It’s the story as old as time: girl meets boy, they fall in love and live happily ever after.
This is the plot that I grew up reading. I hoped I would live out this story line as a little girl and continued on with this ideal as I became a woman.
My mom always tried reasoning with me and telling me that I was getting my hopes up. She thought if I continued vying for this perfect romance I would stay single for a very long time.
What she said made sense. However, I just couldn’t relinquish the hope of one day meeting a guy and we’d fall in love and share an exquisite passion for one another.
The moment I made my deposit for Boston College my romance novels took residence in my head. I would sit in class, daydreaming multiple scenarios of how I would meet the love of my life.
Would it be in class? He sits next to me, introduces himself and I instantly just see something in him that snatches my attention. Would it be in one of my major courses? We could discuss our love for the written word. Or he could be my complete opposite.
The possibilities were endless, and I played them all out (in my head of course).
Yet, I started to date my then boyfriend right after graduation. All those scenarios that I spent the past month replaying in my head went out the window. For almost two years, I was happy with the relationship and everything was great.
However, things changed. I changed. I was becoming someone that could no longer balance boyfriend, school and friends.
I was trying to find my place in the world, I wanted to do new things. Focusing on myself meant taking time away from him and I couldn’t keep putting him second.
Even though we separated, I remain a hopeless romantic; the only difference is that I’ve placed it in a new light. Now I know the reality when I only ever expected the dream.
There will be arguments and disagreements when it comes to relationships, that’s how couples evolve. Compromise is of the utmost importance, but it needs to be 50/50, not one side always giving in to the other. And there needs to be respect and trust.
However, there needs to be a line. I know what I deserve, and I won’t settle. Without both respect and trust, it’s no longer a partnership and more like an acquaintanceship.
Not settling is what being a hopeless romantic is. You know your desires and what characteristics best match your own. I know that sometimes we meet someone and really hope that they can somehow conform to what we want them to be. But you can’t change a person. That saying seems redundant but it’s true.
I don’t think being a hopeless romantic is expecting the fairy tale to fall into your lap.
Don’t try to get the attention of that drunk frat boy because he’s really cute and reminds you of the jock you read about that holds up a façade as a shield to hide away his demons.
From one hopeless romantic to another: be true to who you are and don’t settle.
I grew up with the ideals from all the fairy tales and assumed a guy who followed all the criteria from a romance novel—devotion, perfect features, intelligent, etc.—would be the perfect match for me.
But as I got older I realized that my preferences don’t align to those characteristics. I want someone who lets me be free and seek out new adventures without holding me back; or better yet, goes along with me. I want a guy who has the ability to be patient with me when I go through my motions of wanting solitude.
From a fellow hopeless romantic, follow your heart, not your eyes.