An introductory guide to living a more romantic, imaginative life – Silver Petticoat style.
Here at The Silver Petticoat Review, we have three focuses. One, romance. Two, Romanticism. And three, Romantic Living (though we haven’t focused on it as much in the past as we plan to in the future). But what does Romantic Living mean? It is easy to imagine romantic in an amorous way. However, Romantic Living is more of a lifestyle and a way of looking at the world than romantic love (though appreciating authentic romance can be a part of it).
Maybe you take the time to appreciate nature all around you, perhaps you never give up on your dreams, maybe you find beauty in the mundane, or perhaps you believe in kindred spirits. Romantic Living focuses on authentic emotion and optimism in a troubled world.
To better explain, I’m going to quote a segment of Modern Romanticism 101. It reads:
Romantic, with a capital R, means something very different to romantic or romance in general. Romantic with a capital R refers to the Romantic Period – better known as Romanticism (which is also different than romanticism).
Still, you may be scratching your head. What could possibly be the difference between Romanticism & romanticism? And what is the difference between Romantic & romantic?
According to the English Oxford Dictionary:
romanticism: The state or quality of being romantic.
Romanticism: A movement in the arts and literature which originated in the late 18th century, emphasizing inspiration, subjectivity, and the primacy of the individual.
Now, let’s look at romantic vs. Romantic. According to the English Oxford Dictionary:
1.1 (of a person) readily demonstrating feelings of love.
‘he’s very handsome, and so romantic’
1.2 Relating to love…
2 Of, characterized by, or suggestive of an idealized view of reality.
‘a romantic attitude toward the past’
Romantic: Relating to or denoting the artistic and literary movement of Romanticism.
‘the Romantic tradition’
Romantic Living then relates to definition two: “of, characterized by, or suggestive of an idealized view of reality.”
Another definition from Merriam Webster describes romantic as “marked by the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious, or idealized.”
Now, when we say “idealized” or “romanticized,” we do not see it negatively. Rather, we see finding beauty in the world, no matter how hard life gets, as a positive way of dealing with adversity. Think Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables. Or even the Doctor in Doctor Who choosing to look to the stars and make a difference and go on adventures.
Rose Tyler in Doctor Who says:
“It was a better life. I don’t mean all the traveling and seeing aliens and spaceships and things that don’t matter. The Doctor showed me a better way of living your life. You know he showed you, too. That you don’t just give up. You don’t just let things happen. You make a stand. You say no. You have the guts to do what’s right when everyone else just runs away!”
Now, we do still believe “romance” in the traditional use of the word is also central to Romantic Living. Maybe it means believing in authentic romance and chivalrous love. Or that reading a romance novel or watching a rom-com is lovely! Even if you’re single (like us!), you can still be a “romantic.” I’d argue Louisa May Alcott was a “romantic,” who loved writing sensation novels but was also single and loved “paddling” her own canoe and going on adventures.
Romantic Living Characteristics
We also feel like Romantic Living includes the most inspirational aspects of the Romantic Movement. So, without further ado, this is a list of some of the characteristics of Romantic Living (choose which ones work for you – individuality is, after all, of utmost importance!):
- Seek out authentic emotion and use one’s intuition.
- Embrace Artistic Expression and Passion.
- Discover Your True Self.
- Have an interest in spirituality, truth, mythology, or the supernatural; discover your personal beliefs.
- Welcome individualism (Jane Eyre is a fantastic fictional character who practices this trait).
- Have a love of nature, beauty, and the stars; connect to the Earth and animals. (IE: choosing to use cleaner beauty products, going on daily walks, volunteering to help animals at a shelter, or doing yoga on the beach.)
- Appreciate your childhood and what you can learn from it.
- Recognize the importance of imagination and creativity; Be a creator of whatever inspires you. (IE: Write that great love story you have always wanted to!)
- Believe in Equality and Free Will. With romantic Living, we can recognize that we are all the same. Embrace other cultures, learn about them.
- Embrace empathy and diversity.
- Focus on love instead of hate. Forgive others.
- Be interested in the past (IE: genealogy, period dramas, classics, art history, etc.)
- Appreciate Optimism.
- Have an interest in fairy tales and folklore.
- Believe in “real” romance but also appreciate romantic fiction and entertainment (whether commercial, escapist, or literary/artistic).
- Make a difference, have charity, stand up for what you believe in, fight for the underdogs, etc.
- Believe in kindred spirits.
- Find beauty all around you – even in the mundane.
- Be an ethical, kind-hearted, and humble leader.
- Practice Self-Care (IE: Meditate).
- Appreciate Romantic and Vintage Décor.
- Have a love of travel.
- Be fond of Vintage Glamour.
- Have a taste for adventure.
- Be a romantic rebel and fight for romance in a cynical world.
Again, Romantic Living means different things to different people. But to us, it’s a combination of imagination, idealism, optimism, authenticity, creativity, adventure, beauty, and yes, romance. So, find the characteristics that work for you and create a lifestyle of love, optimism, and imagination.
We have also added a new category to our website: Romantic Living Entertainment – movies, books, and shows embodying aspects of Romantic Living. Or using entertainment to inspire us in our own lives.
Be a Romantic Rebel
One aspect of Romantic Living that is important to us here at The Silver Petticoat Review is the last characteristic: Be a Romantic Rebel. While there are many ways to “be a romantic rebel,” one meaning of the phrase is specific to the Silver Petticoat mission.
First, we hope to help bring back quality romances in entertainment! While romance continues to thrive in the publishing industry, it is only recently that the romance genre has begun to revive in film and television thanks to movies like Crazy Rich Asians. And critics (and sometimes audience members) have not always been respectful or fair to the romance genre and, by extension, its fans. So, we want romance to get the respect it deserves.
The second aspect of our mission relates to creativity. In our About, we write:
“We’re also on a mission to find and promote old-fashioned chivalrous love stories, create new quality romances, and inspire other authors and storytellers to write them as well. Why? Because the world needs more love and imagination and less cynicism.”
And then to go back to the Romantic Living, we write in our About that:
“Ultimately, we hope to inspire kindred spirits to live more authentic, imaginative, and romantic lives so together we can all create a more beautiful world. We’re damsels not in distress fighting for the all-new optimistic Romantic Revolution and we want you to join with us as fellow Romantic Rebels. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a good love story, or being optimistic, after all.”
So, if you see the hashtag, #BeARomanticRebel, now you know what it means. We hope you join us!
The Silver Petticoat Review Manifesto
To summarize how we feel about Romantic Living on The Silver Petticoat Review, check out our Manifesto above. (If you subscribe to our newsletter, we will send you a free HD copy to download.) You can also read more about the inspiration behind it HERE.
So, that covers Romantic Living 101. What does Romantic Living mean to you? How are you a Romantic Rebel? Let us know!
We will be exploring more elements of Romantic Living in future articles. Stay tuned!