The biggest difference between a hopeless and a hopeful romantic is their perspective. Which are you?
Sex and the City’s Charlotte York, How I Met Your Mother’s Ted Mosby, and The Big Bang Theory’s Raj Koothrappali are some examples of hopeless romantics we know and love (no pun intended). Hopeless romantics love love, and when they fall, they fall hard, which comes with its fair share of pitfalls. Curious to know if you’re a hopeless romantic? Dr. Darcy Sterling, an NYC-based relationship therapist and host of E! Network’s Famously Single, and Dr. Joanne Frederick, a licensed mental health counselor and author of Copeology, explain what it means to be a hopeless romantic, whether it’s healthy to be perennially hopeful, and the key differences between a hopeless and a hopeful romantic.
You might still believe in relationship destiny, but you’re more realistic. As Dr. Frederick explains, “Being hopefully romantic allows you to look at relationships in a healthier manner, realizing you can learn to grow with the person rather than forcing you two to stick regardless of compatibility.”
For example, Dr. Frederick says a hopeless romantic may view a conflict in a relationship as wrong. In contrast, a hopeful romantic sees it as a challenge to overcome that can make the relationship stronger.
Put another way, Dr. Sterling says a hopeful romantic is hopeful but not blind to evidence that a partner isn’t right for you. “You’re grounded in reality and willing to see the truth in people,” she says.
The good news is it is possible to go from being a hopeless romantic to being a hopeful romantic.
To do so, Dr. Sterling recommends extracting the lessons from every breakup, applying them to future relationships, and remembering to pace yourself when dating someone new. Therapy, she adds, can also help you better understand your relationship patterns and learn how to heal them.
And perhaps most importantly, Dr. Frederick says that working on falling in love with yourself creates a solid foundation to build a fulfilling relationship with someone else. “People often spend their lives searching for the perfect partner, but the real love story is cherishing yourself,” she says.