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Anthony Giddens, in his book The Transformation of Intimacy: Sexuality, Love and Eroticism in Modern Society, states that romantic love introduced the idea of a narrative into an individual's life.

Historians believe that word "romance" to have developed in the French vernacular meaning "verse narrative." The word was originally an adverb of the Latin origin "Romanicus," meaning "of the Roman style." The connecting notion is that European medieval vernacular tales were usually about chivalric adventure, not combining the idea of love until late into the seventeenth century.These kinds of relationships then permeated the heterosexual population.Shumway also states that together with the growth of capitalism the older social relations dissolved, including marriage.There may not be evidence, however, that members of such societies formed loving relationships distinct from their established customs in a way that would parallel modern romance.Before the 18th century, many marriages were not arranged, but rather developed out of more or less spontaneous relationships.For the modern popular-fiction genre, see romance novel.

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