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Movies often depict hopeless romantics as living in a fantasy world. In reality, though, they simply want what many of us hope for: to fall in love. How do you know if you fit into this category? Ultimately, a hopeless romantic is a person who continues to believe in love, no matter the struggles they might have experienced in the past. They choose to see the positive in relationships over the negative, believing wholeheartedly that love conquers all. “A hopeless romantic is someone who is more susceptible to falling in love and gets carried away in their romantic feelings,” says Bree Jenkins, dating coach and licensed therapist. “Usually, they will dream and fantasize about people they like, give a lot of energy to romantic pursuits, and have a deep desire for love and partnership. They typically wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to potential love.”
Meet the Expert
Bree Jenkins is a licensed marriage and family therapist and dating coach with over 12 years of clinical experience. She is the CEO and founder of The Gathered Life and The Diamond Dating League, a dating course to help individuals gain the communication skills and self-awareness to attract healthy love.
While it doesn't sound so bad, the biggest problem associated with being a hopeless romantic is that giving your heart so freely is something that can come with risks, and that's especially true if you often choose partners who don’t give the same level of love and respect in return.
Beginning to think that you might be a hopeless romantic? We asked Jenkins to reveal the 11 concrete signs to look out for. She also shared a few tips on how to avoid the most common pitfalls that can be associated with this personality type without ever giving up on love.
11 Signs That You're a Hopeless Romantic
1. Your Romances Ignite Quickly and Burn Out Fast
The flames of passion burn bright immediately upon meeting a new partner, but after a relatively short amount of time, the romance either ends in flames or fizzles out. Hopeless romantics get burned often, but that doesn’t stop them from chasing the light.
2. You Have One-Sided Relationships
Hopeless romantics tend to give a lot in relationships—emotionally, physically, and energetically. “Often this can be to their detriment, as they may feel many of their partners don't have the same level of giving and affection in return,” explains Jenkins. When the give-and-take is uneven, hopeless romantics may fall into despair, believing that they’re not enough or not worthy of their significant other's love and affection. They might even double down on their gestures of love, but for some people, these acts can feel suffocating and stifling.
3. You Have an Overly Optimistic View of Love
Hopeless romantics love to look on the bright side of life. Often, this personality trait is what initially attracts romantic partners. “Hopeless romantics usually see the best in new people and may find connections and commonality in people easily,” says Jenkins. “These perceived connections lead them to weave a tale of fatedness and start to emotionally invest in their potential partners.”
4. You Ignore Warning Signs
These eternal optimists tend to reject or completely avoid any red flags that their idea or expectations of a relationship are not being met. “They generally ignore behavior that doesn't fit the perspective of how a new love interest impresses them,” reveals Jenkins. “They may dismiss red flags and subtle ways a person is not as invested in them.”
Perfect relationships don’t exist, and ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away. If you’re unhappy in your relationship, talk to your partner about how you feel. Conflict resolution in relationships might be hard at first, but the right partner will want to work things out and grow together.
5. You’re Obsessed With All Things Romance
Hopeless romantics tend to lean into love in multiple ways, whether following relationship and wedding accounts on social media, or overindulging in movies, shows, books, and music that focus on romance. “Usually, hopeless romantics have a positive or happier disposition, as this optimistic perspective is what leads them to wear rose-colored glasses in romance,” says Jenkins. “They believe in love and fairy tales, they can have youthful energy, are great cheerleaders and supporters of those they love.”
6. You Lead With Your Emotions
A hopeless romantic feels everything deeply and wears their heart on their sleeve. While this can sometimes be a good thing, it can also work against them when reality doesn’t live up to their emotionally heightened expectations. Riding this roller coaster of joyful highs and disappointing lows can be emotionally draining.
7. You Tend to Idealize Your Partner
Hopeless romantics have a one-dimensional view of relationships and dating. They might even fall in lust or love with someone without even really knowing them. “They should clarify and write down their deal breakers and needs before meeting a shiny new person, so when things happen, they can have a reference point made when they weren't under the glow of lust or new interest,” suggests Jenkins.
8. You Have a Martyr Complex
This idealized view can lead to hopeless romantics believing that they must continually give in order to receive love, that their only value is in what they provide for their partner, or that they must suffer in order to be rewarded in love. A martyr feels powerless to change themselves, which leaves them totally at the mercy of other people’s behavior.
9. You Daydream About Love
Hopeless romantics tend to live in a fantasy world when it comes to dating. They might spend all their time and energy thinking about love and relationships because they enjoy how it makes them feel. It’s important to realize that these are just daydreams and not reality. “A hopeless romantic should date multiple people when they're single to keep their attention from over-focusing on one person to project all of their love fantasy and energy,” says Jenkins. “They should keep a balance of being with friends and busy with work and hobbies before allowing romance to overtake their mental space.”
10. You Have Few Long-Term Relationships
A hopeless romantic’s idealized view of love often leads to impossibly high standards, with few partners getting past the threshold. “A romantic is more discriminating and may only have giving and amorous behaviors to a select few people, but aren't as likely to do those behaviors outside of an exclusive or committed relationship,” reveals Jenkins.
11. You Spend All Your Time With a New Partner
When you do find someone, you make the most of it by spending all your time with that partner—to the point of ignoring your hobbies and friends. Remember to take it slow, keep up your individual commitments and passions, and allow the relationship to unfold and strengthen over time. “Hopeless romantics should NOT deep dive into social media and post their new partner and interests on their page," says Jenkins.