How To Tell If You're A Hopeless Romantic (& If It's Affecting Your Love Life)

It seems from the beginning of time, art and culture have been extolling the virtues of the hopeless romantic. Think of your favorite operas, epic novels, poetry, pop songs, movies, and TV shows — they all promote the idea of romance over everything. Nicolas Cage eschewing his high-paying career for love in "The Family Man," Thomas Brodie-Sangster running through the airport to tell his crush he loves her in "Love, Actually,"  Eponine literally dying for Marius in "Les Miserables" — their message is best encapsulated by The Beatles: all you need is love.

But, is it? Could being a hopeless romantic in a relationship be a detriment, especially if you're ignoring red flags? Could you be suffocating your partner? By now, we've all heard of "love bombing," where a date overwhelms their partner with protestations of love before pulling the rug out from underneath them. It begs the question: could being a hopeless romantic be akin to love bombing? On the flip side, is being a hopeless romantic the secret ingredient to helping a relationship go the distance? In these tough times, maybe an injection of romance is just what we all need to believe in love again.

Hopeless romantics might ignore red flags

Some experts argue that being a hopeless romantic might mean you approach every date with rose-colored glasses. The trap of that is you end up ignoring all of the red flags your date is presenting. Couples and family therapist Dr. Lindsey M. Hoskins told Women's Health that hopeless romantics tend to "hang onto this very idealized view of what a relationship should be," despite being in relationships where there's no connection, or worse — they're unsafe. "If I'm a hopeless romantic and I have this new partner and I believe this new partner is amazing, then I'm going to really focus on all their amazing traits and ignore all their not-so-amazing traits," Dr. Hoskins told the outlet. She goes on to explain that hopeless romantics are more likely to be duped by "love bombing" and stay in the relationship once it turns abusive. Marriage and family therapist Melissa Chosid also told the outlet that hopeless romantics might compromise their values to suit their partner, which is a big no-no. 

Psychologist Emma Kenny told The Guardian that if your spidey sense is tingling, don't ignore it. "If you ignore red flags, you will end up in a horrible relationship," Kenny told The Guardian. "You need to respect yourself and have clear boundaries when it comes to dating someone," dating coach Persia Lawson also told the outlet

Hopeless romantics have high standards

While experts warn we should keep our hopeless-romantic tendencies under a lock and key, it would appear that the data says otherwise. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships looked at 270 people between the ages of 18 and 28 to gauge the impact of their romantic beliefs. Co-author Sarah Vannier, a postdoctoral candidate at Dalhousie University did not find having romantic expectations to be a problem. The study also suggested that they did not seem to create unreasonable relationship expectations.

"People with romantic beliefs did have higher expectations, but they were also more likely to see their partner as meeting those expectations," Vannier told Teen Vogue. "It is hard to say whether this is because they are seeing their partner through rose-colored glasses — e.g., their beliefs about Prince Charming make them think their partner is Prince Charming, even if other people might think that he is a frog — or if this is because they found and chose a partner who meets their expectations." 

At the end of the day, it seems that finding your forever person depends on the kind of hopeless romantic you tend to be. Do you have high standards or a lower threshold? When you're deciding on your future spouse, refuse to compromise. Know your worth, and take no guff.