What’s the Hype with Romanticizing Our Lives?

Could permanently gluing rose-colored glasses to our eyes do more harm than good?

As a self-appointed romantic, I tend to frequently live in daydreams and fairytales of my own creation. Although I thought I was alone, recently, many have stepped forward, claiming that they too are romantics, with their favorite pastime to romanticize almost all aspects of life. And as the numbers of us grew, so did a trend that overtook social media.

Seemingly overnight the action of romanticizing life, i.e., seeing it through a rose-colored lens, became normal; the thing everyone should be doing. Suddenly the correct way to live happily, or more precisely, the only way to live happily, was to retain ‘the main character energy’. To do so, one must start viewing life as a long movie or multipart television show, with them as the protagonist, the badass, brave, one-of-a-kind hero.

But, while many swear by this change in perspective and mindset, is the action of romanticizing everything really the best thing we can do to increase our contentment? So, without further ado, let’s dive into the good and the bad of romanticizing, coming to you from a romantic trying to find her own answer to said question.


The Good

Initially, when the action of romanticizing started trending, it was advertised as a way of living life to the fullest. With this trend booming during the first months of lockdown, it encouraged many to start looking for moments of happiness while living their mundane lives filled with routine. The key here was to see the beauty in even the smallest things, such as literally stopping to smell the roses and catching a flower blooming or people-watching genuine moments between strangers as you sip your coffee. 

What’s great about this trend is its association with practices of mindfulness. Romanticizing is essentially the act of being aware of where you are and what you are doing in the present moment. It inspires individuals to not wait for a dreamy future where they might be happy, but to find happiness in the life they have now. Not only can this help people become more content as they practice more self-awareness, but becoming more mindful has also proven to drastically improve both mental and physical health.

Another way how romanticizing has helped people, even post-COVID when things began to go back to semi-normal, is by giving them a way to possess some control over their lives. With change being something we all must face, romanticizing allows many to take control of a previously perceived uncontrollable situation. Although they cannot control how their lives alter, they can determine how they’ll react and view these new conditions, finding the upsides to circumstances they might not have thought of before.


The Bad

I suppose after reading about the benefits of romanticizing, many are ready to hop on the trend. I would too. But before you start to idealize everything, let’s first examine the dark side of romanticizing not often talked about. 

One can say that during the pandemic, many tried to paint a happier picture of life, adding in their own rainbows and unicorns when they couldn’t find any in the real world. In this scenario, romanticizing as a way to put a positive spin on situations when things get tough was quite useful, aiding many to get through these times. But what if this action isn’t always healthy? 

Although romanticizing can be a helpful method of getting through a difficult situation, not everything should be romanticized. In recent years, we’ve seen numerous bad habits and toxic traits being idealized through television, movies, or society. We’ve made excuses for things like hustle culture, increased stress and anxiety rates, and toxic relationships, although they all significantly harm us.

Moreover, as more individuals take to the internet to share how they are romanticizing life, some have begun to advertise that to truly enjoy life or find beauty in it, one must rely on materialistic things. Some influencers, either intentionally or unintentionally, send the message that life is only amazing if you have a specific product, create a lifestyle, or go on a particular trip. This then completely contradicts the benefits of romanticizing as it builds in viewers the notion that they, in the state they are currently in, cannot be happy. Instead, they must work towards something so that in the future they can find happiness, pushing them further away from being mindful.


Final Thoughts

At the beginning of this article, I set out to answer a question about whether or not romanticizing everything is really the best thing we can do to increase our contentment. However, after dissecting the argument, and analyzing both sides, I realize that I can not be the one to give you an answer. You see, finding out if romanticizing will allow you to see the simple beauty in life, letting you reflect and grow, depends on you. It comes down to what you choose to romanticize, how you do it, and how often. 

It seems like countless movies, books, artworks, and their creators all try to tell their audiences to live life to the fullest, to let go of fear and unnecessary distractions, and truly live in the moment. Isn’t it ironic how much beauty surrounds us, yet all we manage to see are the hardships and difficulties? So, revert back to human nature and try to constantly explore what brings a smile to your face. You might discover it takes less than you think!



Photo: Look Studio/Shutterstock


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