It’s right there in the name: hopeless romantic.
A hopeless romantic can’t help but dream of their perfect partner and fantasize about things like meeting their soulmate or having a memorable date with someone special. And this approach to relationships has often been perceived as a negative thing.
After all, an undying thirst for love can create unhealthy expectations and unrealistic ideals, which can be detrimental to developing relationships.
However, new research has challenged that common belief and proven that being a hopeless romantic might actually be a good thing. Who knew!
I’m a hopeless romantic and passionate person when it comes to love.
– Jennifer Lopez
The benefits of being a hopeless romantic
According to a study published in Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, lofty expectations, when combined with a healthy dose of romanticism, might actually be a benefit when in an intimate relationship.
For the study, Sarah Vannier, Ph.D., and her team out of Dalhousie University in Canada took 270 young, coupled-up adults and studied everything from their romantic beliefs to the actual outcomes of their relationships.
Surprisingly, while unmet expectations did lead to lower relationship satisfaction, greater romantic beliefs had the opposite of the expected effect.
People with romantic beliefs did have higher expectations, but they were also more likely to see their partner as meeting those expectations, according to Vannier.
But the researcher is not clear yet why that would be the case. “It is hard to say whether this is because they are seeing their partner through rose-colored glasses—e.g., their beliefs about Prince Charming make them think their partner is Prince Charming, even if other people might think that he is a frog—or if this is because they found and chose a partner who meets their expectations.”
Regardless of the reason, it looks as though hopeless romantics really do have a leg up on the competition in terms of relationship satisfaction.
Romantic beliefs such as “the one” might not, in fact, coincide with unhealthy relationship expectations but rather result in a more positive, proactive approach to relationships that lead to happier individuals and a more satisfying love life.
In addition to this, the study found that individual differences in subjects, such as age, gender, and even relationship experience, predicted neither romantic beliefs or expectations.