Romance is the expressive and pleasurable feeling from an emotional attraction towards another person. This feeling is associated with, but does not necessitate, sexual attraction. For most people it is eros rather than agape, philia, or storge.
In the context of romantic love relationships, romance usually implies an expression of one’s strong romantic love, or one’s deep and strong emotional desires to connect with another person intimately or romantically. Historically, the term “romance” originates with the medieval ideal of chivalry as set out in its chivalric romance literature.
Humans have a natural inclination to form bonds with one another through social interactions, be it through verbal communication or nonverbal gestures.
The debate over an exact definition of romantic love may be found in literature as well as in the works of psychologists, philosophers, biochemists and other professionals and specialists. Romantic love is a relative term, but generally accepted as a definition that distinguishes moments and situations within intimate relationships to an individual as contributing to a significant relationship connection.
The addition of drama to relationships of close, deep and strong love.
Anthropologist Charles Lindholm defined love to be “…an intense attraction that involves the idealization of the other, within an erotic context, with expectation of enduring sometime into the future.”
Historians believe that the actual English word “romance” developed from a vernacular dialect within the French language meaning “verse narrative”—referring to the style of speech, writing, and artistic talents within elite classes. The word was originally an adverb of the Latin origin “Romanicus,” meaning “of the Roman style.” The connecting notion is that European medieval vernacular tales were usually about chivalric adventure, not combining the idea of love until late into the seventeenth century.
The conception of romantic love was popularized in Western culture by the concept of courtly love. Chevaliers, or knights in the Middle Ages, engaged in what were usually non-physical and non-marital relationships with women of nobility whom they served. These relations were highly elaborate and ritualized in a complexity that was steeped in a framework of tradition, which stemmed from theories of etiquette derived out of chivalry as a moral code of conduct.
Courtly love and the notion of domnei were often the subjects of troubadours, and could be typically found in artistic endeavors such as lyrical narratives and poetic prose of the time. Since marriage was commonly nothing more than a formal arrangement, courtly love sometimes permitted expressions of emotional closeness that may have been lacking from the union between husband and wife. In terms of courtly love, “lovers” did not necessarily refer to those engaging in sexual acts, but rather, to the act of caring and to emotional intimacy.