Frequently asked questions about being aromantic.
What does aromantic mean?
An aromantic person is someone who doesn't experience romantic attraction. There’s no need for an aromantic to pair up with another person for romantic reasons. Aromantics are capable of feeling love - platonic love such as that between a mother and child or best friends is still love. Aromantics do have emotions, we are not cold or heartless people. Aromantics can have squishes. Aromantics may or may not enjoy acts such as holding hands or having candlelit dinners or cuddling. They just don't have romantic feelings towards the people they do them with. Aromantics may or may not desire to be in a long term relationship with another person (or several persons), however these relationships would be platonic from their side.
What is romantic attraction?
Romantic attraction is a very difficult thing to pin down. Put as simply as possible, it is a distinct fondness or affection toward someone that differs from what you would feel toward friends, family or people you admire. It may be characterized by a unique, almost surreal anxious-euphoria when sensing or thinking about this person and is distinguishable from hero worship. It typically involves butterflies in the stomach, heart fluttering or “melting” when interacting with them, some obsessiveness, all over warm and fuzzy feeling, and being swept into a dreamy state of mind, but experiences may vary depending on the individual and intensity of the case. Desires such as wanting to bond or be physically close with them are extremely common when experiencing romantic attraction, but there is no desire exclusive to romantic attraction nor are desires necessarily present at all when being romantically attracted to someone.
Am I aromantic?
An aromantic person is defined as "someone who does not experience romantic attraction." However, only you can decide which label best suits you. Reading this FAQ may help you decide whether or not you are aromantic. If you find that the aromantic label best describes you, you may choose to identify as aromantic.
I don't find anyone romantically attractive. Does that mean I'm aromantic?
By the definition, yes. Again, only you can decide to use aromantic as a label for yourself.
I like cuddling/handholding/candlelit dinners, could I still be aromantic?
Sure! No gesture is inherently romantic, it’s all about the meaning behind them. Many aromantics enjoy cuddling/hugging/candlelit dinners with friends or platonic partners.
I’m a very affectionate person. What do you make of that?
Having a cuddle drive or wanting to hug someone doesn’t make you romantic. It’s all about whether or not you feel romantic attraction, not about how affectionate you are.
I like sex and am sexually attracted to people, but not romantically attracted. What does this mean?
Romantic orientation and sexual orientation are separate. You do not have to be asexual to be aromantic - you could be sexual or demi or grey-a and still be aromantic. Aromantic bisexual, aromantic heterosexual, aromantic homosexual, aromantic pansexual etc. people all exist.
I’m demisexual, could I be aromantic?
Yes. Romantic orientation is separate from sexual orientation. A person who is demisexual only experiences sexual attraction after they have close emotional ties to their partner. Romance does not have to be involved to develop these close ties, the bond can be platonic. Check out some personal experiences on this thread.
I want to be in a relationship, does this mean I'm not aromantic?
There are aromantics in relationships with another person or persons while not experiencing romantic attraction to them. Queerplatonic relationship, zucchini, and aromantic relationship are all terms used for someone who is in a close platonic relationship with another person. Other aromantic people are happiest on their own or with a group of friends.
I only feel romantic attraction every now and then, am I aromantic?
You could be grey-romantic if you experience romantic attraction infrequently. There are also demiromantics who only experience romantic attraction after they form a close emotional bond with another person.
I have a crush, could I be aromantic?
Experiencing a crush indicates that you feel romantic attraction and therefore don't fit the definition. You could still be on the aromantic spectrum - for example, grey-romantic if you have very few crushes, or demiromantic if you only a crush after knowing someone for a long time, or lithromantic if you have a crush but don't want your feelings to be requited. Or you could be romantic! Only you can determine your identity.
I have a squish, could I be aromantic?
Yes! Squishes are separate from romantic orientation, they’re based on platonic interest (wanting to be friends with someone). Anyone can experience a squish, from aromantics, grey-romantics, demiromantics, to romantics.
I like romantic movies, I guess that means I'm not aromantic?
Your taste in movies has nothing to do with your romantic orientation. There are plenty of aromantics who enjoy romantic comedies and dramas, they just don’t feel romantic attraction themselves.
I don’t want to be alone. What does this mean?
Not every aromantic is a loner. Many of them have close family and friends, and some of them even desire long term platonic relationships (for example queerplatonic relationships).
- antiromantic: a type of an aromantic that does not feel romantic attraction whatsoever. They do not wish to be in any romantic relationship.
- aromantic: a person who does not experience romantic attraction
- akoiromantic: a person who experiences romantic love but does not want their feelings to be reciprocated.
- demiromantic: a person who does not experience romantic attraction until a close emotional bond has been forged
- grey-romantic: a person who does not experience romantic attraction very often, or otherwise feels between a romantic and an aromantic on the romantic scale
- squish: a desire to spend time with someone specifically and get to know them personally, sans romantic feelings. A platonic crush
- queerplatonic relationship: a relationship that is not romantic but involves a close emotional connection beyond what most people consider friendship. The commitment level in a queerplatonic relationship is often considered to be similar to that of a romantic relationship. People in a queerplatonic relationship may be of any romantic or sexual orientation.
- quoiromantic: a person on the aromantic spectrum who doesn’t see the lines between romance and friendship. Any of the following may also apply: cannot define romantic attraction and therefore do not know whether they experience it, have emotions between platonic and romantic attraction, or want to be in a queerplatonic relationship
- recipromantic: a person who does not experience romantic attraction until the other person is romantically attracted to them
- requiesromantic: a person who hardly or does not experience romantic attraction due to mental or emotional exhaustion, the exhaustion might have been caused by bad experiences of romance in the past.
- zucchini: a term used to refer to a partner in a queerplatonic relationship. Roughly equivalent to the terms boyfriend/girlfriend for a romantic relationship
- Aromantic thread on AVEN
- AVEN Aromantic Threads Index - a list of AVEN threads and some external webpages containing information and discussions related to aromanticism
- AroPlane - a forum for aromantics, grey-romantics, demiromantics, lithromantics, sexual aromantics, and other aromantic spectrum individuals
- Aromantic Asexuals - a forum for aromantic asexuals
- Aromantics Wiki