7 Things That Happen When You’re A Hopeful Romantic Vs. A Hopeless Romantic

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Are you a hopeless romantic or a hopeful romantic? As Dr. Krystal White, author of the upcoming The Letter Code, tells Bustle, "On the surface, there's not much difference between the two." According to Dr. White, both types tend to see their partners through rose colored glasses, and both types also may tend to fall for new partners fairly quickly. However, according to experts including Dr. White, there are a few key differences between how hopeful and hopeless romantics approach love.

You may be familiar with our first type: the hopeless romantic. This is the type of person who loves being in love, and who has fairytale-esque expectations for what a relationship should be. And hey, there's nothing wrong with that: In fact, a 2016 study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found that being a hopeless romantic can be really good for your love life.

According to Dr. White, hopeless romantics believe that love is the "ultimate answer, the most prized and valuable destination, and the meaning of life as we know it." Just to be clear, it's not a dysfunctional way of thinking, she says — instead, it's all about choosing to love someone in a way that's very unconditional and accepting.

Hopeful romantics, on the other hand, have a slightly different way of thinking about love. That in mind, here are some things that happen when you're a hopeful romantic, according to experts.

1. You're Genuinely Optimistic About Love

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"A hopeful romantic is optimistic, which will help a lot of the unknowns in a relationship be framed in a positive way," Kevon Owen, relationship counselor and licensed clinical psychotherapist, tells Bustle. They're hopeful things will work out, and they do have the mindset that relationships take a little work. But unlike hopeless romantics, Owen says, they don't create unrealistic expectations for the relationship.

2. You Value The Small Things

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"Very often it’s the small things which solidify a meaningful relationship, not the big occasions and fulfilling systematic expectations," Samantha Morrison, wellness expert for Glacier Wellness, tells Bustle. Grand romantic gestures are very sweet, but they don't make up a relationship. Hopeful romantics understand that the small, everyday gestures signify unwavering dedication and commitment.

3. The Post-Honeymoon Phase Period Doesn't Scare You

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"A hopeless romantic will enjoy the relationship until work is necessary, but once time passes and the couple becomes settled, it requires compromise and proper communication for the relationship to evolve," Mayla Green, sex and relationship expert, tells Bustle. According to her, a hopeful romantic is more likely to maintain interest once the honeymoon phase ends. They look forward to learning more about their partner and growing a closer bond. Hopeless romantics, on the other hand, have a tendency to get bored once the spark fades.

4. You Don't Leave Your Love Life Up To Fate

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"A hopeful romantic is someone who believes that love is to be had in the world, but there is a curious mix of being active about it too," therapist Richard Brouillette, LCSW, tells Bustle. In other words, they don't wait around for love to fall in their lap. They look for opportunities to both give and receive love.

5. You're Clear About What You Want In A Partner

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A hopeful romantic is clear about what they want in a partner and a relationship. "They remain optimistic that their person is out there despite the fact they have yet to meet them," Kevin Darné, relationship expert and author of My Cat Won't Bark! (A Relationship Epiphany), tells Bustle. They won't try to force a relationship to work with someone who isn't meeting their needs.

6. You Don't Romanticize Drama

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Hopeless romantics tend to project their romantic ideals on every relationship or potential partner that's in front of them. "Although things may not be going as they wish they'll adjust their rose tinted glasses and see what they want to see," Darné says. "Drama, obstacles, and jealousy, are all milestones on the road to happily ever after."

7. You Never Settle For Less Than You Deserve

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Hopeful romantics will never put the relationship before their own dignity, Brouillette says. They believe in compromise. But they don't believe that sacrifice is necessary for love to work. They set boundaries for themselves and stick to it. They're not afraid to leave a relationship that isn't making them feel safe, secure, and loved.

It's important to note that there's nothing wrong with being a hopeless romantic. In fact, Dr. White says, "Both serve a place in our communities. One isn’t more healthy or functional than the other."

Hopeful romantics tend to be a little more realistic than hopeless romantics. They don’t just idealize or fantasize about love, they actively pursue it. It's important to recognize that we all perceive and experience love differently. At the end of the day, everyone is deserving of love, whether you're a hopeless romantic or a hopeful one.