Chevaliers, or knights in the Middle Ages, engaged in what were usually non-physical and non-marital relationships with women of nobility whom they served.These relations were highly elaborate and ritualized in a complexity that was steeped in a framework of tradition, which stemmed from theories of etiquette derived out of chivalry as a moral code of conduct.The discourse of romance continues to exist today together with intimacy.Shumway states that on the one hand, romance is the part that offers adventure and intense emotions while offering the possibility to find the perfect mate.
The word romance has also developed with other meanings in other languages such as the early nineteenth century Spanish and Italian definitions of "adventurous" and "passionate", sometimes combining the idea of "love affair" or "idealistic quality." In primitive societies, tension existed between marriage and the erotic, but this was mostly expressed in taboo regarding the menstrual cycle and birth.
According to Giddens since homosexuals were not able to marry they were forced to pioneer more open and negotiated relationships.
These kinds of relationships then permeated the heterosexual population.
Historically, the term "romance" originates with the medieval ideal of chivalry as set out in its chivalric romance literature.
Humans have a natural inclination to form bonds with one another through social interactions, be it through verbal communication or nonverbal gestures.