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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's not as simplified as strong friendship + sex because

- There are friends who have sex but not in a romantic relationship.
- There are couples who are in a romantic relationship with no/very little friendship involved.
- There are couples who aren't having sex for their own reasons.
- There are couples (usually teenagers due to peer pressure and people who can't handle being single) who are in a romantic relationship just for the hell of it with no romantic feeling involved.
- There are couples who are in a romantic relationship but not very romantic towards each other due to their personality.

So what makes a relationship romantic? Is it determined by romantic behavior or the feelings involved or saying officially that "we're in a romantic relationship" or all of them?

Or better yet what is the universal definition and components of a romantic relationship? Or is it too subjective to have one?
 

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Great question! This is a huge curiosity to me atm because I am not really certain if I want a relationship and how it'd be defined exactly. Because I do have platonic relationships that are intense but without any sexual desire and I really like having those, but somehow I desire a sexual relationship with that intensity of interest as well(which may not be as high as the interest level I have with really old friends, but that's OK). It seems like the romantic relationship is one of the highest things one can achieve to get intimacy and connection that platonic relationships can't provide. Why? I suppose the physical components, committing your life to someone is just an appealing thing to me, I like to have someone there for me and I like to be there for someone as well, and I suppose it's nice to have someone to be vulnerable with (though this doesn't always happen in romantic relationships).

I've also been interested in someone in a platonic and general way, and they're interested in me sexually. Though at the same time there's desire and me simply liking being a tease to a person for selfish reasons to some degree (for not a long time, more than an hour I'd say, but still...).

So what makes a relationship romantic? Is it determined by romantic behavior or the feelings involved or saying officially that "we're in a romantic relationship" or all of them?
I like to think of it as a gift that two people are giving to each other that isn't too conditional. There's just an attraction and an acceptance of the character of each other for better or worse that's mostly positive at first. Ideally, I'd like this explicitly stated, but it's fun to dance around with the sexual tension at first sometimes. I am slow to physical relationships, so that would come a little later (or more than a little).

Or better yet what is the universal definition and components of a romantic relationship? Or is it too subjective to have one?
There's definitions all over the place. I think there's probably key elements in romantic relationships that last. Individuals are looking for different things, and it's hard to provide certain things sometimes for just any person, every relationship has different needs and desires. There's many components and options as well. Reproduction, living arrangements, finances, communication, activities, physical, political, social things, religion (or no), meeting family. Sometimes it's a lot to worry about. I think it's good to find a good match first, with acceptance of yourself as well. As much fun as it is to meet mysterious people, I don't think it's for me.

That's my definition. I don't really include flings and that sort of thing...maybe I'd file that as "infatuation" or "a crush" or "lust".
 

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I would say that a romantic relationship is one where you are comfortable with sharing intimacy/connection (emotional, physical, and/or possibly financial) with one or more people that you typically wouldn't share with everyone else in most situations. That's the most basic definition that I can provide. Some might add in limitations/restrictions or expectations of a duration (until death) but those, I would argue, are not necessary - and people routinely fall short. There's the possibility of both healthy and unhealthy (abusive) romantic relationships, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would say that a romantic relationship is one where you are comfortable with sharing intimacy/connection (emotional, physical, and/or possibly financial) with one or more people that you typically wouldn't share with everyone else in most situations. That's the most basic definition that I can provide. Some might add in limitations/restrictions or expectations of a duration (until death) but those, I would argue, are not necessary - and people routinely fall short. There's the possibility of both healthy and unhealthy (abusive) romantic relationships, too.
I want to share all of those things but not in a romantic way :/
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What are all of the things you want to share?
where you are comfortable with sharing intimacy/connection (emotional, physical, and/or possibly financial) with one or more people that you typically wouldn't share with everyone else in most situations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Lurv.

...


No, but in all quaint honesty, a romantic relationship is a specific bond that is often too complex to describe. It is similar to that of a brother or sister, however in a sense, even closer. The sexual aspect does make a part of it, but it is not necessarily the main or deciding factor of the relationship.

A romantic relationship is a specific form that developed out of our species' need to bond very closely with our mates for life.

Romantic love is rather difficult to explain, but why bother? It is love, and love is an entirely illogical response.
 

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You know, I think it's intimacy. I mean some people just are uncomfortable with "romantic" as an aesthetic, like they're just like no lol wut, but that doesn't mean they don't love. Others may say romance is a delusional state, meant to further along reproduction which can't last the test of time without more substantial things included. I think a lot of Russian Realist thinkers considered it a conceit of the middle class, in some cases also the upper class ...though at that time the upper class still tended to prize practical marriage, even if it involved cousins.

Some people even blame the high divorce rate on the illusion of romance.

I personally think a certain level of intimacy is romantic though, it's what defined even my romantic crushes on women, whether irl or say my personal identification with an artist.

