Urban Dictionary defines a “hopeless romantic” as the following:
This person is in love with love.They believe in fairy tales and love.They’re not to be confused as stalkers or creepy because that’s not what a hopeless romantic is. All hopeless romantics are idealists,the sentimental dreamers,the imaginative and the fanciful when you get to know them.They often live with rose colored glasses on.They make lovelook like an art form with all the romantic things they do for their special someone.
Well, they’re not wrong.
Being a hopeless romantic, while it seems creative and fanciful and dreamy, is actually a nightmare. When you fall for someone, you fall hard, even if they don’t feel the same way about you. You pine for them from afar, hoping they’ll finally notice you in a certain way, or even just notice you at all. It’s okay if they’re dating some- you want them to be happy- but you spend a lot of time wondering what it would be like if they dated you instead.
In my case, hopeless romanticism goes along pretty well with this definition given by the ever so reliable UD. I’d add on that doing romantic things for me isn’t a giant part of the appeal (maybe every once in a while, but I don’t need statements and movements constantly in my life). What really hits it for me is the being “in love with love” idea. Especially when you’re single, having someone in your life that not only you love, but who loves you back, is a fantastical appeal that teems in the back of your mind. You daydream about dating someone you may crush, or you imagine a scenario from a rom-com or novel that involves you two instead. This intertwines with the whole “sentimental dreamer” idea that this definition points out, and that’s undoubtedly the largest part for me. Being in love seems wonderful. Being in love with someone who also loves you seems even better.
But what also comes along with being a hopeless romantic isn’t the idea that you both fall hard right away. With influences like Pride & Prejudice and every Meg Ryan movie, we also think there has to be some sort of a struggle or annoyance with our potential significant other before we can truly get along. The idea that the love comes “out of nowhere” but was right in front of us the whole time is what really attracts us. We want our love to not just be real, but to make a good story that seems as crazy as love in fiction.
It’s worse when you heavily connect with one of these characters and spend your life hoping love will eventually find you like it did them. Elizabeth Bennet is extremely similar to myself, and her relationship with Fitzwilliam Darcy is both simple and complex. They argue, she’s annoyed and hates him, then finds out he’d loved her all along, and that the feelings she thought were hatred were more of an angry passion that, when finding out he’s a decent guy, turn into love. It’s just complex enough to give the characters and their story depth and meaning, but simple enough to understand as an obvious conclusion.
That’s what we strive for, whether we like it or not. You can’t just stop being a hopeless romantic- it’s not how you’re made. You’re not appealed to hooking up with people or going on dates with people you’re not attracted to just to get a free meal. You want a relationship, and you want it with the right person. Sure, it makes life a little lonely at times when all your friends are in relationships or getting married or progressing with someone else in some way, but you also see when they go through breakups and how defeated it looks and feels, and you realize that you’d rather wait for one person to really be in love with rather than have your heart broken a dozen times on the way there.