Some asexual people may still feel romantically towards others, or may still wish to find a romantic relationship, despite not feeling sexual attraction. This has led to people adopting the Split Attraction Model, which separates sexual attraction or desire from romantic attraction or desire, to express their orientation, and to make it clear what relationship(s) they may be looking for. Like with sexual orientations, romantic orientations are most often expressed in what gender the person is romantically attracted to in relation to their own:
- Heteroromantic: romantically attracted to/desires romantic relationships with the opposite gender
- Homoromantic: romantically attracted to/desires romantic relationships with the same gender
- Biromantic: romantically attracted to/desires romantic relationships with multiple genders
- Panromantic: romantically attracted to/desires romantic relationships without gender being a factor
- Aromantic: not romantically attracted to or desiring of romantic relationships at all
Some people use the -romantic suffix to express more specific aspects of how they feel romantic attraction or desire. Non-exhaustive lists of these terms can be found on the AVEN Wiki or AVEN forums. Typically, the same prefixes that people use in describing their sexuality can be applied to describing someone’s romantic orientation, including labels like grayromantic or demiromantic.
Differences between sexual and romantic orientations are by no means exclusive to asexual people. Use of these terms is more prevalent in the asexual community out of necessity, since for the general population both sexual and romantic orientation are usually implied within the same word. However, sexual people may still identify with a separate romantic attraction, as it more clearly communicates desired relationships and how they may feel towards other people. This is particularly useful for aromantic people to explain why they’re not drawn towards romantic relationships, no matter what their sexual orientation may be.
Still have questions? Browse the AVEN forums to read about other people’s identities and experiences or ask questions of your own.