5 Signs You're a Hopeless Romantic

<p>encrier / Getty Images</p>

encrier / Getty Images

Medically reviewed by Ivy Kwong, LMFT

If you’re a hopeless romantic, you probably have an idealized view of love. You tend to think of relationships as fairy tale-like romances and look for your soulmate in every partner you’re with. Regardless of any red flags or past experiences that might suggest otherwise, you truly believe that, ultimately, love conquers all.

“Hopeless romantics wear rose-colored glasses as their desire to love and be loved causes them to see the fantasy version of the person they’re with, instead of the reality,” says Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and professor at Yeshiva University.

This projection of love often isn't grounded in the depth of intimacy and connection—which is often rather unromantic—but instead in the pursuit of chasing the fairy tale narrative of love, says Claudia de Llano, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist and author of "The Seven Destinies of Love."

Being a hopeless romantic can involve ups and downs. While it can mean you approach love and relationships with positivity and hopefulness, it can also mean that you get easily hurt or disappointed if reality doesn't live up to your expectations.

Verywell Mind asked the relationship experts to share some signs you're a hopeless romantic and what to do if you are.

What Are the Traits of a Hopeless Romantic?

These are some signs that can indicate you are a hopeless romantic.

You Have a Fairy Tale-Like View of Love

If you’re a hopeless romantic, chances are you love fairy tales and rom-coms where charming characters meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after.

You probably have a fantasy of what your happily ever after looks like, and you probably date as a means to find a partner to fit the fantasy, says Dr. Romanoff.

You Get Invested in Relationships Very Quickly

When you start dating someone, rather than taking a slow, cautious approach to dating, you tend to get invested in the relationship early on.

For example, you may find yourself fantasizing about a permanent future with a person you’ve only been on a few dates with, says Dr. Romanoff. "Or, you might spend a lot of time thinking about the person, replaying everything they said, and forecasting the future—all of which creates a false sense of closeness and intense feelings for the person," she adds.

You Idealize Your Partner

You’re looking for your soulmate; everyone you meet might be “the one.”

This might cause you to idealize your partner in a way that doesn't match your actual experience of them but helps you cope with their negative qualities, says de Llano.

If you tend to put your partner on a pedestal you can't reach, chances are you’re a hopeless romantic, says de Llano.

You Give a Lot to Each Relationship

You might invest a lot of time, effort, and emotional energy in every relationship, says Dr. Romanoff. You may also spend a lot of money on your partner, taking them on expensive dates or buying them lavish presents.

However, it may be one-sided if your partner is not on the same page, so you may be giving a lot more than you’re getting.

You Ignore Potential Red Flags

Red flags are warning signs that your partner may not be the right person for you. It’s important that people heed these signs in order to avoid major ruptures down the road, Dr. Romanoff explains.

If you’re a hopeless romantic, you may ignore red flags and turn a blind eye to the person’s imperfections so you can still have your fairy tale fantasy, says Dr. Romanoff. “You are more interested in casting the role of your perfect partner than truly getting to know the other person for who they are.”

Related:How to Date Yourself (And Why You Should)

Is Being a Hopeless Romantic a Good Thing?

Being a hopeless romantic can be a good thing as well as a bad thing.

On the positive side, being a hopeless romantic can be helpful as opening yourself up to love requires significant vulnerability, says Dr. Romanoff. “Despite past heartbreak and pain, hopeless romantics see the good in others and believe in their potential.”

On the flip side, however, having unrealistic fairy tale-like expectations is not healthy because a relationship can't possibly sustain it, says de Llano. “Unrealistic idealization can be harmful, as it keeps you from seeing the relationship as it truly is and your partner in the wholeness of who they are.”

Research shows that unrealistic expectations can be harmful to your mental well-being and lead to lower relationship satisfaction.

What to Do If You’re a Hopeless Romantic

The experts suggest some strategies that may be helpful if you’re a hopeless romantic:

  • Evaluate your partner holistically: Dr. Romanoff says it’s important to reflect on the things you like, dislike, and are unsure about in a potential partner. “This helps you develop a more holistic view of the person and forces you to consider the things that might make you incompatible.”
    Know your needs and set boundaries: 
    Be clear about who you are, what you want, and the treatment you will and won't accept in a relationship and don’t lower your standards or betray your boundaries because you don’t want to be alone or you’re scared you won’t find love, says Dr. Romanoff. “Don’t accept treatment that is below your standards in exchange for that love.”

  • Recognize your strengths: Work on recognizing your strengths, values, identity, and emotions so that you feel more capable of withstanding all the things life and relationships throw at you, says de Llano. Recognizing your own strengths can keep you from unrealistically idealizing a partner or pursuing relationships in order to avoid being alone.

  • Consider therapy: Oftentimes, we idealize our partners because we are scared of being hurt, alone, or abandoned, says de Llano. “A mental healthcare professional can work with you to explore why you tend to deflect seeing your partner’s negative qualities, teach you how to cope with uncomfortable feelings of fear or insecurity, and help you build healthier attachments.”

Related:Best Online Couples Therapy and Counseling of 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Do hopeless romantics fall in love easily?

Yes, hopeless romantics tend to fall in love easily and get invested in relationships quickly. They have an idealized view of romance and always tend to see the glass as half full, says de Llano.

Is being a hopeless romantic toxic?

Being a hopeless romantic isn’t automatically toxic. However, it could be harmful if:

  • You have unrealistic expectations that no one can possibly live up to

  • Your tendency to idealize relationships causes you to overlook red flags

  • You are so focused on finding “The One” that you ignore friends, family members, or work

  • Your expectations are hurting your relationship, your mental health, or your partner

If you find yourself struggling to maintain healthy romantic relationships, it may be helpful to consult a mental healthcare provider.

Related:5 Signs Your Partner Is Marriage Material