Romeo's relationship with Rosaline is more characteristic of courtly love than is the relationship between Romeo and Juliet. For example, courtly love involves no physical contact but a great deal of mooning on the part of the man, who is distracted and sleepless because he is obsessed with his beloved and willing to go to all extents to defend her. The woman, on the other hand, is haughty and pure. At the beginning of the play, when Romeo imagines he is in love with Rosaline, Benvolio tells Lady Montague that he has seen Romeo "underneath the grove of sycamore / That westward rooteth from this city side, / So early walking did I see your son" (I.2.111-113). Benvolio sees Romeo taking an early morning walk under sycamore trees, but Romeo is so distracted while thinking about his love that he does not even see his friend. Romeo's parents wonder what is wrong with him, but, as is characteristic of a courtly lover, Romeo keeps his love a secret from them and prefers to think about his love in private.
At the beginning of Romeo's relationship with Juliet, he also acts like a courtly lover, admiring her beauty from afar when he sees her at Capulet's ball. He is full of praise for her, saying of Juliet, "It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night / Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear" (I.5.43-44). He compares the brightness of her beauty to a jeweled earring hanging from the ear of an African person. Juliet, like a courtly lover, tells Romeo when he first takes her hand, "Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, / Which mannerly devotion shows in this" (I.5.97-98). She compares his hands to those of a pilgrim, who touches saints. She is pretending to only see pure intentions in Romeo's touch.
However, once Juliet and Romeo meet, they quickly discard most of the conventions of courtly love and kiss. Juliet is not the traditional coy mistress. For example, after Romeo hears her declaring her love for him, she says, "Fain would I dwell on form. Fain, fain deny / What I have spoke. But farewell compliment!" (II.1.88-89). This means that she wants to follow conventions and deny what she has just said, but she is bidding farewell to what is considered conventional. She quickly discards the conventions of courtly love in her relationship with Romeo.