Arts & Culture

The Alternate Universe of a Hopeless Romantic

From Romeo and Juliet to Love Aaj Kal, the portrayal of romance in pop culture has fabricated a preposterous fantasy leading to evolution in the concept of love among the GenZs.

The predilection in the idea of being a romantic and the zest to secure love in their life had leveraged millions of minds into creating an unwanted notion of love within them. Earmarked to be subject to be a persistent reminder of the fantasized version of romance, we are often dominated by pop culture and our contemporaries who become the paint to our palette of illusionary romance.

The failure of resilience in the context of love is a key issue that leads to the development of the notion of hopeless romantics. The idea of romance evolves right from school days wherein people are mostly categorized into two broad definitions that give key personality insights, namely, the romantic and the nerd. Being in the latter would hamper your reputation at school and then be into the destitute faction of the ‘un-cools’.

Mostly, the idea of romance in school and the concept of being “cool” are perceived as a way to fit in. The teenage years are complicated as people undergo lot of changes physically, mentally and hormonally. So there, romance becomes a destination in the path of identity formation which is influenced by people around them. Therefore, people who do not fit in are considered ‘weirdos’.

Dr. Shreya Jain, a Clinical Psychologist who is currently pursuing certifications in several disciplines of psychology and is supporting Enactus Gargi in their mental health initiative.

The visible trend of hesitation to fall in love is although a personal choice, some consider this as their shortcoming which would then unfold a series of thoughts regarding being unlucky in love. The inability to find love, while your friends had already made their way into the new class of “committed”, brings mind games into play. Desperateness leading to pressure on oneself might often result in anxiousness and discouragement, with nothing to look forward to in life.

Although romance existed ever since humans had been on the surface of the planet, the discernible change in the concept of love and watering the uncontrollably suppressed lover in us has always been sleight of hand of the evolving pop culture. Books, movies, folklore, and history had lead to the formation of our perspective towards love. They had formed the basis of ideologies which later became the role models in our life. While portraying Shah Jahan as the epitome of love and its preserved version in the monument as a definition of ever-lasting love, we must not look past the fact that Mumtaz was his 14th wife and that post her death, the emperor had married her sister.

The way love has been portrayed in bollywood is misleading because not all relationships are beautiful and happy. In India, romance is really looked down upon with many teenagers not being permitted by their parents to explore the concept of love. Culturally, it is not binding enough to consider romance as an integral part of a person’s life, leaving most teenagers hopelessly romantic.

Dr. Shreya Jain

In Bollywood and Hollywood, movies from the romantic genre have been exceedingly pumped with fantasies and fairy tales. On a closer look, we would observe the consistency in the plot which has been put in different ways in different scenarios to exhibit a hyped-up form of romance. Although these stories might feel sensible, the depiction of love as the purest form with zero struggles between the partners should question the conclusions people generally form from the concept behind these movies. The major flaw apart from this, in pop culture is the lack of portrayal of the love of among the LGBTQ+ community. The dearth of the depiction of their love is the key accelerator in constant disapproval of love among them in the society and prevents internalisation of such diverse form of love. If this had been a much prevalently discussed or witnessed a form of love, society would have been in a better state of identifying and giving them the respect they deserve.

The glorified hero is the backbone of several movies and goes without saying in every other story. This concept develops among men, the feeling of being obliged to protect women propagating wrong and toxic ideas. As one explores themselves and their stand in the concept of love, the development of such viewpoints will narrow down to the formation of convolutions within oneself as reality strikes harder than expectations.

Even during some part of our lives, we are expected to be in a relationship and get married and settle down in life. However, when that does not happen, it torments the will to find someone for them. Series like ‘Sex and the City’ and ‘Veere di Wedding’, portray stories of adult single women who are burdened by general expectations of being marriage material post a particular age.

Dr. Shreya Jain

Movies like “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani” and “Ae Dil De Mushkil”, are epitomes of fantasies where although part of the stories might seem extremely practical, some pillars which hold up the plot are so unrealistic to be true in our lives. When as individuals we live in the trance of movies like “The Kissing Booth”, we form fantasies that describe the life of our dreams. The inability to differentiate and understand reality would lead to the formation of a sort of dependency and idolization of such plots. Failure in the practicality of the same would follow a phase of discouragement and depression.

There is the need to have somebody who loves us and accepts us for who we are, and this is common for all. When people all around are going through the romantic phase in their life by actively committing in relationships, not being able to explore that really frustrates and depresses anyone.

Dr. Shreya Jain

Realizing that romance and love are not mandatory but a choice and that it isn’t a luxury but a general concept subject to societal identities, will lead to finally forming an understanding that romance is a necessity for human psychology and not a luxury which is far away for most of the so-called “hopeless romantics”. It is something that requires the right time and circumstances to fall in place. However, romanticizing to some extend, to water our feelings and hyping up oneself within the barriers of reality is always a charm to any romantic.

Featured Image Credits: Jeffrey Friedl

Vaishnavi Varier


Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history.Freedom to Express.