Can We Romanticize Too Much?

Valerie Anne Burns
5 min readMay 23, 2024


As a lifelong romantic and daydreamer, I wonder if it has served me well. There are pros and cons to having your head in the clouds or walk through life from an idealistic place. It’s good to be a dreamer but dreams don’t always come true. Does having a vivid imagination outweigh whatever disappointment might show up? Dreaming gives one hope and energy. But I’ve also found getting my hopes up sets me up for a bigger fall. I’ve always been creative with big desires and longings. It’s very possible that as a child who experienced loss very young and began life without a strong foundation, disappearing into daydreaming was a safe world to escape to.

I think one of the biggest reasons I’ve been klutzy and forgetful throughout my life is because of daydreaming distraction where my head is in the clouds rather than looking where I’m going. I’m also forever looking up and all around instead of paying attention to where my feet are headed. For what it’s worth, I’m idealistic and that has gotten me into trouble more than a few times. Whether that’s putting my faith in a mate that did not prove to be healthy or worthy or trusting something or someone believing they would do the right thing only to be disappointed. Sure, there’s a downside to being idealistic and a dreamer but it’s provided me with a vivid imagination that’s brought me reward through many creative endeavors.

I think that when you are a romantic and idealistic, the hurt feels insurmountable when disappointed. Confidence wanes.

I love movies and have always wanted my life to be like the movies, especially where romantic love is involved. Should I admit how many times I’ve seen films like Casablanca and Notorious? I’m searching for Gregory Peck (particularly the character he plays in Big Country) but he most definitely hasn’t shown up in online dating. Someone you know you can trust on every level and possesses high integrity and dignity sprinkled with charm and wit. A needle in a haystack comes to mind. I don’t know what my fate will be at this age but I do know I can’t settle. Perhaps it’s the idealistic romantic in me but rapport and simpatico are a must. It’s literally been a lifelong journey though.

I feel like integrity and dignity in far too many areas, including this country has all but disappeared.. Inspired idealism, integrity, genuine honesty, and diplomacy appear to be some quaint thing of the past with the far-right.

I may be guilty of having a romanticized and idealistic take on the USA but not any longer. Corruption is everywhere. Autocracy is a real threat and far-right evangelical practice is a cancer destroying progression and democracy. We can’t trust the highest court with two sexual predators, corruption, and MAGA beliefs. What the hell has happened? I don’t know about you, but I am flat out frightened by what’s going on daily. And here we are again with men wanting to control women and their bodies with intentions of keeping them down and in their place. There is nothing idealistic and even optimistic about the orange criminal’s movement with racist, Nazi, and dictator rhetoric and devotion. Honestly, what the hell is happening that near half this country doesn’t grasp the realistic danger in embracing this obvious deviant dictator-wannabe. I want to feel optimistic but facts are facts. This is where we are and WE are the ones to save the integrity of our country and democracy.

The orange guy has taken up all the air space and keeps getting away with crime after crime dominating the media with lies when there are so many

other important things to address. I think most of us are overwhelmed and numb to nearly a decade of this crazy crap. But women’s rights and health care have never been in worse jeopardy unless it’s the 1800’s and I entered a time machine. While I want to be informed, I must find ways to escape in beauty, daydreaming, and romantic movies.

As a memoir writer, I switched gears and just completed a screenplay through three screenwriting courses at SBCC. Guess what the movie genre is? Yep, romantic. It is a romantic/adventure/comedy. Think “Romancing the Stone” but with a modern day Robin Hood and Eco-Warrior (former

environmental attorney) and his fierce female counterpart and accidental captive on a journey of a lifetime. The working title is “Captive Eco-Warrior”. While I did story work for scripts back in the Hollywood biz days, this is the first screenplay I’ve written. By diving into the writing of ascreenplay, I escaped into another world. It has provided a consuming focus and fulfilled romantic fantasies in creating my characters and their adventure on and eco-warrior ship..

It’s too late to change my nature and become a purely practical minded person and woman. I’ve had countless hard lessons and a harsher cancer survival road that could’ve pushed me to pure practicality. But it’s clear that I’ll be a romantic until I draw my last breath. And I hope my inspired idealism returns when this country gets back to the majority of Americans being on board for truth and democracy as international progressive leaders.

Here’s to all the romantics out there and to those with a more practical take. My closest friends and confidants proceed with more practicality than I and I’ve heavily relied on them for advice and loyalty during life’s highest hurdles.

Keep on swimming through life.

Valerie Anne



Valerie Anne Burns

Author of Caution: Mermaid Crossing, Voyages of a Motherless Daughter”; Blogger; Breast Cancer Survivor; Hollywood Survivor; Workshop Leader; & Beauty Seeker.