a closet romantic


Senior Member
Cat wondered if her fifty dollars was safe. As soon as Charlie had arrived on the scene, she and Lyn had followed their normal routine of putting money on how long he’d last. Cat had him gone by March. Lyn had him lasting until at least June. A closet romantic, that girl.
Source: Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty
Context: Gemma is in a new relationship. Cat and Lyn are her triplet sister’s.

If someone is a closet romantic, it means she keeps her romantic life secret/covert, right?

closet - adjective - secret; covert • a closet feminist.
According to UD: a closet romantic is someone who pretends to hate romance and all things romantic. Usually seen as someone who's very mean and/or agressive: Shandy seemed like a complete bitch on the outside, but she was secretly a closet romantic.

Thank you.
  • kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    This is a little bit complex to explain because it's actually a bit of humor, as well.

    She and her sister made a bet regarding the time when their sister's boyfriend would leave. That's not very polite, really. It means they are cynical about their sister's relationship. If they are betting on things like that then you might think neither one is a romantic (a believer in true love and that sort of thing, like "love conquers all") at heart. They don't believe their sister's relationship will last. But Cat, the sister the passage talks about, bet that Charlie would leave by March and Lyn bet that he might stay as along as June. That means Lyn, in theory, has a little more hope. So her sister Cat calls her a closet romantic - meaning that although she doesn't show it on the outside, she is a believer in true love. Closet means "hidden" in this context. If you have something in a closet it's hidden.

    But it's all really a joke because Lyn also bet that Charlie would leave. She doesn't really have hope for the relationship either. Her bet was just a few months longer than Cat's - no real difference really. They both think the relationship is doomed. A few months is not enough to make a difference if it were really true love. Cat is just being funny.
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