February 21st-27th is Aromantic Awarness Week. How much do you know about the Aromantic Spectrum?
20th February, 2021
In the myriad of Queer identities that make up our glorious Queer ‘alphabet soup’, aromanticism is perhaps one of the lesser-known and understood.
So: what is aromanticism?
Put simply, aromanticism is a romantic orientation (rather than a sexual orientation) in which individuals experience little or no romantic attraction, or a sense of romantic attraction that is different from normative societal expectations. Some aromantic people may feel uninterested in relationships, repulsed by the idea of romance, or simply do not experience a sense of romantic attraction. Others may only experience romantic attraction under certain conditions that are at odds with how most individuals experience romantic attraction.
Like with any sexual and/or romantic attraction, aromanticism is a diverse experience which manifests itself in different ways from person to person. Whilst some aromantic people are also asexual (that is, experience little or no romantic or sexual attraction), there are also aromantic people who are allosexual (that is, they experience little or no romantic attraction, but do experience sexual attraction). As such, there are gay, lesbian, bisexual+ and heterosexual people who are also aromantic.
Aromantic people may feel a sense of isolation and disconnect in a world, particularly one where romantic attraction is so prevalent and the norm. It’s also important to understand that aromantic people can and do experience love – in much the same way many of us experience love for people without being romantically (or sexually) attracted to them.
For non-aromantic people (alloromantic), aromanticism may be difficult to understand. But given that it’s Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week, it’s the perfect time to find out more!
The aromantic umbrella
Because aromanticism is experienced in different ways by aromantic people, aromanticism is also an umbrella term.
Some of the more common identities within the aromantic umbrella are:
A broad term in which an individual experiences little or no romantic attraction at all. Aromantic people may simultaneously be asexual (asexual, aromantic), or, they may experience sexual attraction without romantic attraction (e.g. bisexual, aromantic).
An individual who does not experience romantic attraction until a strong, deep emotional bond is formed.
An individual who experiences a romantic attraction that fades once it is reciprocated, or once a deep connection is formed.
An individual who experiences romantic attraction, but does not want it to be reciprocated; someone who may like the idea of a romantic attraction, but does not enjoy being in a romantic relationship or finds the attraction fades once a romantic relationship is formed.
- Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week
- AUREA (Aromantic-Spectrum Union for Recognition, Education and Advocacy)
- Aromantic on Reddit