Romantic orientation

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Romantic orientation (also called affectional orientation) refers to an individual's pattern of romantic attraction based on a person's gender. This is considered distinct from sexual orientation, which refers specifically to a person patterns of sexual attraction, which is distinct from romantic attraction.

Romantic orientation terminology follows that of sexual orientation terminology:

  • A heteroromantic person is someone romantically attracted to a different sex or gender.
  • A homoromantic person is someone romantically attracted to the same sex or gender.
  • A biromantic or panromantic person is romantically attracted to multiple sexes or genders
  • An aromantic person is someone who is not romantically attracted to any sex or gender.

There are also some people who do not find the concept of romantic attraction useful, who may use terms such as "wtfromantic".

Like sexual orientation, there is a gray area between aromantic and romantic, which is called grayromantic. They may feel romantic attraction, but very rarely, , or very weak.

For many people, their romantic orientation and their sexual orientation may be in alignment, so the gender(s) of the people they fall in love with are also the gender(s) they are sexually attracted to. For others, however, their romantic and sexual orientations may not match. This is true not only for asexuals but for people of all sexual orientations. Although -romantic terminology is mostly used by individuals in the asexual community, the concept is considered applicable to people of all sexualities.

For asexuals, who do not experience sexual attraction, it is often their romantic orientation that determines which gender(s), if any, they are inclined to form romantic relationships with.

Outside of asexual discourse, where the concept of romantic orientation is often not used, the term "Sexual Orientation" is often used to refer to a persons overall combination of both romantic and sexual attractions, rather than differentiating between the two.


See also