I Am Romantically Hopeless

I mentioned to a friend this morning that I’d never gone on a proper date with anyone and that if I ever do, I wouldn’t know what to do. When I reflected on this a few hours later, I couldn’t help laughing because I realised something: when it comes to “romance” of any sort, I am utterly and completely hopeless at it.

All of the ideas of romance, I’ve got from books or the occasional film, when I go out of my prehistoric habitat to watch one. Any experiences I’ve had have usually been me accidentally realising I have feelings for someone, getting confused (and not in the adorable way), attempting to ignore them and then situations happening which I never expected. My first kiss happened when one of my friends was about to leave and I got panicked about saying goodbye; I asked someone to be my girlfriend and managed to sound like a fool whilst doing it.
I don’t think I’ve ever expressly shown affection to anyone in public, as my relationships have either been long-distance, not a relationship or the opportunity never presented itself. I don’t know what it’s like to feel comfortable in public with someone who I have feelings for, in the sense where I can express those feelings openly (even with words). If you put me in that kind of situation, I’d probably… Wail and run away.

As I’ve said, I’ve never been on a date. How do you even go on a date? Do you just ask someone, or what? I’ve never had the experience of trying to pick clothes for myself to wear, firstly because I’m awful with fashion but secondly because it’s never seemed to matter before. It’s rare that I meet someone casually who I have feelings for: I’ve never been confident enough to suggest going out by myself with anyone.

It’s not like “romance” should be built up to this huge thing. Dates, traditional things like flowers and hearts and cuteness, aren’t the be all and end all of “love” because they’re materialistic and can just be put down to gestures. However, I’m rubbish with emotions too. I get them wrong, get awkward, don’t know how to handle them and end up wildly screeching in a room by myself instead of talking to people about them. Oops.

My approach to my internal feelings is even weirder than my approach to the people I have feelings for. Does that even make sense? What I do is I repress them hugely, realise I’ve been doing that and instead of being rational about it, I make intense jokes about the whole thing and go into “crisis mode”. Afterwards, of course, I realise that I was a moron. For that time, though, I attempt to convince myself that they would never “like me back”, cringe at the seemingly childish words, cringe at myself for even possessing a heart and then take to Twitter to scream about my feelings to try and distract myself. It invariably fails.

When I’m sure about my feelings, I do one of three things. Either I tell the person, I tell everyone but the person or I try and tell the person and then backpedal, screaming. The first one hasn’t happened for about 40000 years, the second happens far too often and the third happened quite recently (being in the last 6 months). Anything else has happened accidentally which means that when feelings do crop up, I’m at a loss. Imagine me holding my hands up in surrender with a terrified look on my face and you should be able to understand.

Why am I saying this? To put it simply, because I find it hilarious. It does bother me occasionally, in that I want to express myself and not have any nasty consequences (like, you know, destruction of friendships and my heart burning in a fiery pit). To cope with it, I laugh about it because I know it’s true that I’m awful with this kind of thing.

The worst thing is that I’m a huge romantic at heart but externally, I become awkward and don’t act like it. I used to get “crushes” far too easily but now, when they do appear, they’re like a demon and I’ve never been a demon-slayer. As soon as I realised I actually like the concept of romance and of people caring about me, I kind of imploded.

How are you with romance? If you don’t experience romantic feelings, do you like reading about them – or what do you think? Let me know!

From Elm ๐Ÿ™‚

51 thoughts on “I Am Romantically Hopeless

  1. Elm, you sound like me… just 10 years younger *facepalm* I know I’m a romantic at heart. I don’t think I went on a date until I was 22. I’ve been on a second date a couple of times. I either fall too hard, and try to play it cool/hide it. A couple of times I’ve embraced the “falling too hard” – confessing my love, writing poems, all that fun stuff.

    I love the idea of being someone, cosy nights in, etc. But I think my romanticism can make me idealistic (i.e. things seem rosier in my head than they’d be in real life), and because I’ve never been in a “proper relationship” it all feels a bit scary. My go-to if I like someone, is to go into uber-pleaser mode and try to make them laugh, giving them backhanded compliments to keep them guessing, making little hints but usually not over-the-top. Rejection and vulnerability are scary things! I hear you loud and clear.

    I reckon I’ll “end up with” someone I know as a friend for a while, and get closer to and more comfortable with over time. There still, of course, has to be the admission of feelings/all that lark, but I’m hoping it happens fairly organically and I don’t panic. I think when you find someone you can truly be yourself with, that’s when you’re onto a winner. And from what I’ve read from your writing – and heard in that podcast with Kel – you’ve got nothing to worry about. Just don’t make compromises – find someone you can be YOU with. It’ll happen โœจ

  2. Enjoyed reading this, even if it was slightly at your expense .. because you laid yourself bare (excuse the pun) with your honesty!
    Dating these days will be punctuated with so many more trip wires than it was twenty years ago before mobile phones and social media and THOSE red herring messages delivered through Instagram or FB posts or wherever….
    In my humble opinion, if you can always stay true to yourself and aside from a small amount of extra effort we all put in when dressing for those first few dates, remain yourself. Be confident in who you are and what you want from life. If you alter yourself to fit in with the expectations of another; merely to be acceptable to them, it is sure to come round and bite you in the arse some point in the future.
    Good luck. Have fun with dates. Itโ€™s your life ๐Ÿฅ‚

    • Ohh damn this is so true! I’ll do my best to be myself ๐Ÿ˜€ This was so helpful! Yes, I’ll need the luck! I hope I don’t embarrass myself too much!

