The hero of Edmond Rostand’s 19th century comedy Cyrano de Bergerac isn’t just in love with a woman named Roxane. He is in love with poetry and all forms of beauty. This is what makes him the archetypal Romantic. “A kiss, when all told, what is it?” Cyrano says “An oath taken a little closer, a promise more exact. A wish that longs to be confirmed, a rosy circle drawn around the verb ‘to love.’” It is no wonder that even with a nose he thinks makes him completely unlovable, his sensitive words as a poet and romantic spirit win him the love he craves.
Romantics are sensitive sensualists who have little patience for routine but all the time in the world for beauty. They savor internal feelings of yearning and desire and cannot live without the external rewards of loveliness, whether in the form of a flower, song, or human being. As lovers, they are the ideal because they understand that keeping love fresh requires imagination and a constant wooing.
They also crave intimacy, even while many avoid it. “One must learn to love, and go through a good deal of suffering to get it,” wrote D.H. Lawrence, whose novels Lady’s Chatterley’s Lover and Women in Love shocked the world with their sensuality, “and the journey is always towards the other soul.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley, Alexander Pushkin, Charles Baudelaire, Nicholas Sparks
Honest and unguarded, romantics are willing to invest in relationships as an act of creation, using every ounce of energy and imagination. They are also enthusiastic guides when it comes to introducing others to all things of great beauty.
Romantics can be melancholic and easily devastated when love fails. They also tend to be insecure about their looks because so much is riding on them—love is initially tied up with the rules of physical attraction.
Gift-giving, lovemaking, poetry, wine, candlelit dinners, romantic trips, and fires on winter nights
- A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments by Roland Barthes
- Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
- On Love by Alain de Botton
- Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love by Helen Fisher
- The Sonnets by William Shakespeare
“If I had a flower every time I thought of you, I could walk through my garden forever.” -Alfred Tennyson