Well, I'm eating a big slice of humble pie because I have often thought that if you're a you're a hopeless romantic, or had unrealistic, fairytale expectations of love, that you were going to set yourself up for disaster when you are in a relationship. But research shows that being a hopeless romantic is good for your relationship. A study in Journal of Social and Personal Relationships looked at 270 18-to-28 year olds and found that the high expectations didn't lead to disappointment.
Dr. Sarah Vannier, one of the researchers, explained that they thought that expectations that high would mean reality didn't match up, when in reality "people with romantic beliefs did have higher expectations, but they were also more likely to see their partner as meeting those expectations." Interesting, right? But she pointed out that this could be they "they are seeing their partner through rose-colored glasses" and aren't being realistic about their partner. Or it might be that the actually did find a partner who was exactly what they wanted, which would be a great side effect if being super romantic meant that you refused to settle and actually got what you want. Although if it's the first option, and you're just seeing what you want to see rather than being realistic, that can be really damaging.
But as it looks like being romantic isn't actually hurting your love life, here are a few ways to be more romantic:
1. Celebrate The Little Things
Get excited. Romantic people are always excited at what they have or what could have. If that's not how you normally are, try to notice small things and be grateful. It works if you're single or in a relationship. Keep your eye out about little gestures and then let yourself get excited about them.
2. Think About What You Want
People who are naturally romantic are always fantasizing and daydreaming about their perfect relationship or their perfect date. For those of us who are naturally not like that, it's hard to fantasize because you feel like there's no point— you probably won't get it. Try letting go and thinking about what your ideal relationship or romantic moment would be. What's the best version of your love life? What would you really like if you weren't scared of looking ridiculous?
3. And Then Don't Settle
Like I said, the best case scenario to come out of this study is showing that maybe being romantic means holding out for what's right for you, rather than settling for what comes along. Because that's the real death of romance, isn't it? Just going for what's available because it's there and it's easy. If you're single, be romantic by not settling for something that isn't good for you. And even if you're in a relationship, it can be a good reminder to strive for the best.
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