1. You enjoy romcoms deeply, yet know they will never be your life. Despite knowing that you will never have (or want) the fairytale ending, you have a deep appreciation for romcoms and shows like Sex and the City, kind of like your love for fantasy and sci fi. It’s a totally different version of reality that you kind of turn off your mind and enjoy for a while. (And yes, you cried deeply at The Notebook, and hated yourself for every minute of it.)
2. When you sleep alone, you cuddle a pillow, but when you’re forced to sleep next to someone, you end up sleeping diagonally and kicking them the entire night. Yes, you do love the idea of having someone to cuddle next to all night, but in reality, your real love is for the cool side of the pillow, clean sheets, and rolling yourself into a little selfish burrito in the middle of the bed.
3. You feel genuinely mystified when you see grandiose displays of affection on social media, as though you’re missing a fundamental part of your brain. Like everyone is ooh-ing and like-ing over the 80-deep photo album of the beach proposal that someone was photographing from the bushes, with the happy couple surrounded by tea candles written in the shape of Marry Me Becky And Make Me The Happiest Man Alive, and all you can think is… ummm?? Am I not understanding something here? Why does no one else find this horrifying?
4. Everyone is sure that, when the ~right thing~ comes along, you’ll change. And nothing is more condescending than having people tell you that essentially your entire worldview and romantic preferences are going to magically transform when you meet your Hugh Grant or Colin Firth. (Also, if you’re actually IN a relationship, it’s kind of a messed up idea – like this person just isn’t enough to kick in your “romance” gene? No, thank you.)
5. Your family does not get why you don’t want the fairytale. No matter how much you try to explain to them that some crazy, elaborate wedding and magical engagement period is not your thing, you cannot quite get them to understand. And everyone takes it personally that you don’t want some shower where you get covered in paper swans and sprinkled with glitter, or whatever happesn at those. And they also feel attacked that even the word “centerpiece” kind of makes you break out in hives.
6. You constantly think you want to engage in a little PDA, yet it always squicks you out within the first 10 seconds. Sometimes you get that little desire to have a cute public kiss or cuddle with your significant other, and maybe it even feels sweet and romantic for the first few seconds, but you immediately become how aware of a) everyone else and b) how much you hate it when it’s someone else, so you’re like “Thatsenoughpleasegetoffofmethankyou,” and they’re left confused as to what you actually want, just like you are.
7. Your significant other thinks you’re being sarcastic when you think something banal is super adorable. They don’t understand that sharing their fries, cleaning up for no reason, or letting you sleep in while they run errands makes you swoon, because they’re primed to think of the “romantic” things as big gestures. But the truth is, you really would take them showing up with takeout over showing up with roses any day, and you don’t think you’re “missing out” on the “truly” romantic stuff at all.
8. Spending crazy amounts of money on “romance” is hard not to judge. Yes, everyone has to live their own life, walk their own path, etc, but you hear about mid-to-high-five-figures or more on weddings/honeymoons/engagements, and you just cringe into another dimension. (And think of all the things you could buy with that money, like real estate, or a new international vacation every year for at least a decade.)
9. While you would absolutely murder a friend for trying to help set you up with a crush, you’ll be damned if you’re gonna do anything about it yourself. You basically ice yourself out by acting way too casual and joke-y with anyone you like, and the idea of someone trying to set up a meet cute makes you nauseous. You just want to play it cool, which usually means playing it not at all.
10. First dates stress you out immensely, not because you’re nervous, but because there’s so much pressure on them to be “cute.” You simply don’t know how to behave when there is so much pressure to be the Manic Pixie Dream Couple, and the fakeness of it all gives you anxiety. You just want to skip the whole cutesy nonsense and skip right into being real with each other.
12. Fancy lingerie makes you feel like a total fool, no matter how “sexy” it’s supposed to feel. Yes, you feel sexy in certain things – maybe it’s an oversized button-down, maybe it’s yoga pants, maybe it’s naked – but the overly-sexy “romantic” lingerie makes you feel like an idiot. Because, first of all, when and how are you supposed to put it on before the action starts? And second of all, some lacy pink number with garters and embroidered roses over the nips is just so profoundly not you. It’s like putting on a KC & Jo Jo song before sex, just way too much.
12. Few things make you feel more “romantic” than seeing long-term couples who are super in love. The simple joy of love and commitment day-in, day-out makes your heart swoon like nothing else, and one of your favorite genres of movies is “featuring a love story that doesn’t stop three days after the magical wedding and honeymoon phase.” Old(er) couples who are clearly deeply in love and infatuated is Your. Shit.
13. You have trouble thinking of “you” versions of romantic life events. When it comes down to it, you know that you believe deeply in love and either have the person you want to be with forever, or hope that you will be able to meet them. And while you want to find celebrations that demonstrate this profound level of joy and commitment, you have trouble finding a version of it that feels true to yourself, and not infected by what it’s “supposed” to look like. Do you even want a “wedding”? Do you need a ring? A dress? A honeymoon? Sometimes you just want to run down to city hall and then hit a bar with your closest friends and family after, and you’re not sure if that would be a big disappointment to everyone. But you’re also not sure that you care.