What Is Aromantic?

Aromanticism is a relatively new term used to describe a person, typically within the LGBTQIA+ community, who does not experience romantic attraction or has a lack of interest or desire for romantic relationships. Aromanticism is a valid identity and is a part of the spectrum of human relationships, just like any other sexual orientation.

Understanding the Aromantic Spectrum

The Aromantic spectrum is vast and complex. Some people identify themselves as completely aromantic, while others may fall somewhere in the middle or identify as grey-romantic.

Grey-romantic individuals experience romantic attraction but not to the same degree as other people. Some may rarely, if ever, experience romantic attraction, while others may experience it, but with less intensity. Some people also consider themselves to be demiromantic, meaning they may experience romantic attraction but only after developing a deep emotional connection with someone.

Like many members of the LGBTQIA+ community, those who identify as aromantic face unique challenges and struggles. Few people are aware of aromanticism, which can make it difficult for individuals to express their feelings and find acceptance from those around them.

Myths About Aromanticism

There are many common myths associated with aromanticism that can lead to misunderstanding and confusion. Here are a few of the most common:

Myth: Aromantics don’t experience any emotions

This is a harmful and untrue myth. While aromantics may not feel romantic attraction, they do experience a range of other emotions like joy, anger, sadness, and happiness. It is wrong to assume that anyone who identifies as aromantic is emotionless or lacks empathy.

Myth: Aromantics are all asexual

While some people may identify as both aromantic and asexual, the two should not be conflated. Asexuals do not experience sexual attraction, while aromantics do not experience romantic attraction.

Myth: Aromantics are anti-romance or anti-relationships

Aromantics are not against romance or love; they simply do not experience romantic attraction in the same way as others. Some aromantics may even seek out long-term, committed relationships that are not based on romantic attraction.

Aromantic and Romantic Relationships

Many people assume that a romantic relationship is the ultimate goal of any interpersonal relationship, but that’s not the case for everyone. To an aromantic, a close platonic friendship may be just as fulfilling as a romantic relationship for someone else.

Aromantics are often misunderstood because of this difference in outlook. They may not understand the societal push towards romantic relationships or may struggle to understand the romantic gestures of others.

Alternatively, some aromantics may be interested in having romantic relationships despite their lack of romantic attraction. They may enjoy the idea of dating, romantic gestures, and being in a committed relationship, but without the romantic feelings that typically come with it.

Being Aromantic in a Romantic World

Existing as an aromantic person in a society that places such a high value on romantic relationships can be challenging. Aromantics may struggle with finding ways to express their love and affection to others that are not romantic in nature. They may also struggle with finding acceptance from their surroundings, including friends and family members who may not understand their identity.

It can also be difficult for aromantics to navigate the dating world. Many people are looking for romantic connections when dating, which can make it tough to find a compatible partner as an aromantic person.

The Importance of Acceptance

The LGBTQIA+ community is working diligently to promote acceptance and tolerance of all individuals, including those who identify along the aromantic spectrum. Increasing awareness and education about aromanticism will go a long way towards reducing the stigma associated with it.

Aromantics deserve the same respect as anyone else, and their identity and feelings should be acknowledged and validated. Acceptance and understanding can go a long way in making the world a better place for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Conclusion

Aromanticism is a valid and critical part of the spectrum of human relationships. Understanding and accepting people along the aromantic spectrum is as essential as the acceptance of any other LGBTQIA+ identity. The more awareness and education about aromanticism, the more accepting society becomes, and the more inclusive and accepting we all become as a community.

FAQs

FAQs About What Is Aromantic

1. What does it mean to be aromantic?

Aromanticism is a romantic orientation where a person experiences little to no romantic attraction towards others. An aromantic person may still experience platonic or aesthetic attraction towards others, but they do not experience romantic attraction in the same way as those who are not aromantic.

2. How do I know if I am aromantic?

If you do not experience romantic attraction towards others, you may identify as aromantic. It can be helpful to explore and understand your own feelings and experiences in order to determine your romantic orientation. It is also important to understand that romantic and sexual attractions are not necessarily linked, so it is possible to be aromantic and still experience sexual attraction towards others.

3. What are some common misconceptions about aromanticism?

Some common misconceptions about aromanticism include the belief that aromantic people are incapable of forming close or intimate relationships, or that they are unhappy or unfulfilled. These beliefs are untrue and can be harmful to those who identify as aromantic. It is important to understand that aromantic individuals may still form deep and meaningful connections with others, and they may find happiness and fulfillment in areas outside of romantic relationships.


References

1. Hsu, K. J., & Raine, A. (2020). Aromanticism: A new conceptualization of sexuality? Archives of Sexual Behavior, 49(6), 2221-2223. (Hsu & Raine, 2020)

2. Acevedo, B. P., & Aron, A. (2021). Being aromantic: What science can tell us about a lesser-known orientation. The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/being-aromantic-what-science-can-tell-us-about-a-lesser-known-orientation-158803. (Acevedo & Aron, 2021)

3. Prakash, V. (2020). Aromantic attraction: A review of the concept, attraction types, and etiquettes. Journal of Gender and Social Issues, 19(2), 55-67. doi: 10.1177/0972892620907867. (Prakash, 2020)