Posted by: darienonline | February 9, 2010

What’s the opposite of romance?

I wanted to call this blog “How to remain a hopeless romantic in a ________ world,” …….  so I searched all over to find a word that was the polar opposite of romantic, and couldn’t find one.  But with some research I found something interesting disturbing.

Romantic (noun) – someone who romanticizes, treats as idealized, a soulful or amorous idealist (one definition even said LIAR!)

Realist (noun) – a person who who accepts things as they are, accurate representation, not in an idealized or romantic style

Hmmmm… and what is an Ideal? –  a conception of something in its absolute perfection, an ultimate object of endeavor; a goal.

Ok vocabulary lesson behind us  —  I will admit to being a hopeless hopeful romantic.  I want that love you see in the movies (but then again, I also want those superpowers you see in movies……… )  So am I just a dreamer?   I mean, am I just as likely to shoot lasers from my eyes as I am to get the HEA (Happily Ever After)?


My existence is based on romance.  It’s kinda crazy, b/c I am a very logical person, but statistically speaking, my career choice isn’t very realistic. To be an artist in our society is an alternative lifestyle.  I romanticize my world.  In my mind, I can touch people and leave a mark to fulfill my purpose.  Lofty goals to be certain, but isn’t some of the greatest art someone’s vision and ideals manifest?  Actually, not settling for reality is what brings forth innovation.  Wouldn’t a realist say, “You can’t walk on the moon,”  “You can’t transmit pictures and speech through the air,” etc…?

We are born romantic.  If you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up they say things like  “A Fireman, A Superhero, The President”  and then…… certain “realities” set in and lower their expectations.   That child saw potential in his/her future – they had ideals.  So after some disappointments we lower our expectations — even in love.  How often have you heard someone talk about their “must have” list, only to settle for  “would be nice” and very often, “better than being alone.”  All the while the bar is constantly lowered – to the point we can practically walk over it.

Check out this amazing scene from the movie “500 Days of Summer” where they show a split screen of the main characters Expectations VS. Reality.  I think it illustrates it best.

So to my original question – “How to remain a hopeless romantic in a realistic world?” – I say never settle – color outside of the lines if you are so inclined.  It can make for interesting art and life.

Without romance I’m out of a jobDarien


  1. wow…love this.
    we ARE born romantic! guess i’ll do my best to stay young.
    this was my favorite scene in 500 days.
    i really love this one..thank you for being so open and…er…romantic.

  2. Oh my this is surely a hard one for me… As where my reality and my dreams always clash… I am a hopeless romantic… In every love story I always want love to win in the end.. I know it’s love that will keep you young and healthy and the moment you stop believing in it you begin to die…. I find love to be amazing.. It’s so strong it will have you doing the craziest things.. But here’s to love no greater drug in the world !

  3. I wanted to be an Architect growing up. I guess that makes me a romantic realist.
    I wanted to design amazing homes with indoor miniature rivers and outdoor bathrooms staffed by android butlers but I never envisioned any of the buildings floating:-)

  4. Wow! I posted before I watched the video. Had no idea the character had anything to do with architecture!

  5. Realistic is an inaccurate description of the “virtue” of accepting things as they are. The presumption that things are the way they are, is inaccurate in a lot of cases. Even the past cannot always stay the way it was because our understanding of it changes as we grow and learn.

    The only thing that is real is what one feels at a giving moment. Since most art is driven by feelings, I think it is safe to proclaim artists as realists:-)

  6. What is real?
    knowing or feeling?

    Which is romantic?
    knowing you love someone or feeling in love with someone?

    Do realist feel or know?

    See where I’m going with this yet?

    The realist and the romantic are one and the same!

  7. @Civilian……

    So…… inspired by a “chic flic” huh? LOL

    I hear you though. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder than I suppose art is as well. As artists we create our own reality. I guess my issue is with the fact that, like everything else in our society, you are asked to pick a side. Dem – Rep, Bull – Bear, Lover – Fighter, Christian – Sinner, Romantic – Realist. Once you divorce yourself fully from the “opposing” side you can only grow in a very linear fashion if at all.

    • and then you find out that the Dems are just like the Republicans and the crusaders, oops I meant christians are sinners and your bull market was a bubble so you didn’t pick a side at all:-)

  8. Am I a romantic? I don’t think so. I really try my best to see things as they are. Saves the heartache of seeing your expectations of people and situations bear no fruit. But I believe fervently in possibilities. I know so many things in life are HIGHLY unlikely, but NEVER impossible. And that, I think, is the stuff you gotta keep reaching for.

    I just read what I wrote and realize that to some, I may be straddling the fence. But, than again, I never thought I’d be a father. But when I look at my 3-year-old as she sleeps before I head off to my day-job (I’m REALLY a musician, y’know…LOL!), I’m reminded that no matter what you may think is unrealistic, life has a way of sneakin’ up on you and saying ‘GOTCHA! Never thought it could happen, did ya?’

    Hmmmm…maybe I AM a romantic! HAHAHAHAH!


  9. BTW, LOVE that cock-eyed Cyclops pic! 😀

  10. @Frank ain’t no question — YOU ARE A ROMANTIC!!

  11. Praise God His Love Conquir all .

  12. Greatness is here in the ideas and thoughts shared/expressed, and beauty in the words written in truth, defining our mutual searches for realization and development of our individual selves and a desire to understand how our unique rhythms relate and harmonize with, relate to, or fit within the greater composition of endless rhythmic oscillations, vibrations pouring from us, penetrating our being enveloping and yet comprising all we know.

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