The Authentic Eclectic

12 Commandments for the Pragmatic Romantic

The antithesis of the hopeless romantic

Nita Jain
13 min readApr 30, 2022


A sketch of two hands reaching for one another, touching fingertips. Nita Jain.
Photo by Claudio Schwarz

In an era where dating complaints abound, I would like to propose the antithesis of the hopeless romantic archetype, which I call the “pragmatic romantic.” Pragmatic romanticism is grounded in reality and respects the sanctity of commitment but also appreciates the beauty of human connection.

Whereas the hopeless romantic might pine after their beloved or feel dismayed when rejected by the object of their affection, the pragmatic romantic will continually find ways to better themselves so they are well equipped to experience the beauty of love when they encounter it.

While the hopeless romantic might idealize love, the pragmatic romantic doesn’t participate in the web of delusions sold by Hallmark greeting cards and Hollywood rom-coms. The hopeless romantic indulges in sweet nothings, but the pragmatic romantic focuses on being a person of their word.

The pragmatic romantic knows that anyone can make vows but few will follow through to help you weather the storm. The pragmatic romantic acknowledges that illness doesn’t keep regular hours and sometimes requires that you drop everything to look after a loved one. In The Art of Seduction, Robert Greene writes:

What will seduce a person is the effort we expend on their behalf, showing how much we care, how much they are worth. Leaving things to chance is a recipe for disaster, and reveals that we do not take love and romance very seriously.

The pragmatic romantic prioritizes emotional stability over spontaneity. While the hopeless romantic is a spark chaser, the pragmatic romantic is a slow burner. If you identify with this way of thinking, keeping the following in mind may be helpful as you navigate through relationships.

1. Don’t confuse chemistry with compatibility

Attraction to someone’s physicality, status, or mind does not guarantee emotional, moral, or spiritual compatibility.

You might appreciate the way people carry or articulate themselves or find yourself drawn to someone’s thought process or pattern of speech, but these traits should



Nita Jain

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