Aromantic Spectrum

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Did you know that romantic attraction, like sexual orientation, exists on a spectrum and is fluid?

Aromantic Awareness Week:

The first aromantic awareness week was held in November 2015 to educate and spread awareness about the issues people with aromantic identities face. It’s also a celebration that gives the aromantic community space to share and validate their experiences with each other. More recently, aromantic awareness week moved to the week following Valentine’s Day to allow those who typically have difficulty around the holiday to share their own unique experiences around romance.

What is aromantic?

Aromantic individuals experience little to no romantic attraction. However, this does not mean that they are unable to engage in romance – only that they have little to no inner personal desire to do so. People who are aromantic can have healthy relationships with their partners whether they choose to display their feelings in non-romantic ways or engage in romantic behavior for their partner. Just because an aromantic person is in a relationship does not mean their identity or romantic attraction is invalid.

Though there is a tendency to use the words interchangeably, intimacy and romance are different. Intimacy comes in many forms, and not just with romantic partners. Intimacy involves being emotionally close to another person and having those feelings returned. Intimate relationships can be between friends, family members and even between parent and child. Whereas, romance is based upon one specific feeling, love, and is typically discussed in the context of romantic partners.

Spectrums and Fluidity

It’s important to know that not every aromantic individual experiences the same lack of desire for romance in the same way. This leads aromantic identities to exist on a spectrum between those who do and do not experience romantic attraction. It’s also important to note that one’s spot on the spectrum is not static. One’s desire for romance can vary by situation, context, and the people involved.

Aromantic Terminology

People’s feelings about romance vary depending on what part of the aromatic spectrum we’re looking at. Those with the same identities tend to have similar attitudes towards romance and feelings about romantic relationships that range from repulsion and aversion to indifference and favorable.

Aromantic is used as an umbrella term that refers to a range of identities for those who experience little to no romantic desire. Individuals who experience some desire identify as grayromantic, and those who only experience romantic attraction after creating an emotional bond to another person identify as demiromantic. Individuals who desire romance and are not considered aromantic are referred to as alloromantic, meaning one who experiences romantic attraction.

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