy who is really nice, a gentleman, sweet and caring as well as charming; girls seem to like him and I think he’s quite flirtatious ( this reminds me of my ex). A few years ago I would’ve ignored the last reason and worked hard to be chosen; the girl who’d get him to stop flirting with other girls. I did have a huge crush on him in the beginning when he approached me, but a few days ago I realized don’t like him as much anymore, I don’t like guys who are flirtatious with everything in a skirt. He says he was raised well so is nice to everyone, I’ve decided to give him the benefit of the doubt but to be honest I’m not emotionally invested in him anymore, neither do I want to be chosen by him. This surprised me, it’s so unlike me; I’m usually the hopeless romantic, ovulating because he said he likes my smile or whatever, I’m no longer that person. Through PMS I’ve become one who subconsciously looks at ones actions and patterns, I’m one who also honors and validates my gut instinct. Thank you so so much Lorelle and Natasha. I’m becoming the person I never ever thought I’d become. A badass who honors herself, follows her GPS and calls the shots in my own life. I love you all so so much??
When you DM’d me, I was 1/2 asleep but I went to sleep with the biggest smile on my face 🙂 I am so incredibly proud of you. Take a look at all of your comments here on PMS starting from the very first one and JUST LOOK at your evolution. It’s amazing! But not surprising whatsoever.
THIS is true emotional freedom. THIS is being able to call your own relational shots. THIS is unf*ckwithability and THIS is how you build unshakeable, unconditional self-love and self-esteem.
Just like with sadness and heartbreak… Your happiness, success, peace, and strength truly is my own. I love you with all my heart. Thank you for being you and for inspiring so many through sharing your struggles and story. XOX
I know right I remember the first time I posted on here, and also contacted you. I never thought it’d be possible to get to this place but I’m here, and I’m still on the journey. You’ve given me tools to survive this life, tools I never got from my parents. All these years, and I’m now able to say I can stand on my own two feet because I trust me, I listen to me, I validate me. There aren’t enough thank yous in the world I can give you Natasha. I love you so so much. Thank you soul sister??????
Crying too hard to type ??????????? I love you too sis.
Agree. Agree.agree. Love. Love. Love. Xxx
Spoken by the Queen of self empowerment herself, Natasha! ??????
Oh wow, Denise! You are truly galloping on your white horse if you can work out how someone operates the way you have! Awesome! Amazing, and a huge hug for you! You are very aware and it is this self awareness that protects us from others ( and our own past triggers) because we tune in to what is actually happening and not what we hope or want to happen. ?
It feels good too, doesn’t it when you know your GPS is heading you in the right direction. Crisis averted. Heart still whole. I’d take you out for a mojito to celebrate, ? because you are, as Natasha wrote, unf*ckwithable!
Sometimes our parents don’t provide us with the love and guidance we need, but it can be found in the right people who cross your path. Years can pass, but we can still learn, heal and grow. ?
Thank you for your words and I’m so proud of you! He wasn’t good enough for you, Denise and you knew it.
??????????. Xxxx love to you xxx
Thanks so so much Lorelle, you are so sweet and amazing, thank you for also helping me with my inner GPS( that’s always my go to post when I’m feeling off) . Thanks for your strength, wisdom and empathy. You are such a gem . Thank you so much once again soul sister????
Awwwww thank YOU, Denise! Xx ?????? That just melted my heart ?
Thank you for this beautiful reminder Lorelle ??
Thank you for replying and I’m so glad this piece resonated with you. I think positive reinforcement about things we already know, remind us we are on the right path for us. I love the way you put it ‘this beautiful reminder’. That put a huge smile on my face ??
Happiness to you, Megan! ?
Love xx ?
THIS! ? Thank you so much Lorelle and to Natasha for creating this community. Love to you both! ?
Aww thanks for your words ?…and yes, thank you Natasha for this wonderful community! ??
It’s a haven for us all and a place filled with love and positivity. And that’s because it’s got people like you in it, Jesse! ?
Love to you xx ?
Love ? this Lorelle…thank you. And yes, I agree, the practical quality is very underrated. I think when you’re surrounded by this quality for a while you will realize just how romantic and wonderful this quality can be, a man to depend on when things fall apart…NICE!! Perhaps he has money for an emergency , like your car breaking down, because he didn’t spend it on something “romantic” . That, as you say. is REAL life….we should show our partners as much or MORE appreciation when they do something practical …gush over that…more than the flowers or whatever…:))..and all that appreciation may just inspire the romantic in him!!
Thank you for your comment, ayyy yes! Practical things are simple, pure in intent and have positive outcomes. Men do things for those they care about, and these practical things are great examples.
I had a neighbour once, she lived to be 101! I used to visit her sometimes to chat and have a cup of tea with her. She was full of old stories about her life with her husband, who she lost when she was 88.
