Hi, my name is Nikki and I'm a recovering Hopeless Romantic. *crowd groans the obligatorily "Hi Nikki"*
With Valentine's Day coming up, I started reflecting on why I have disowned my previous identity as a Hopeless Romantic and what that means for my future self. I can't help but feel calloused to this holiday, even when I was a naive girl with my head in the clouds waiting for something amazing to happen, it just seemed like this holiday wasn't all it was chalked up to be. No, I'm not one of those girls who expected two dozen pristine red roses, luxurious chocolates, and jewelry, because I do recognize the capitalism behind the "Hallmark" holiday. However, I did expect something heartfelt and romantic from the person who cares about me and knows me well. Is that too much to ask?
But, that's only a fraction of the reason of how I came to my conclusion: Being a romantic IS hopeless, especially this day and age. With the instant gratification of swiping left (or is it right? I don't know, I've never used Tinder), double tapping pictures, and exchanging raunchy self-deleting messages and pictures, it's pretty obvious that our generation has lost the art of romance. The few of us who do still hope for something out of (insert any romantic movie title here) are left to hide behind a necessary mask as to not show our vulnerability in fear of being attacked. We are the minority, the open hearts not afraid to love, even when it hurts. Fall [in love], get hurt, cry, stand up, brush yourself off, move forward, repeat.
5 Reasons Why Being a Hopeless Romantic Sucks
1. Unrealistic Expectations
We watch too many sappy movies, and then wonder why there is no one out there who will do that for us. We secretly want grand gestures, emotional declarations of love, and the passion that follows a big fight just like in the movies. Why can't we just have that? Oh yeah, because it's unrealistic. No one wants to make everyday things into a big deal or have big fights just to make up. That shit takes a lot of energy and many people like to call that "drama". I've been told I expect too much from my partners, and maybe that's true, but if they really loved me, they would do it because it makes me happy...right? Wrong. The ideal relationship you have in your head will never exist because it's not just about you. You also need to consider the other person in the relationship and be realistic. As much as you hate to admit it, let alone hear it, life is not like the movies. Hi, we live in reality.
Referring back to #1, having expectations that are not met inevitably leads to disappointment. I think this is the worst part of anything in life. We set ourselves up for disappointment by thinking someone will take a hint and do that romantic thing we told them about, thinking they are secretly planning something, or hoping they change. Even if they do something that is their idea of romance, it never quite reaches our expectations and we are left disappointed even when they do do something. This is a fault in ourselves and not the other person.
3. Unequal Relationships
We give too much. Plain and simple. We give too much thinking the other person will put just as much into the relationship if we initiate. However, this is flawed thinking. It's not truly a thoughtful gift or a nice gesture if we secretly expect something in return. That's not to say that the other person shouldn't return the favor at some point, because relationships are give and take, but somehow we always end up with the takers. It's never 50/50.
4. Lots of Heartbreak
It seems we never learn. Either we want to make it work with the wrong person (see Takers above), or we try to force a situation that is not meant to be. From a young age we experience the sadness of broken heart and as we grow, it seems to never stop. Maybe we're too open, maybe we just simply want it to work out they way we have it in our minds, but along the path of love, it seems we fall down more than most.
5. You Don't Give Up...Even When You Should
Even when we've had our hearts stepped on, battered, beaten, bruised and shattered, we still somehow manage to see a light at the end of the tunnel. We continue in the darkness with a glimmer of hope and we truly believe things will get better. We'll find our One, have the grand realization that our dreams have come true and things will all come together and finally make sense. After all the bullshit we've been through and put up with in our past, we still press on with positivity and hope. That, my friends, is strength...or stupidity. It depends on your perspective, but since this post is about why being a hopeless romantic sucks, I'll argue the latter. Why would you possibly still have this ridiculous idea of THE ONE and fill your mind with Hollywood versions of what relationships are and forever be let down? Don't hold onto those toxic relationships, don't put up with anyone else's bullshit and don't allow your heart to run your life because your heart has no logic. You will only hurt yourself. And that's even worse than someone else hurting you because you had the power to change it.
Stay tuned for the Pros of Being a Hopeless Romantic, because everything needs some balance and I don't want to sound too much like a cynical bitch.