What does aromantic mean?

People who are aromantic do not tend to have romantic feelings towards others. Being aromantic does not offer any insight into whether a person is straight, gay, bi, pan, lesbian etc., because it can affect anybody. Aro people can be gay, straight, bisexual, pansexual, or have any other sexual identity. They may be asexual or not.

This video provides a good outline.

There is a whole spectrum of identities that are considered to be different ways of being aromantic, and it is related – although not directly – with asexuality, which describes people who do not have sexual desires.

According to the University of Guelph, there are three subdivisions of aromantics:

– Romance repulsed aromantic (Apothiromantic)

– Romance neutral aromantic (Apatharomantic)

– Cupioromantic: someone who doesn’t feel romantic attraction but still desires a romantic relationship.

Additionally, they differentiate 20 ways to be either asexual or aromantic, such as being idemromantic, aegoromantic or fray romantic. Other sources cite different numbers of variations on the aromantic theme.

So, with romance-repulsed aromantics, romance-neutral aromantics, and cuprioromantics, on top of the 20 different ways the University outlines, it could give you the impression that aromanticism is a terrible complicated and difficult topic. That you’d have to know all the lingo and how to use it if you want to discuss aromanticism with anybody.

Fortunately, that’s not true. You just start where you are. We are all learning all the time.

So, what is aromanticism? It is a word that describes people who (with a wide range of caveats) do not experience romantic attraction.