”An aromantic is a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others. Where romantic people have an emotional need to be with another person in a romantic relationship, aromantics are often satisfied with friendships and other non-romantic relationships”.
Do you agree with us this definition doesn’t help understanding what it is we are talking about/dealing with/making sense of. Aromantic: meaning ‘no romance’. But what is it intended with the word romance? I am immediately hit by Gaga’s Bad Romance ‘ra-ra’ thing, which as reductive as it may sound to those who landed here hoping to discover Schopenhauer 3.0, it does partly explain what romance actually is. Aromantic: definition of somebody who doesn’t necessarily need love or sex in their life. We started having questions flooding our head when we also understood in this definition the two don’t exclude each other.
We are going to have a look at all the possible declinations of aromanticism. For what you know you could be an aromantic too.
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Aromantic Vs asexual
Romance is often identified with sex, or at least it does most likely involve sex. However aromantic and asexual are not the same thing at all: not all aromantic are asexuals and vice versa. This means aromantics may still have sex and experience physical attraction, but, according to the word aromantic meaning itself, it is the need of being involved in a love relationship that is not experienced at all.
Aromantic/platonic/love or friendship?
Drawing a line between what belongs to the emotional sphere and what to the physical sphere when it comes to love is without a doubt one of the trickiest arguments to venture in. Rationality, classifications, categories are words love doesn’t abide by. What is the difference between the love given and received between friends and the one in a platonic relationship? If on one side ‘love is irrational’ acts as one of humanity’s pillars, on the other it is also true love is about caring for one another, the ‘my rock’ type of description you would give of your partner on your vows.
To get out of this intricate language pickle, we have had a look at how aromantics (also seen as ‘aro’) classify themselves, and made sense out of it all:
Demiromantic: a term referred to those who can experience romance, as in romantic attraction, but only after they have established an emotional bond with another person.
Lithromantic or akoiromantic: do you often find yourself wondering why the type of romance you wind up trapped in is the one way love type? It might well be the case you qualify for being one of the two terms above. According to them, you might actually appreciate romance only of it is not reciprocated, and if it is, it will fade away.
Quoiromantic (or WTFromanticism): to define those who are unable to understand if they feel attraction or not. Lorna 81 can help us out understanding what in practical terms quoiromantic might translated into with her post on Asexuality.org
*Confused about whether I feel platonic or romantic attraction
*I can’t make romantic moves myself
*I don’t want to cohabit
*I prefer my own bed
*I’m uncomfortable with the terms boyfriend and girlfriend
*If we reverted fully to just being friends I wouldn’t let myself get into a romantic relationship again!
Cupioromantic: this is a tricky one to grasp and we can’t get our heads around it even after trying hard. If you are aromantic but still desire a romantic relationship, you are a cupioromantic. Just a notch contradictory.
Gray romanticism: those who are in between aromanticism and romanticism.
Since these terms cannot actually draw definite lines around what type of ‘relationship’ you might desire from other people, those who can see in themselves some of the traits of more than one of the categories prefer instead to label themselves according to the situation they are experiencing. They go along with what they become, which makes everything even more puzzling than without the categories.
We are all familiar with the LGBT rainbow flag, but there’s another combination of stripes and colour scheme that has risen in popularity recently, the aromantic flag. If you have come across a 5-stripe flag featuring dark green/light green/yellow/grey/ black, it means that someone is spreading the word on aromanticism. To be more specific, the dark green is for aromanticism, light green for gray romanticism, white or yellow for lithromanticism, grey for demiromanticism and black for WTFromanticism.
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What we haven’t told you yet, is that all this lack or romance, or no need of it, might not be a good sign at all.
Are we really going to deny one of the purest, sacred and most universal things there are in the world?
And if we are ready to do so, why are we doing it and at what price? Is a world without romantic love even a world worth to be lived in?