Are Romantics Really The Hopeless Ones?

Sweet forehead kisses. Long, lengthy courting. Watching the sun rise. Kisses in the rain. Being whisked away into bright pink and orange sunsets – all the dreams of those so hopelessly romantic it makes them helpless.

By Simone Hanna3 min read

Daydreams can seem like an innocent way to entertain a bored mind, but how much daydreaming is too much? The prevalence of maladaptive daydreaming is generally unknown, but it appears to be more common among people with pre-existing mental health disorders — over half of maladaptive daydreamers have a mental health disorder. Those who experience hardship and suffering may look toward daydreaming to escape from reality – this, for many, can often include hours of overly-detailed romantic scenarios that make the real world a little darker but the present mind somewhat calmer. 

Hopeless romantics can be very guilty of such bad habits. I’ll even admit to falling into it myself, so I empathize completely. Why do we retreat to our imaginations? Because romance in the real world is dying. When you grow up on fairy tales and your mind is so ambivalent towards the anticlimactic realities of love, daydreaming is comforting. It’s flawless and there’s full control – there’s no disappointment in daydream world, it’s completely and utterly yours, and until the daydreams reach their inevitable end, no one can break your heart.

Does Technology Connect Us with Too Many People? 

It doesn’t take a genius to deduce why so many of us have been left romantically hopeless in the modern age. Love has become cheap, and sex is so easy to obtain – even more so with our modern technology, giving leeway to simple-access sex and the commodification of it. The rise of dating apps, in particular, has made “romance” instantaneous, to the point where it gratifies humans so quickly, leaving the fact that so many relationships are short-lived and insubstantial unsurprising. 

During the dating years, men and women will get cheated on at least once.

One study showed that the average man will have six relationships before finding “The One” – two of which will last more than a year – while women will have five. It was also found that during these dating years, men and women will get cheated on at least once and the average adult will be the cheater at least once. 

Technology has made cheating easier to do too. It’s much easier to hide from your partner or to “innocently” start up new conversations with strangers, leading to flings and multiple options. With so many people to pick from, plenty are left feeling spoilt for choice – why stop and settle for just one catch when the whole ocean is yours to explore?

Dating Apps Damage Romance

Of course, this mindset comes with short-term enjoyment, and dating apps aid such lifestyles and behaviors. Dating apps are used by those searching for all types of love: short-term, long-term, or even just a casual thing. It can be argued that these apps aid shyer people who’d rather familiarize themselves a bit more with someone before meeting them in person, but how much does this mess with their existing social issues, ones they’d be forced to work on without such simple screen taps?

Wanting heart-filled romance is now seen as weak or quaint.

We’re more antisocial and less human-like than ever; so much of our lives is online. The idea that you can “find love” from a momentary glance at a few photos alongside a general statement seems so degrading when picked apart. In the real world, we don’t get to skim across obvious faults and flaws; online they can be hidden away completely. The real world has no backspace key, no “delete” button, no filtering – we simply are what we are, and that’s what makes the imperfections so much more beautiful. 

Hopeless romantics don’t want DM slides or Tinder-rooted dates. They want the romance they were raised on. They want to be swept off their feet. Not “You up?” texts on a random weeknight. But wanting heart-filled romance is now seen as weak or quaint, and those who dream of such things aren’t realists since reality no longer offers them such things. 

Did We Remove Romance As an Essential Part of Romantic Relationships?

Those of us holding out for romance still have hope. Had we not had any we would’ve moved on by now and settled for the new “normal.” The ones who hope for romance hope for it because they’re searching for long-term love. They want something that makes the sacrifices worthwhile; in that, they aren’t hopeless, they’re simply hopeful. 

Those of us holding out for romance still have hope – hope in love and in people.

Romance should be an essential part of relationships, yet today it all seems so secondary. Why is romance missing in the dating sphere anyway? It’s not like people hate romance. Today the chase is less about gaining someone as a significant other and more about how long it takes to finally get someone into bed. Romance is weakened in lust-filled eyes – it simply becomes a tactical way to get what you want, leaving it almost void. So, it’s obvious why so many of these relationships fail – the romance dies once sex is attained and acts of courtship are considered redundant thereafter. Without romance having developed and without secure, genuine attraction being established, most relationships are left destined for failure after sexual activity. 

Though modern love may seem dry and dire, romance can still be brought about, but only if those of us who believe in it continue to strive to keep the fire burning. Maybe this means encouraging it more with the people we meet? Guiding them to what we want without demanding it, trying to keep love as bright and vibrant as we can. Because having a truly romantic relationship isn’t impossible.

Closing Thoughts 

I still have plenty of optimism towards romance, but that’s because I’m a bit of a dreamer too. The modern era makes it harder to know what people really want from you, since so many wrongdoings have simply become casual mishaps. Today, cheating or getting cheated on has become a rite of passage in the love lives of many, plenty of our significant others indulge in porn, and so many of us can engage in sex at the click of a button. Modern love can be salvaged, but we lovers must strive to be hopeful romantics. We have the power to bring romance back from the dead.

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