Centuries ago, candles used to be somewhat expensive because they were mainly obtained from boiled down animal fat (or tallow) from the carcasses of slaughtered livestock such as cattle. And so, only those who had money to spare could afford them. But, times have changed since then, and paraffin wax candles are now the most popular kinds of candles in global markets. However, this is not the only thing that has changed about candles. In the ancient past, they used to be one of the major sources of indoor illumination, but nowadays, they are considered a symbol of romance.


Candles have been around, on this planet, for a very long time. And while they have always been known as one of the few sources of indoor illumination, they have not always been closely associated with romance. Nowadays, whenever people think and talk about candles, one of the things that tend to pop up in the discussion is the concept of romance, and we’re talking about candlelight dinners, bubble baths and candles, and the whole shebang. Quite simply put, candles are a big deal when it comes to the realm of the butterflies-in-your-belly, heart-aflutter-y kind of romance (and really, is there any other kind?). However, back in ancient times, candles were simply one of the fewest and oldest sources of indoor illumination.

Originally made from boiled down animal fat and wicks from natural fibers, the earliest forms of candles were mainly used for providing illumination (particularly indoor illumination), before the invention of the electric light bulb towards the end of the 19th century. However, after the notable invention of the electric light bulb by Thomas Edison, the need and popularity of candles began to drop in global markets across the world, particularly in developed parts of the world that had already begun to depend heavily on electricity. This drastic change occurred in the world during a period that fell within the industrial age – or more precisely, the second industrial revolution – when people were rapidly beginning to realize that their energy needs were far greater than many of the existing technology they had on hand; candles belonged to the group of that existing technology. And perhaps, it was also during that time, when the bright shining, wide-ranged light of electricity was shining out from electric light bulbs that people began to subconsciously admit – and even appreciate – the intimacy provided by candlelight.


As we have already established, people consider candle light romantic for many reasons, some of them include the following:

  • Intimacy

When it comes to the subject of illumination (particularly indoors), one of the first things to note is the fact that everybody needs light in order to see their surroundings. And as the glow from a single candle (or a bunch of candles) in a dark – or dimly lit – room can only burn so bright, people who happen to be dining under such conditions tend to lean into the light; and consequently, towards each other (since many, or at least one, of those candles tend to be placed on the table, smack between the two dining parties on a table for two, in many restaurants). This happens, not just because they want to see what they are eating but because humans as a species are generally attracted to the light in dark and dimly lit surroundings. And we don’t need the expert advice of relationship experts to know that when two people lean in towards each other across a table for two, particularly if they already like each other, romance is most likely bound to bloom between them.

However, even in a well lit room, candlelight has been known to work its magic of charm, as the mere sight of it has been known to make many people go weak in the knees. Yet, this charm might be considerably more potent when provided in the right manner and doses; which is under dimly lit conditions.

  • Atmosphere creation and change

Another reason why candlelight is so romantic is because of its ability to influence, create and change the atmosphere of a place; much like the concept of romance itself. Asides providing intimacy, candlelight can also provide a very notable and apparent change in the atmosphere of a place. This is the reason why candlelit dinners are not the only popular ideas to stem from the usage of candles to influence the atmosphere; no, we also have concepts like candles and bubble baths (and have you ever noticed the way many event planners tend to use candles when planning proposals? Yep, it turns out that romance is not just about flowers and their petals these days. And you may fare better with upping the romance factor as you go down on one knee if you add candle light to the mix).

But it’s not just about romance when it comes to candles and their ability to change the atmosphere; relaxation and stress relief also play a major part. Candles – particularly those of the scented variety – are major items which are often used in aromatherapy, so as to aid meditation, relaxation and stress relief. And so, while we’re trying to figure out why candlelight is so romantic, we also need to consider the fact that the candle’s charm might be less about the romance and more about candlelight’s ability to set you at ease (which might actually explain reason why so many even planners use them in planning marriage proposals).

  • Pop culture

Pop culture and the media are one of the greatest reasons why many people think candlelight is so romantic. This is because for a very long time, they have done a great job of disseminating the fact that candlelight is romantic (what with their popular and frequent portrayals of candlelit dinners and candlelit bubble baths; as well as the way actors react to these things on screen). And because of their job well done, as well as the comments of society as a whole, even if you’ve never actually gone on a candlelit dinner, you probably already know that it’s supposed to be romantic. So, basically, what we’re trying to say is this: in some cases, it’s all about the hype.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top