Romanticism gets the eye-roll from a lot of people, but it’s also the air you breathe.
To most of the world, you wear rose-colored glasses, but to you, it seems like everyone else’s lenses need a good soap and water cleanse.
You’re a “hopeless romantic,” but you don’t feel hopeless at all.
In fact, you feel more hopeful than most. If anything, you’re stubborn in your belief that love will conquer all.
So, where did the term “hopeless romantic” even come from? And what does it mean?
What is a hopeless romantic?
What gives the life of the hopeless romantic meaning if not love and its ability to transform everything?
Love changes people, situations, places, and problems from the inside out.
Ask someone who isn’t a hopeless romantic what the “hopeless” means, and you’ll probably hear adjectives like incorrigible, stubborn, or unrealistic.
Tragedy might deeply affect the hopeless romantic, but it won’t change them at their core.
If you suspect you know a hopeless romantic — or that you are one — the following signs can help clear up any doubts.
13 Signs of a Hopeless Romantic
1. Anything worthy of an “Aww!” response brings out the poet in you.
And you’re not ashamed of your poetic bent.
In fact, you express yourself through poetry, music, or some other creative project, even when you doubt the artistic value of your creations.
Their value to the world at large isn’t your driving force, anyway.
You create to give your soul the outlet it needs in order to thrive and to remind yourself of who you are at your core.
And you create with the hope of helping others see the world as you do.
2. You have high expectations of a romantic partner (maybe too high).
Other people might think you’re being unrealistic, but you believe you’re destined for the kind of love relationship that is the stuff of legend.
And when your relationship falls short of that, you’re inclined to think your S.O. might just not be “the one” after all.
That said, it takes a lot to make you give up on a relationship, however flawed it is.
You see all that it could be, and it’s hard to let go of that.
3. You want a love like the kind you see in your favorite movies.
You watch your favorite romantic movies, again and again, to remind yourself that the love relationship on display is not only attainable but inevitable.
Your true love is on their way to you. And watching those movies is an essential part of your preparation.
Romantic movies always end on a high note, with the love still strong and the passion still burning.
You want that, and you can’t imagine a life without it.
A life spent searching for and never finding a love like that seems empty and not worth living.
4. You refuse to give up on the idea that someday you’ll have an epic love.
You don’t allow yourself to entertain the idea that you’ll never have an epic love.
You refuse to accept the more “realistic” beliefs of those around you — that a love like that either doesn’t exist or wouldn’t survive real life for very long.
The best you can hope for, they say, is a love that is loyal, in spite of everything, even if the passion isn’t there.
You want the undying love and the romance.
You don’t see the point of entering into an intimate relationship if you’re not head over heels in love with the other person.
Realism is for those who don’t believe in magic. And you always will.
5. If you receive a surprise gift of flowers, you’re happier than most lottery winners.
If no one buys you flowers, you buy them yourself — just to have them around and to remind yourself that you’re worth it and that someone else out there (once they meet you) will believe it, too.
You’ll buy each other thoughtful gifts “just because.”
And you’ll want to surround each other with beauty and fill each other with joy.
You know money can’t buy you love. And a gift of flowers from the right person means so much more to you than a massive windfall.
6. Your favorite movies and novels are romantic ones.
Whether you admit this to anyone or not, your favorite forms of entertainment remind you of the love relationship you want.
Every time you indulge in a movie or a novel with an epic love relationship, you want it even more.
And you take comfort in your belief that you were destined for a love just as passionate and complete.
And when you find someone who wants that kind of relationship with you, you want to share those favorite stories with them (in written or cinematic form).
You want your true love to enjoy them as much as you do.
7. You spend time on your appearance (most days).
You make time every day (or most days) to ensure you look and smell as attractive as you can.
Maybe you do so because you know you could meet “the one” at any moment, and you want to look your best when that moment comes.
Or maybe you’re already in a relationship, and you want to your S.O. to fall in love with you over and over again every time they see you.
People in epic love relationships always look good in the movies (and in your mind’s eye when you read those novels). So you will, too.
8. Your favorite romantic movie (or novel) inspires you to make drastic changes.
Maybe you watched Sleepless in Seattle and decided to move to New York so you could arrange a meeting with your true love at the top of the Empire State Building.
Or maybe you felt an overwhelming desire to abandon your current path and move to a third world country because that’s how the heroine in your novel met the love of her life.
A thoroughly compelling romance can make you do crazy things, simply because you want to believe that if you do this or that, you’ll fall right into the same situation.
9. You can’t imagine your love will ever fade, no matter what life throws at you both.
Once you’ve found that special someone, you can’t think of any reason why it won’t last forever.
And you can’t imagine ever not being in love with them.
You don’t want to even entertain the possibility that the passion will ever cool between you.
It has to burn for all eternity, because, for you, real love means never truly letting go of the romance.
So, whatever happens, you look for ways to rekindle the passion that burned so brightly at the beginning of your relationship.
And you won’t accept that it’s not meant to burn as brightly or even more brightly as the years go by.
10. You naturally assume your beloved loves you as much as you love him.
You also tend to assume that your S.O. is just as committed as you are to keeping the passion alive between you.
You trust that they love you as deeply as you love them. Otherwise, why would you even be together?
The idea that they might not love you as much as you love them is terrifying, because it means you’ve invested yourself — all of yourself — into a relationship that was never really meant to be.
A relationship like that is a trap that blinds you to the real love you could have otherwise enjoyed with someone equally committed.
11. You attribute human feelings to inanimate objects.
It’s one thing to be afraid of doing something because it might hurt the feelings of the bird perched outside your window.
It’s another to feel genuine concern that your frustrated outburst has damaged the relationship between you and your computer — or your microwave — or your toaster.
It’s not a stretch for you to believe that the stones you pick up and admire are alive and conscious of being admired.
You can feel a real connection to inanimate objects that most people overlook.
And no one could convince you that what you feel between yourself and those objects isn’t real.
12. When you were a kid, all your dolls/stuffed animals were in epic love relationships that made you wish you had what they had.
Maybe Raggedy Andy has a long-standing relationship with your Golden Dream Barbie doll. Stranger things have happened.
And it’s not at all farfetched to believe that your Teddy bear has a crush on your best friend’s stuffed elephant. When they’re together, it just feels right.
And you want what they have — even when they can’t always be together.
You look at them and think, “Someday….” Maybe you don’t say that out loud (or loud enough for anyone else to hear), because you’d rather not be dismissed as a crazy person.
But you can’t help seeing the love between your best stuffed (or molded plastic) buddies and sighing after it when no one is looking.
13. You’re an eternal optimist, never giving up on love however bleak things look.
No matter how dark things get, you never give up on your belief that love is your reason for being and that you are destined for the kind of love relationship that lifts up the world.
You could catch your S.O. cheating on you and spend some time reeling from the fallout and giving yourself a break from romantic entanglements.
But sooner or later, you’ll pick yourself back up and prepare for the epic love relationship on its way to you.
Because you sincerely believe that, no matter what happens, your true love is coming. It’s inevitable. And it will be worth everything else.
Are you a hopeless romantic?
Now that you have a pretty good idea of what it means to be a hopeless romantic, how many of the above signs did you recognize in yourself?
Or did they remind you of someone else?
Whatever you’re going through, your capacity for appreciating the beauty around you and holding onto hope is part of who you are.
And I’m betting that someone in your life deeply appreciates that (even when they tease you).
So, schmaltz away! Bring on the romantic musicals and the boxes of extra-plush tissues.
Throw in some wine and chocolate, if you have some around.
And may your thoughtfulness and incurable optimism influence everything you do today.