If you are friends with benefits, and don't want romantic ties, it tends to indicate a certain holding back of emotional closeness.

Because you can have sex without looking into each others eyes and smiling, there's a feeling of romance when a lover gazes with a certain stare that reminds one of the openness of a baby or toddler (the spark, apparently).

Say like after we have sex, if the guy reaches for my hand afterwards, holding my hand non sexually, like, that was great, that's romantic. You can potentially engage in sex without that kind of reaching out. You can get up and run.
 

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Lurv.

...


No, but in all quaint honesty, a romantic relationship is a specific bond that is often too complex to describe. It is similar to that of a brother or sister, however in a sense, even closer. The sexual aspect does make a part of it, but it is not necessarily the main or deciding factor of the relationship.

A romantic relationship is a specific form that developed out of our species' need to bond very closely with our mates for life.

Romantic love is rather difficult to explain, but why bother? It is love, and love is an entirely illogical response.
Some people would argue that love naturally follows continually engaging in a sexual relationship with another person, like if the desire and/or circumstances exist to keep engaging in the carnal act, barring a feeling of dutiful mild disgust, but rather pleasure and lustfulness, that oxytocin will eventually bond you. That's why in cultures where arranged marriages are performed the parents will argue "but love eventually comes." It does not always, some of those marriages contain disgust on the part of one or both parties, even abuse....but even in those practical cultures, like conservative Muslims, they will annul those especially bad marriages, but insist on a different arrangement.

I remember reading this book when I was about nineteen, written by psychologists, that love is a matter of temporarily dissolving the limits of the self of an individual, and if it weren't such a vital part of the human experience, we'd consider it frightening insanity. Occasionally we still do, if it's overly one sided.
 

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A romantic relationship is a specific form that developed out of our species' need to bond very closely with our mates for life.
Our species has an innate need to reproduce, but bonding for life hardly seems like a must have. On what are you basing this?
 

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I tend to agree with @TelepathicGoose

It's rather difficult to define, but anyways my analysis, to distinguish it from for instance sibling love, and friendly love, romantic love is exclusive in that it is not something that you can feel for multiple persons. It is driven by a instinct to pair-bond with a mate. It involves a great deal of trust because you put your fate in the hands of another, and romantic love is designed to overcome this barrier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sure, you mentioned that you want to share those things but not in a romantic way. I'm asking you to elaborate on that so I can more clearly understand what that would look like.
That would be me sharing the rest of my life with my best friend. We would cuddle and sleep together in the same bed. I don't care much for sex but if they want to have it, then it's ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You know, I think it's intimacy. I mean some people just are uncomfortable with "romantic" as an aesthetic, like they're just like no lol wut, but that doesn't mean they don't love. Others may say romance is a delusional state, meant to further along reproduction which can't last the test of time without more substantial things included. I think a lot of Russian Realist thinkers considered it a conceit of the middle class, in some cases also the upper class ...though at that time the upper class still tended to prize practical marriage, even if it involved cousins.

Some people even blame the high divorce rate on the illusion of romance.

I personally think a certain level of intimacy is romantic though, it's what defined even my romantic crushes on women, whether irl or say my personal identification with an artist.

If you are friends with benefits, and don't want romantic ties, it tends to indicate a certain holding back of emotional closeness.

Because you can have sex without looking into each others eyes and smiling, there's a feeling of romance when a lover gazes with a certain stare that reminds one of the openness of a baby or toddler (the spark, apparently).

Say like after we have sex, if the guy reaches for my hand afterwards, holding my hand non sexually, like, that was great, that's romantic. You can potentially engage in sex without that kind of reaching out. You can get up and run.
I don't agree with that at all. I'm pretty much aromantic and although I love my partner I don't think my feelings are romantic. Technically, our relationship can be described as FWB but my partner hates that term. We have never been emotionally and physically close to anyone else like the way we are close to each other. And we live for the cuddles after sex :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I tend to agree with @TelepathicGoose

It's rather difficult to define, but anyways my analysis, to distinguish it from for instance sibling love, and friendly love, romantic love is exclusive in that it is not something that you can feel for multiple persons. It is driven by a instinct to pair-bond with a mate. It involves a great deal of trust because you put your fate in the hands of another, and romantic love is designed to overcome this barrier.
What about polyamorous people? There's always an exception. That's why I can't find an universal explanation of what romantic relationship should be.
 
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Our species has an innate need to reproduce, but bonding for life hardly seems like a must have. On what are you basing this?
It's really quite simple.

In order for the baby to be properly cared for, it needs a nurturing mother and a father who can protect it and gather the food and resources. If it does not have one of the two, then how can it thrive? Thus, a baby requires two parents who are bonded, at least for a long duration. If a parent mates and then as soon as the baby is born goes and mates with some other person, then the baby will lack a necessary parent.

That is what I was basing it off of. If you disagree, so be it.
 
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