Are You Romanticizing Someone? Follow These 5 Steps to Stop Obsessing

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Published Date|
April 20, 2024

Are You Romanticizing Someone? Follow These 5 Steps to Stop Obsessing

Have you ever swiped right on someone and found yourself picturing your entire future together - before you’ve even matched?

Whether you frequently fall head-over-heels for strangers on dating apps or you feel like your barista could be your soulmate if you ever talked about something other than coffee, you might be prone to romanticizing your relationships.

Here at KMA Therapy, we’re relationship experts. For over 15 years, we’ve helped our clients and community learn how to have thriving relationships.

After reading this article, you’ll know what it means to romanticize someone, signs you’re romanticizing a relationship, and five ways to stop romanticizing someone.

What Does It Mean to Romanticize Someone?

Romanticizing someone means that the way you view, think about, and speak about a person is overwhelmingly positive - but not grounded in reality.

You have a hard time seeing their flaws, and any flaws you do see become more endearing than anything else.

When you romanticize someone, it can feel easy to focus on their good qualities. You create an idea of them in your mind that aligns perfectly with what you would need the most in a relationship, and you have rose-coloured glasses on when you view them.

Unfortunately, this can lead to heartache later on - like the now-infamous quote from BoJack Horseman explains so clearly, “When you look at someone through rose-coloured glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.”

Signs you’re romanticizing someone include:

  • You don’t have any unique examples of what makes them so special - but you focus on the overall feeling you have or general positive qualities
  • You don’t listen to your friends’ or family members’ opinions about them
  • You excuse or explain away any “bad” behaviours or actions
  • You dismiss any red flags they have

Who is Most Likely to Romanticize Relationships?

Certain traits can make you more likely to engage in romanticizing behaviour.

For example, if you have an anxious attachment style, you’re likely prone to overanalyzing your interactions with others and reading into other people’s actions - making you more prone to romanticizing your relationships.

If you’re the type of person who falls for romantic partners quickly, struggles to let go of past relationships, and always looks for the best in others (sometimes at your own expense), you might be more likely to romanticize your relationships and your romantic partners.

How to Stop Romanticizing Someone

how to stop romanticizing someone

If you’re struggling with romanticizing someone, follow these five steps to help ground your feelings in reality.

1. Don’t get caught up in fantasies

It can be fun to fantasize - who hasn’t pictured what their life could look like with their newest crush?

Just remember not to blur the line between fantasy and reality.

It can be easy to focus on the interactions you have with someone in your head and forget that your real-life relationship isn’t quite so perfect.

2. Crack open a journal

Keeping track of the difference between fantasy and reality can be made easier with the help of a journal.

Journaling can sound like cliche advice 

Let your thoughts flow freely - if you’re having strong feelings and emotions, write about them!

Just make sure to also write about the interactions you’re really having with the person you’re romanticizing.

It can be helpful to create a list of expectations you have of your ideal partner. What’s important to you? Do you want someone family-oriented? Are you looking for someone with the same political values as you are?

Having this list of deal-breakers can be helpful to recognize when someone is really your match made in heaven - or just someone who is fun to romanticize in the moment.

3. Set and uphold realistic expectations

Broad expectations of a future romantic partner are helpful for setting your standards - but they don’t always help once you’re already speaking to someone.

In this case, set expectations about what is important to you in the current relationship.

Relationship expectations might include:

  • Open communication
  • Mutual trust and respect
  • Spending quality time together
  • Supporting and uplifting each other

If the person you’re romanticizing isn’t meeting your expectations for a relationship, you may be overlooking red flags in order to maintain your image of them.

4. Explore relationships with other people

If you find yourself romanticizing someone you’ve barely met, it can be helpful to keep your options open.

If you feel like someone is your only option, it can be more tempting to overlook their red flags because you don’t see another alternative.

When you romanticize your relationship with someone else, it can be easy to feel like you only have eyes for them - even if you’re not actually in a committed relationship.

Let yourself meet new people and have fun with them - you never know who you might meet!

Even if you’re not interested in any other romantic relationships, focusing on deepening your platonic friendships can help lessen the pressure you feel for your romanticized relationship to meet all your needs.

5. Focus on something else

If you’re having trouble focusing on anything but the person you’re romanticizing, it might be time to try something new.

Find new ways to occupy your free time, whether you want to try a new hobby or finally binge-watch that Netflix show everyone keeps telling you to watch.

Activities that allow you to meet new people, like organized sports or book clubs, can also be a great way to meet new people and explore your romantic options outside of the one person you’ve been thinking about.

Next Steps for Healthy Relationships

After reading this article, you know what romanticizing is, how to know if you’re prone to romanticizing relationships, and five ways to stop romanticizing a romantic connection.

Here at KMA Therapy, our relationship therapists are here to help you explore what type of relationship will work best for you. We’re here to help you learn the skills, tools, and self-reflection strategies you need to find the fulfilling relationship you deserve.

Register online to connect with our team or take our Attachment Styles Quiz to learn more about how you think, feel, and act in relationships.

If you’d prefer to keep reading, explore these articles to learn more:

Author |
Emily Weatherhead (Guest Author)
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