Jovana Rikalo

How Being A Hopeless Romantic Can Stop You From Having A Serious Relationship


I've never been dumped before.

Now, before you go hounding me, saying, "Oh, Boo-hoo!" hear me out. It isn't because I'm some perfect, flawless girl incapable of being dumped (even "perfect" girls get dumped, too).

It's because I'm a hopeless romantic. I'm only willing to exclusively date someone I believe in my heart of hearts is "the one..." only I haven't met him yet.

So, flings have consumed my teens and twenties. I've spent years and years on a merry-go-round of almost-relationships that never really end because, well, they never really started to begin with.

"Let's stop this thing for now" are the intentionally vague words I've often said to my puzzled-looking almost-boyfriends to keep the window for future reconciliations open.

These weren't powerful loves, just "relationships" entertaining enough to keep on the back burner, which is why they never warranted real breakups.

It's no coincidence I rarely put myself in a situation that would end in someone dumping me.

Being dumped would mean one of a few things I'm not ready to accept: I was a bad girlfriend, he was a disappointment I didn't see coming or, the scariest idea of all, that our perfect relationship just wasn't meant to be, no matter how much love there was between us.

I can't bear any of those outcomes, which is why being a hopeless romantic has kept me from having a serious relationship. And it's the reasons I've never been dumped.

I've lived in a little, blissful bubble. I've never fallen victim to a "Sheena, I'm breaking up with you." Never a "We're done, so let's set a time for you to put your things in a box and take them from my place."

Never a "You met my family, they loved you, you loved them and we're on the marriage track, but all of a sudden, we're not."

We hopeless romantics wouldn't dream of hearing such words.

We'd like to think once we've found the guy we plan on spending the rest of our lives with, we'll stay with him, no matter what obstacles arise.

I believe a love worthy of jumping in with both feet — a love worth keeping — is a love that doesn't possess the power to die, because it was so powerful to begin with.

So I walk around starry-eyed, holding in my heart the belief that nothing worth having has to be broken up by space or time.

Storybooks and fairy tales and Disney movies made me believe the right love will just work itself out, and the right relationship will take no great deal of effort on my part or his. Fate will make sure it will just fall into place almost magically.

These stories have taught me that the "right" love won't start and stop like the flings I know so well, but it will stand the test of time. There will be no deal breakers, no blowout fights keeping us from each other. No one will be dumped.

Of course, I know better. People fall out of even the most remarkable loves. That's just the way of the world.

If I were dumped, that'd mean the love I found with someone I thought was "the one" was, in fact, unremarkable. A big lie, not "meant to be" after all.

But if soulmates do exist, then that means the right love never fails, and no would ever be dumped... right?

I've lived in ignorant bliss, I know. But one day, I will allow myself the possibility of being dumped.

It will take a lot of bravery on my part. It'll be a leap of faith. Hopeless romantics aren't brave by nature; we're unwilling to take a chance on someone who doesn't fit our vision of the "perfect" partner.

That being said, I've learned a lot from my prolonged, hopeless romantic phase. I've landed the career of my dreams, and I've embraced my single status in an empowering way I never anticipated I'd be capable of doing.

Eventually, I'll open myself up to the possibility of getting hurt. It could also mean I'll fall in love — real love.

Being dumped builds character. We hopeless romantics need that kind of character, or else we'll never find real love.