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Are you afraid you might be a hopeless romantic?
Trust me, I understand. Over the years, the members of our tribe have gotten a really bad rap. Our core beliefs have been reduced to sickeningly sweet made-for-television movies, tear-jerking commercials for chewing gum, and poorly written poetry.
It’s hard to be a hopeless romantic in a world of swipe-right/ghost later relationships, but I know that you’re still out there. You may be hiding behind your computer screens or cowering in the dark shadows of the disenchanted, but I know you’re out there. I see you and it’s time that you stepped into the light.
These are 7 signs that you are a card-carrying, hopeless romantic:
1) You Are Agonizing Over The Slow, Painful Death of The Rom-Com
When you think about the last authentic romantic comedy you adored, you get lost somewhere between Love Actually (2003) and The Proposal (2009). You believe that Nicholas Sparks has been the worst thing to happen to the Rom-Com since you got duped into watching The Notebook.
It’s not that you can’t appreciate a good tear-jerker now and again. But you’re tolerance for illness and death in a good romantic comedy stops at Four Weddings and a Funeral. And no one will be able to convince you that Seth Rogen is the next Ryan Gosling no matter how many hot actresses are cast as his girlfriend.
2) You Keep Your Heartbreak Playlist Updated and Ready on Cue
Remember the last time you thought you had met the one until they said they wanted to see other people? Then “other people” turned out to be a co-worker they had already seeing for weeks? What can you do besides cuddle up with your cat and/or a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, and listen to sad breakup songs on repeat until you’re ready to face the world again?
A hopeless romantic’s playlist goes through all five stages of grief: denial (Don’t Speak, No Doubt), anger (You Oughta Know, Alanis Morissette), bargaining (Please Don’t Leave Me, Pink), depression (Back to Black, Amy Winehouse), and finally acceptance (Someone Like You, Adele).
A special shout-out to Mariah Carey who has wrote the unofficial handbook on unrequited love with every single one of her albums. Yes, Mariah, we do belong together.
3) You Have a Secret Board on Pinterest for Your Wedding
This one is for the ladies because you know what I’m talking about: you’ve picked out your wedding dress (several times), researched a few venues, the table settings, the cake, the flowers, the honeymoon— all of it. You may have even started a gift registry.
And so what if you’re not even dating someone right now. You’ve pinned some pictures of what the groom might look like, too. A girl can dream, can’t she? At least no one will accuse you of being unprepared.
4) Valentine’s Day Means Nothing To You
That’s right. To a hopeless romantic, Valentine’s Day is for amateurs who pick ONE day in February to atone for their year-long neglect of their significant other. We don’t need no stinkin’ holiday to show affection; Valentine’s Day is our lifestyle.
Romance is in our genetic makeup. Dinner by candlelight? Because it’s Tuesday. Unexpected gift? Because we saw it in the window and we knew you’d like it. We sent flowers to your office just to brighten up your day. Hot sex and bubble baths? Whenever we get in the mood!
Cupid? Please. WE ATE CUPID FOR BREAKFAST AND CRAPPED HIM OUT IN ROSE-SCENTED TURDS!!! Don’t even talk to us about Valentine’s Day.
5) In Fact, You Are Cupid Incarnate
Even if you haven’t met your soulmate yet, you LOVE hearing stories about how couples met. Perfect strangers seem to gravitate towards you and tell you their stories. You understand it’s all just a matter of being at the right place at the right time. It could happen for you at any moment.
In the meantime, tell your friends to please ignore that collection of self-help books you’ve been gathering on the shelf.
Does your friend want you to be their Maid of Honor or Best Man? Yippee!! Where do you sign?! You will throw the best Bachelor/Bachelorette party ever known to man. It’s most likely that you introduced the bride to the groom anyway. Of course, you’ll make the first toast! Do they need any help writing their vows? You got this thing on lock.
6) You’ve Remained Friends with Most of Your Exes
Why? Because a hopeless romantic has a hard time letting go. You hang onto love letters, photographs, ticket stubs, gifts, and voicemails for way longer than you should. If those items become too painful to revisit, you will put them in a box and store it someplace safe.
It may take some time for your heart to heal, but eventually you forgive the ones who broke your heart and come to cherish the special time you spent together. The pull of a hopeless romantic is irresistible. And like lost sailors, your old lovers will return to your siren’s song.
You won’t trust them with your heart again, but will welcome their friendship with open arms.
7) You Never Give Up Hope
People may label you a hopeless romantic, but the word “hopeless” is NOWHERE in your vocabulary.
No matter how many times your heart is broken, you will eventually dust yourself off, pick yourself up and get back in the game. Without hope you would fall into despair, and despair is better left to cynics who never learn to love with an open heart.
Don’t listen to the haters. Hope is what converts what others might see as unrealistic into a dream of best-case scenarios. Meet-cutes aren’t as rare as they seem. Doesn’t every relationship begin with auspicious timing and a simple conversation? Of course they do.
If people call you a hopeless romantic, don’t be ashamed! Embrace it! We’re the ones who keep the dream of love alive. Grab your tissues, because you know Nicholas Sparks is probably out there adapting his latest ill-fated, tragic love story for film as we speak!
I hope his characters have their playlists ready on cue.