      • Writing honestly is the best way and living honestly is also the best way because we have no mask to hide behind then. We portray ourselves as we are and anyone who doesnโ€™t like it can go find the door (as far as Iโ€™m concerned!!!) … the people who stick with us like us for who we are

  3. I’ve never been on a date either ๐Ÿ˜ฌ loool I don’t think I’d know what to do either, I’d probably be awkward, hoping my date has something to offer๐Ÿ˜…. I’ve had some crushes, but they were all wayyy out of my league, including my current one ๐Ÿ˜‚

  4. I laughed so hard reading this that my family are now giving me concerned looks (although when ever have they not XD)
    But I laugh not at you Elm, but because tHIS IS SO ME. And you are further proving that we are the same person ahhhh!
    I do the three things you do too! And the first one I also haven’t done in 48291 years.
    We should totally start a Romantically Hopeless Club and just drink tea and cocoa and read books and get occassionally romantically confused once a week.
    Also: how did writing “I’ve had have” feel?

  5. Look, I know I am still young, but I’m exactly the same! All my friends are in relationships and are ‘experts’ in romance and all that stuff. I still don’t even know how to ask someone on a date, I’ve never been on one, I’m so behind all my friends and peers. Tbh, I’m not particularly interested, at this time of my life there are other things I’m more focused on. But, you’re not alone! And I’m sure you will find your way through this complicated mess of a teenage, romantic world. Lol.

    But yeah, I totally get what you’re saying about being a romantic at heart. I am too, but I’m quite happy to one internally and carry on normally externally. I’m not ready for all that just yet.

    What I LOVE about is how you just write straight from the heart, everything is like you’re pouring it from within you. It’s raw and unrefined and absolutely, totally, completely beautiful and completey YOU, Elm.

    Loadsa love to ya!

    • I’m sort of half sobbing because you are SUCH a nice person, Gracie!! Thank you. I try to pour my emotions out from myself and not pretend to be something I’m not. I love romance – I just seem to be SO BAD AT IT. How do you even have feelings tho

      I’m glad you can relate! I think I’m ready for romance but romance is in no way ready for my DESTRUCTION OF IT!

    • Omg I’m a romantic at heart too! And my friends say I give practical advice regarding matters of the heart sometimes (and I mean, I got those from books? Agahahaha)
      But when it comes to my (nonexistent) romance life, I become a pathetic melting baked potato. So I’m with you in that I honestly don’t want to deal with these love stuff right now.
      *whispers excitedly* We should really start that club like yesterday.

  6. gahhhh i relate to this so much! i’ve never been on a date either but i’m sure a date with me would be a nightmare…i get what you mean by being a romantic at heart too, feelings and how you express them are a tricky business, it seems. i think it’s just about finding someone you’re comfortable with and just trying to go with it and i’m sure you’ll find someone like that and it’ll be amazing and wonderful and eveeeeerything you’d hoped for :)) xx

    • AAAAAA I hope so!! Thanks for that, it was reassuring ๐Ÿ™‚ I just don’t want to end up alone and sad because of that.

  7. LOL I feel you girl, I, as a romantic person, don’t exist. I understand when you said you got feelings awkward, I always kinda know how I feel about things, it’s just sometimes I don’t know how to express them and I don’t wanna sound fake, arghh. I’ve never really tried to be romantic, but I know I’ll suck at it.
    I’ve never had a boyfriend nor had a date. I’m not sad about it, I mean, I have a crush on a teacher much older than me, I wanna be alone for a good amount of time LOL

    I loved this post!! It’s okay not to be good at romance, well, these words come from someone who doesn’t really like romance lol okay don’t listen to me

    • YESS your teacher crush is so adorable ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for this!! I’m just trying not to overthink things, if I’m honest, but it’s SO difficult. I suppose it’s not about getting it “right”, though. It’s more about doing what we’re comfortable with. Thanks for being a fabulous! xx

  8. I’ve never been in a relationship, but have been close to, if that makes sense. XD I think I’m a hopeless romantic, too, but I also lowkey have commitment issues (mainly because I keep telling myself I already have too much on my plate XD )

    • Yeahhhh same with commitment, I just get so scared before something can even start that I sometimes run away from it. Also yes – I think the times when you’re ALMOST in a relationship but you aren’t QUITE there are the most uncertain and scariest ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Haha! I’m just hoping those commitment issues and fears fade away as I get older or I’ll be a single Pringle forever XD And yeah, those kinds of relationships are quite scary cause you don’t know where the boundaries are too and whether you should get closer..

  9. I am also a hopeless romantic. I relate, I am either falling hard, or pretending not to care. Thanks to the internet, I’ve been exposed to what society would call “Unlikely couples”, to the point where I realised that true love does exist. Everyone has layers, but most of us hide certain parts of ourselves, especially the quirky parts. The right person is out there, but they will only come along once we are truly ourselves. Because we attract people who are like us. If we wear our silly personalities on our sleeves, along will come the person who loves that because they are silly too ! Thanks for writing this post and sharing your thoughts ^^

    • Oh my god, that was so beautiful to read. You’re so right!! I really feel like we need to express ourselves more – but we can only do that in our own time, not on someone else’s terms. If we forced it, the person wouldn’t be right. Thanks for this – your words have summed up what I think! xx

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