Why Romanticizers Don’t Fare Well in the Dating Game

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "How to Not Die Alone" by Logan Ury. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Who is a “romanticizer” in the context of dating? How does being too romantic about dating prevent you from finding the right person?

If you’re what Logan Ury calls a romanticizer, you approach dating with an attitude that your relationship happiness depends on whom you’re dating. In other words, you believe in the idea of a soulmate, thereby putting your happiness in the hands of fate rather than your own.

Here’s why romanticizers don’t fare well in dating, according to Logan Ury.

How Romanticizers Behave

According to Logan Ury, approaching dating with the attitude of a romanticizer is likely to cause the following problems. Notably, romanticizers tend to envision their ideal soulmate—so when dating, they may overlook great candidates who don’t exactly match this ideal. Additionally, romanticizers believe that finding a good partner guarantees a blissful, problem-free relationship. So, when their relationship inevitably hits a rough patch, they assume they’re with the wrong person and start to look for someone else, beginning the cycle anew.   

What to do instead: If you’re a romanticizer, Ury recommends that you shift your attitude and develop a mindset that a happy relationship depends on how hard you work at it. With this mindset, you’ll temper your expectations regarding what your soulmate is like and thus grow more open to dating great people who don’t match your ideal. And you’ll realize that all relationships have some issues, so you’ll be willing to work on them when they inevitably arise. 

Other Reasons to Shift Your Relationship Mindset

Romanticizers might also struggle because they base their fulfillment on an external factor. In The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle warns that if you look for others to make you happy, you’ll never find true happiness—even if you do find someone who matches your ideal soulmate, this partner is bound to make a mistake at some point. This will then lead to disappointment and fear that your partner doesn’t complete you, which may cause you to lash out at your partner.

So what should you do? Like Ury, Tolle recommends shifting your mindset. But rather than focusing on working hard at your relationship, Tolle recommends that you stay present in your relationships. Notice when disappointment and fear lead you to attack your partner. Growing more aware of these patterns will improve your ability to resist them and thus make you less likely to cause conflict that might lead you to question your relationship. Tolle also emphasizes that love exists within you, so you don’t need to date someone who matches an ideal; instead, learn to accept the relationships and partners that you encounter as they are. 
Why Romanticizers Don’t Fare Well in the Dating Game

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Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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