Dating and Relationship Advice

Ah, the hopeless romantics. The people who swoon over love stories. Those who hold hope for true love despite all odds.

Hopeless romantics believe “wholeheartedly that love conquers all,” even when they’ve been hurt in the past. Hopeless romantics help us view love in the most positive light.

But there’s a downside. Bree Jenkins, a licensed marriage and family therapist tells that it’s easy for hopeless romantics to get “carried away in their romantic feelings” and “wear rose-colored glasses” when it comes to love.

Hopeless romantics have certain assumptions and ways of thinking that may cause them hardship when dating. If you’re a hopeless romantic looking for more satisfying relationships, you might face some challenges. Here’s what to watch out for.

1) Your views on love swing from unbridled optimism to hopeless despair

The high value you place on love and relationships can lead to all-or-nothing thinking. In all-or-nothing thinking, your thoughts swing from one extreme to another. It is also called black-or-white thinking. If you’re a hopeless romantic, you either have complete optimism for love, or you’re completely devastated when relationships don’t go your way. If you can’t have the love you want, you may think you shouldn’t even try. Your thought process is simultaneously too high and too low.

Instead, aim for a balanced, middle-ground view on love and relationships. Watch out for words like "always," "never," "everything," or "ruined," says Dr. Andrea Bonoir.

2) You think all love is like the movies

This type of thinking mistake is called overgeneralization. Overgeneralization occurs when someone takes one situation and applies it to all other situations. Hopeless romantics generalize the few examples of “true love” stories they see in movies or in friends to all love stories. This sets up unrealistic expectations for love.

If you fall into this trap, you may think that all people should act a certain way in relationships. Or you may believe that grand gestures are non-negotiable. Instead, work on finding your own, individual love story that works for you and your (potential) partner.

3) You mislabel red flags

In the movies, sometimes the “jerk” falls hopelessly in love and turns out to be a nice guy. Or you show someone you care by being rude to them. Hopeless romantics may completely gloss over red flags because they’re looking for the happily-ever-after. They may be so driven in their pursuit of love, that they overlook serious issues.

If you do this, you might notice that you spend time only looking at the positive traits of a potential partner, without having a balanced view. You might brush aside things that would normally be deal-breakers. Or you might excuse someone’s poor behavior in the name of love.

Instead, know what you want to prioritize in relationships. Know what is a non-negotiable and what you can be more flexible on. Make sure you consider someone’s flaws as well as their benefits.

Be hopelessly romantic, in a balanced way

We all have errant, biased ways of thinking sometimes. If you’re a hopeless romantic, your brain might get tripped up when it comes to love. That’s okay because now you can recognize the ways you might wear rose-colored glasses in relationships and take steps to correct them.

Aim for a balanced way of thinking about love. Try not to overvalue or undervalue the power of love and relationships (this also applies to overvaluing or undervaluing certain romantic partners). You can feel optimistic about love but don’t overlook red flags.

Know that the fairytale can exist, but it might not look exactly the way you think it will.

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