The one I’ll share with you here, is that he planted her an apricot tree in their tiny garden because they were her favourite. She made jam for decades with the fruit from that tree. I remember one Christmas she gave me a jar of her homemade jam, and my heart felt filled to the brim. ??
She was 99 years old., and still making jam ! Still living in the tiny house she and her husband raised 4 children in. Still using the vintage jars they received as a wedding gift, and which were proudly in display. See, I think that’s more romantic than anything on Valentine’s Day. It’s love expressed many times over, in simple and practical ways.
Here’s to that, and all versions of homemade jam! ( jelly I think to Americans!) ???
Love to you xxx ??
Thank you so much for this post and wonderful reminders. I laughed, I cried and I realized what I need to work on moving forward. Thank you!
I’m so glad you shared with us here. You are definitely moving forward and it is great to have reminders and reinforcements along the way..? reading your words made me feel so good inside. Connecting with others here really fills my heart.? Love to you, and both crying and laughing are therapeutic xxx ???
Sending you love xxx
This helped me so much Lorelle. Thank you <3
I did something 3 weeks ago that I never thought I would do. I decided to block my ex on all social media. It was scary because there was a part of me that (even though I had unfollowed him 4 months ago) enjoyed posting photos that I knew he would see. I was worried that blocking would make him feel like he had "won" or powerful but I really don't give a rats what he thinks. I WON his absence. He lost the best friend and girlfriend he will ever have. Thank you for this reminder because at times, what has kept me in my own pain contractions as Natasha says, was the nostalgia of how romantic he was. Thank you for reminding us all that romance does not = character, honesty or integrity!! Xxx
Yasssssss! That is a massive win for you! Huge loss for him…but like you so beautifully said it: romance does not equal character, honesty or integrity. ?
Romantic gestures can definitely be part of a loving relationship, but they are nothing without those three star qualities you mentioned. Romance can be very deceptive and manipulative- which is why we are safe when we understand the things that define shadiness in love. ?
I’m truly so happy for you Sydney, and the indifference you feel shows how you are really over him. You know your worth and are not accepting half price offers. You galloped away and now you are gone. Greener pastures await you xx ???
Self empowerment rules all!
Love to you xxx thank you for sharing ?
Thank you for this beautifully written article. It resonated with me in so many ways. The part about just being the best version of you and living life just doing that, to have a bit serendipity when it comes to love is absolutely true. Romance can be wonderful but don’t lose your heart, head and self amongst it all! Thank you again Lorelle ? I will be saving this article and will come back to it again just as I do with many of Natasha’s articles too ? Xxxx
Hello Jide (very cool name!)
Thank you for your kind words ?? I’m really overflowing in my heart to read them. I don’t like people being in pain or hurting in the same way again and again and I hope that what I write can realign that, or help people see how they really are on the right track and to connect with their own wisdom inside.
I really believe we already ‘know’ so many of the answers but we get lost in keeping up appearances, pleasing others, trying to fit in (devastating to attempt as we give ourselves away when we do this). We are so busy trying to ‘tick the boxes’ in life that we don’t even know what we want, need or who we are, as we are swimming in a tsunami of image crafting, busy climbing social and career ladders, fulfilling everyone’s expectations of us … and in all of this – we can lose touch with what really matters.
Letting go, especially habits that don’t serve us well, or past triggers that set us up for more pain, allow us to relax and tune into life instead of life living us, so to speak! It’s so refreshing to be ourselves, practice self love and appreciate little things in life. I used to try too hard sometimes and it was exhausting and disappointing as often things never went as I’d hoped.
We are all enough. We are. ?? Thank you for your sunshine filled reply! X ???
Hi Lorelle ?
This was a great post for me to read. I needed this because have caught myself lately staying in romantic thoughts and memories and forgetting what the reality was. This helped me because as you say, there should be consistentsy not just going from 0-60. It feels good but it is not reality. I have always thought the person who loves you should be there through thick and thin. Let’s face it, life is mostly challenging and a series of tests so if the person who says they love you cannot stick by you during those times it is best to not stay around.
All these are perfect words to live by. Thank you so much Lorelle. I love you and I hope you are well.
Thanks Natasha for having this beautiful place. ????
Hello sweet Linda,
Yes thick and thin. That’s what matters. ? And you’re absolutely correct, if someone cannot be there through those challenging times, they are best left out of the picture. It’s ok to have romantic thoughts and memories as they can fill our hearts but again, as you say, they key is consistency. Without it, difficult patterns will emerge and they make life miserable.
I think commitment is hard for some people because it seems mundane, scary or boring but daily life is what we wake up to every day. Reality. And it’s nice to be able to share the daily rhythm of life with someone. But as you said reality is the thing. You’re very wise, Linda. ? You are. Xxx I love you too.. ?? So sweet to hear from you xx
Dear Lorelle, when I first read the title of this post I was put off by the word “Romantic” because it’s something I have lost since the break up. But your words have reminded me that romantic/superficial/Honeymoon efforts that the ex is making with his current gf aren’t necessarily deep and meaningful.
