First and foremost, a romantic person is willing to regularly show how much they love and adore the object of their affection. They might regularly offer small displays of affection, whether that’s through acts of service, words of affirmation, or other sweet gestures.
“Whether you bring your partner a love-filled cup of coffee each morning, lather each other’s backs in the shower, or enjoy holding hands as you walk, true romance is all about showing your love for each other in consistent, meaningful ways,” Manly says. “Consistent displays of meaningful attention (whether it’s kissing, small token gifts, touch, or whispering ‘sweet nothings’) can keep a romantic mood alive every day.”
“The most romantic of partners are those who are mindful of their significant other’s needs and desires in passionate, thoughtful ways,” Manly says. “The most important habit shift to make if trying to become more romantic is attentiveness. If you become tuned in to what your partner wants and needs, you can craft spontaneous surprises and long-term romantic patterns that will eternally thrill your partner.”
Importantly, a romantic person doesn’t just offer a bunch of gifts and sweet nothings with no real meaning behind them. A huge part of what makes someone or something romantic is the idea that the love and passion they offer is unwavering and enduring, and it’s uniquely offered to a specific person. That’s what separates a romantic person from a flirt: the intensity, longevity, and specificity of their feelings.
That’s why the most romantic speeches or love letters, for example, are often highly personalised: “For a longtime love, you want to talk about memories, overcoming obstacles together, what made you fall in love initially, why you still love them today, and what you see in the future,” Lia Miller, M.A., MPA, MSW, a writer and clinically trained social worker, writes at mbg.
A tendency for big gestures
The original concept of romance came from stories of the chivalrous deeds of knights willing to lay down their lives for love. In modern times, dramatic gestures are still associated with the idea of romance: traveling long distances to surprise the person you love, proposing in front of a big crowd of people, or even simply talking about your future together early on in a relationship.
Romantic people might also specifically describe their love for someone in highly sentimental, cosmic, or larger-than-life terms, such as describing their lovers as “soul mates,” talking about how fate brought them together, or declaring that their love will last them to the grave and beyond. They may have a tendency to idealize their partner or their relationship as well, which may not exactly be a healthy tendency, despite the romanticism of it.
On the flip side, not everyone will consider sweeping gestures and over-the-top declaration of love to be romantic. Sometimes being a romantic person is simply about being highly present, warm, and affectionate with your partner in the day-to-day moments.
“Meaningful gifts and memorable trips are touching, standout moments in a relationship,” marriage therapist Linda Carroll, LMFT, writes at mbg. “However, it’s the steady sprinkle of smaller moments of kindness and care that create a trusting and healthy relationship.”
Being a romantic person means setting a tone of affectionate love and passion year-round, not just on special occasions like Valentine’s Day or someone’s birthday, Manly points out.
“A true romantic partner tends to ‘date’ [their] significant other throughout the relationship rather than devoting romantic energy to only one or two hallmark dates per month or year,” she explains. “Being a true romantic is a way of life.”