Last September I found myself hardcore romanticising a ‘situationship’ of just over four months that exclusively involved him coming to my house, us sleeping together and him telling me about his trauma. After things ended, I was laying in my bed blasting music and screaming the lyrics “nobody gets me, you doooo” by SZA, about a man who asked me approximately three questions about my life and I had to stop and have a word with myself.
I’ve been guilty of letting the romantic fantasy take over, even when I don’t even like the man that I’m dating that much at all – in fact, I would say this is when the romanticising is at its worst. When the relationship is so lacking in affection, my brains response is to idealise it and make it seem more appealing than it really is. When the gaps in the relationship are so clear and chasmic, that is when I find myself creating a false narrative and filling those gaps with a fantasy. It’s like I have Disney brain, and the hopeful chirping of cartoon birds is covering up the ominous buzzing of the flies that surround the inevitable disaster that lies ahead.
But there has to be some element of fantasy in those early days, right? There’s got to be a healthy balance of fantasy (e.g. wow, what could a future look like with this person?) while also staying focussed on the reality that allows you to get healthily excited without projecting your ideas of someone onto them/the situation.
So where does this leave us with actual real romance, and not the fantasy? I was speaking to a friend about this and she told me she doesn’t think you can be truly romantic in early days because it’s all just fantasy. “I’m very conscious when dating someone and they do a ‘romantic thing’ and I just think well you don’t know me so you’re doing this for the version of me you think I am,” she said. For her, true romance comes later and is found in the little things rather than the big moments.
Read more on date outfits:
- All the first date outfits for your dating phase, beige flags forbidden
- Your 2023 dating resolutions, and how to dress for them
- How to look chic and sexy on dates when the weather’s still freezing
I’m learning to find the balance and doing my best not to mask the imperfect reality with a fantasy. The reality of dating can be a tough pill to swallow but by grounding myself I find I’m tolerating less from ‘situationships’ and setting healthy boundaries for myself. I’m also adopting the Dolly Alderton school of thought – put more romance in your friendships and more friendship in your romance. So, as spring starts to peep out from behind the grey clouds is it also time to start putting some romance into our wardrobes? Stop romanticising your love life, and instead inject some romance into your outfits with the below guide.
1. Pretty underwear
For yourself, or your romance, sometimes it’s just nice to switch it up.
Though I’m usually wearing black, white is an instant romantic vibe. Just be sure to avoid sauces.
Bows add a feminine touch and hark to older days of Jane Austen style romances.
3. Floral prints
Florals? For spring? Ground breaking.
4. Soft girl
Cosy, soft, warm and romantic – stay away from soft boys and embrace your inner (and outer) soft girl.
Instant romance and nothing better than throwing on a dress – we just need the sun to come out.
6. Lace details
Nothing says romance quite like lace, but it’s all in the details.