He may have appeared to move to our dream home with her, but people can live in palaces and still not have the emotional needs met in a relationship.
I certainly hope to think about love in other contexts on Valentine’s Day, my animals, my grandparents etc.
Love to you and the tribe ????
Hello Lily, it’s so good to see you again 🙂
The first year or so of a relationship is the part where it’s easy to look ‘ in love’ and ‘loved up’. It’s new, it’s exciting and there’s lots of sex and endorphin highs that make people feel like ‘finally- this is the one!’ But that stuff does fade, and it is replaced with a steady, warm and trustworthy kind of love. One based on mutual respect, building a life together and friendship. There are of course, facets of the first glow of love that exist, but that newness needs to be replaced if a relationship will continue to grow.
Image crafting is very easy to do with social media. Seriously, you could get two strangers, and ask them to pose together like they are madly in love and outwardly, it would appear they were in love. But they aren’t. It’s an image. And sometimes people rely heavily on these images – they want the world to see them. They feel a need to promote themselves as in love.
Natasha doesn’t plaster herself and her private life all over the internet. Why? Because there’s nothing to prove and nothing to gain by it. And I think healthy relationships survive very well without it. It’s not wrong to share special days and events from time to time, but it’s certain,y nor necessary to provide life in pictures in order to be living a happy and fulfilled one.
So, you are so right in your evaluation of your ex. And the people in your life who do love you, are there for keeps. There’s someone out there, lining up his life and living it in a way that will have him cross paths with you one day. You’ll meet your match, Lily. You will. ?
You haven’t lost your sense of romance, either, you just know (sense with your gut) when the image doesn’t add up and actions aren’t fully matching words. You’re a smart woman, Lily. And you know your worth. That will repel f*cktards and leave you open to finding something real and worth having. ??????
Much love to you, xx ?
Thank you for taking time to reply to me & I’m so happy you remembered me ??
I screen shot and save your replies and comments, they give me an instant little boost of warmth and positivity when I need it.
What you say helps me remember reality again and what is important to me. But it’s like I have this annoying argumentative little bird on my shoulder whispering negative things. For example, that this new girl won’t have the stresses that i had when in our relationship (eg he didn’t drive, or earn much money for a while, living in my house and I had all the responsibility, all of those things aren’t a problem for him any more)
I’ve revently made sure I enjoy the moment as I live my life and not focus on taking photos to put on social media. It’s great ??
Thanks for your beautiful reply…. you filled up my heart. I’m so glad you feel so loved here. I love you words – warmth and positivity xxx
You’re like your name – blossoming like a truly beautiful flower. Keep being you, Lily. Xxx ?????
I have followed PMS for years now and am extremely grateful to Natasha, Natasha’s mother, Lorelle, and respondents for creating this tremendous helpful site.
And thanks to Lorelle for helping remind me that romance means little to nothing when character, integrity, honesty are missing/are conditional. I need to remember these things when I get sad that my last partner, who I thought I knew and thought was the most honest, loyal guy on Earth; lied to, insulted, criticized, invalidated me and left me for his much younger work subordinate, who he married within a year (their second marriage). They may have or be trying to have a baby now, so there’s no chance that he and I will ever reconcile. He also blocked me on all media shortly after he left the last time, in spite of thirty years. Virtually everyone considers my last partner Mr. Nice Guy, but I know realize that he was/is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It’s been 1.5 years since he discarded me the last/final time, and I am still really struggling financially, emotionally, physically as an over fifty divorced mother of pre-teen kids, one of whom has special needs, no decent dating prospects in sight for years, only adulterous, abusive ex-husband. Opportunistic last partner (ex-boyfriend) has disappeared. I hope that someday I will be glad.
Kitty I’m sorry you’re going through this terribly heartbreaking time ??
Remember what natasha tells us, a monkey could give a ring, and there’s no discrimination against f*%#tards sperm making it. So remember if he has the capacity to drop you like he did, he lacks loyalty, empathy and integrity, this will repeat itself xxxx
Your words made me tear up. I understand the tremendous heartache and pain you have suffered. It’s real. It also takes time to heal and recover from this kind of abuse. Your ex sounds like an A grade narcissist- all about him, no conscience and self absorbed to the hilt. It is very hard to feel glad when you’re hurting but you are worth so much more than the emotional merry go round he was taking you for a ride on. It’s people like you, who I’d love to meet in real. You deserve happiness and good things. To be loved. I would love to give you the biggest hug right now. It’s not much, but it would be heartfelt and genuine. And we are all here for you Kitty. Just stay on your white horse. And ride.
Bless you, and so much love. Keep. The. Faith x ??????