What is romance?

If someone feels the desire for a long-term exclusive emotional bond, but not in a sexual context, is that romance? Is that what they mean by romantic asexuals? What if it’s not even in a dating context? What if the person just wants to live as a family with a like-minded friend? What if this emotional need can be filled by someone it would be abhorrent to be attracted to in that way, like a brother or a dog? If any of these are not romance, then what are they?

I’m resisting the urge to copy/paste a dictionary definition.

In my personal opinion, as Definer Of Things For The World, the term ‘romance’ is speaking specifically about pair bonding with a life partner. This does not necessarily include or involve sex (though in the vast, vast majority of cases it does), but it does exclude your relationships with both your family members (hopefully) and also your bros at the bar. It would also exclude that like-minded friend you mentioned - if you want to live them them as family rather than as a life partner, you’ll probably avoid behaviors you think of as “romantic”.

And I would call those other types of friendships and bonds “friendships” or “bonds”.

I think of romance as involving passion – pretty much my core definition no matter which type of “romance”. Which is why the outdoors, for instance, can be romantic if it inspires strong feelings. A long-term exclusive emotional bond is not necessarily passionate. Although it can be, even sometimes if it is only platonic, although I’d say that’s rare.


Why do you think the term “bromance” was invented? It does serve a purpose. We can feel strong, long-lasting emotional bonds with people without wanting to have sex with them. I mean, most people don’t want to have sex with their children, but who doesn’t passionately love them?

Most people’s children move out.

You just made me nostalgic for the good old days. Not that I live at home, or have a kid who lives at home, but thanks to my brother’s situation my parents are getting lots of opportunities to get to know their granddaughter.

Er, non-romantically.

So do most spouses. :slight_smile:

It means going out of your way to do something that the other person would like, like giving the Russians back their compounds.

While humorous, this promotes a belief in a situation that actually never happened.
Even when divorces in the U.S. approached, (never exceeded), 50% of marriages, many of the divorce statistics involved serial matrimony in which a certain number of people repeatedly married, divorced, and married again. However, that limited group of people with multiple marriages never came close to half of the population.

Romance is whatever a person thinks it is. Heck, some guy tried to marry a laptop recently. Allegedly.

Read C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves for an examination of the different kinds of love, of which romance is one.

The four kinds are Affection, Friendship, Eros, and Charity. Eros is roughly synonymous with romance. Two or three or all four kinds can be combined in a given relationship.


Baby don’t hurt me. Don’t hurt me. No more.

Ooh, ooh yeah
Ooh, ooh, ooh yeah

Five feet of heaven in a ponytail.