Depending on the person there is only so much crushing the heart and soul of a hopeless romantic can take, if they're strong they might last half a lifetime of successive misery in the search for their one true love in the context of a successful relationship. Whether it's because they're too fussy or not discerning enough in their selection of the love of their life, sooner or later their personal quest for romance and love will shrink to nothingness.

After the point of no return the hopeless romantic becomes a recovering romantic, as she/he no longer believes in the notion of romantic love.

Being a recovering romantic feels like being on the path to redemption for the wasted time and tears of being a hopeless romantic. A hard path to follow, hope being replaced with relentless cynicism.
(N.B. It is ironic a "hopeless" romantic is so called when they are the one type of romantic that prioritises hope above all else).

The next stage after being a recovering romantic is to either suddenly meet a true soulmate, or become cold unhappy and lonely. They are fully recovered.

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