Romantic love is a form of love that is often regarded as different from simply sexual love, or lust. Romantic love generally means both an emotional and sexual love, as opposed to Platonic love. There is more emphasis on the emotions than on the bodily pleasures and, as far as physical intimacy is involved, less emphasis on the intimate parts.
Western society has historically emphasized romantic love far more than other cultures in which arranged marriages are the rule. However, the globalization of Western culture has spread Western ideas about love and romance.
Romantic love is the idealization of another person, and of a relationship with that person. Other ideas of love have been advanced by several philosophers and have been popular in different cultures.
Properties of romantic love purported by Western culture that might not appear elsewhere include:
- It must take you by surprise
- It cannot be controlled
- It should be the basis for a lifelong commitment
- It is the highest form of self-fulfillment
- personal relationship
- the idealization of romantic love
- marriage strike