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Lithromantic: What It Is, What Makes One & 15 Signs You May Be One

If you have a crush on someone, but then you back off at the first sign that they like you back, then you might be a lithromantic. Here’s how to know.


As with any romantic orientation, when someone identifies as a lithromantic, it is solely up to them.

Sexuality is a wide and diverse spectrum. We no longer live under just two terms, “heterosexual” and “homosexual.” We separate our romantic lives and sexual lives, and those have their own definitions.

The world has opened up, and we identify ourselves however we see fit, and all we have to say is: Finally.

But, with that growing acceptance comes confusion. There are a lot more terms and identities to learn and understand. Like, lithromantic. It certainly isn’t as well known as gay, bisexual or pansexual.

[Read: The list of sexualities and 15 main gender orientations you must know about]

What does lithromantic mean?

Lithromantic, also known as akoiromantic and apromantic, refers to a person who feels romantic love but does not desire those feelings to be reciprocated. Lithromanric sits on the romantic spectrum, meaning you don’t desire a relationship.

But, with lithromanticism, you have feelings, just not the desire that others have, to do anything about them.

If you are lithromantic, you may love someone, but more so in theory than practice. You are comfortable with the daydreaming that many people find torturous. Regardless, someone who identifies as lithromantic does not see the need for a relationship to satisfy them. [Read: When you love someone but don’t want to be loved in return]

The origin of the term lithromantic

The word “lithromantic” comes from the combination of the Greek word “lithos” – which means stone – and romantic. The reason for this is because sometimes a lithromantic acts as unemotional as a stone. 

The term was actually coined by a Tumblr user in 2016. This person identified as “stone.”

However, some people think the term has existed for longer than that – maybe even before the invention of the internet. But no evidence has been able to be found for that so far.

So, if it was coined by one Tumblr user in 2016, how did it spread so quickly? Well, today lithromantic is also used interchangeably with the word “akoiromantic.” This is because some people claimed that the word lithromantic appropriated lesbian culture as an allusion to the “stone” sexual identity among “butch” lesbians. [Read: Demiromantic – What it is, traits, and why it takes you longer to fall in love]

Regardless, lithromantics actually have multiple different flags that they use. However, the most used on is a red, orange, yellow, white, and black horizontal striped one. This is the same one that is used by lithosexuals too.

The opposite of lithromantic is someone who is called cupioromantic. The definition of a cupioromantic is a person who is aromantic but still desires a romantic relationship. 

Why is someone a lithromantic?

In essence, a lithromantic desires unrequited love. This might sound strange to a lot of people because most people want to be loved by the people they love.

So, there are some speculations as to why someone might be like this. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but here are some theories.

Some people who see themselves as lithromantic don’t believe they were just born like that. However, it also doesn’t necessarily mean that they have trauma in their past that made them that way either. Although it could.

It is possible that some lithromantics are that way because of some psychological or emotional trauma in their past. They might find it painful to emotionally connect and bond with another person for some reason. 

If that’s the case, then they prefer the fantasy of a romantic relationship over the real thing, mostly because they find it safer. [Read: Romantic orientation – The most common ones all of us must know]

But this also may not be the case for some lithromantics. In their cases, they could just be that way for unknown reasons. 

Most lithromantics are completely comfortable with their orientation. However, it’s the people around them that might not understand them. This could lead to them pressuring the lithromantics into relationships that they don’t want to be in. [Read: What is unrequited love and how to deal with it]

Signs you may be lithromantic

To understand the lithromantic side in you, we have a list of signs that could point you in the right direction.

But even with all of this though, identifying as lithromantic is up to you. Even if you relate to these signs, you don’t need to identify in any way that doesn’t feel right to you.

Wondering if you may be lithromantic? Take a look at the following signs to determine if you are.

1. You don’t feel the need to be in a romantic relationship

Lithromantic people feel romantic feelings for another person but have no desire to be romantic with those feelings reciprocated. You may develop a relationship with someone and feel uncomfortable with the romantic side of it.

Unlike many young adults who crave the reciprocation of their feelings, as lithromantic, you would be perfectly content to never have those feelings returned. [Read: The 6 types of attraction you should know about]

2. You feel emotionally unavailable

We all get this way, sometimes typically after a heartbreak or traumatic event in our lives. However, if you feel this way for a long time, this may be a sign that you are lithromantic.

There are tons of reasons someone isn’t emotionally available, but it could be your romantic identity if you can’t identify another reason. You aren’t emotionally available to anyone else because you don’t want to be. [Read: How to make yourself emotionally available – 17 ways to open up to love and life]

3. You’re repulsed by the idea of romance

It just grosses you out. Why would anybody want to express their love for each other? Yuck.

Romance might gross you out if you are a lithromantic. Not only do you feel no desire for a romantic connection, but you are actually turned off by it. You may be happy for friends and family who are happy in relationships but dart away from that idea for yourself.

But, lithromanticism, like all identities, are on a spectrum. This means you may feel repulsed by the idea of romance or just uncomfortable or disinterested.

4. You’re afraid of romance

Maybe you aren’t repulsed by the idea of romance, but it terrifies you. Opening yourself up on that level is terrifying and natural. Many lithromantic people feel the same way.

But, don’t assume that just because you fear getting romantically close to someone that you are lithromantic. There are tons of reasons for a fear of commitment or closeness. You could have trust issues or have unresolved issues from childhood. [Read: Pistanthrophobia – Understand the fear of trusting someone]

5. You seek platonic relationships

Even if you date this person, you prefer your relationship more platonic. If lithromantic, you may be sexually attracted to your partner, which is as far as the attraction goes. You may also be romantically and sexually attracted to your partner but do not want love reciprocated.

If being in a relationship makes you feel wrong or out of place, this could be a sign of lithromanticism.

You can have sexual desires, but the romance and connection beyond that just don’t feel right to you. That’s all fine, but be sure to discuss your feelings with your partner because they may not be able to handle that.

6. You lose the feeling of romantic love over time

Many people who are lithromantic enter relationships with a level of romantic love for their partner and lose it over time. Because you can have strong feelings for someone and assume that should lead to a relationship as it does for others and in media, you get involved.

But, eventually, those feelings turn into only platonic and sexual feelings. Once the feelings you had are reciprocated, and you fall into a relationship, you realize you were happy without that. [Read: Falling out of love & why it happens to you]

7. Physical touch makes you uncomfortable

This is not referring to sexual touch by any means, because romantic orientation and sexual orientation have nothing to do with one another.

As far as romantic touch goes, you may be uncomfortable with things like hand-holding, cuddling, hugging, etc. No need to fret! You are not alone. Many lithromantics and non-lithromantics feel this way.

You could be great with sex, but intimacy is where you feel off or uncomfortable. It isn’t the physical act of touching, but the emotional meaning behind it that feels wrong. [Read: 36 types of physical touch and what they mean ]

8. You may find yourself attracted to fictional characters

This is not always the case, but some lithromantics fantasize about relationships they could have with characters from their favorite books, movies, and television series.

If they have feelings for fictional characters, then there is no possible way that those feelings could be reciprocated. Thus, making them feel comfortable with those feelings.

Knowing that nothing can ever happen gives you a sense of safety. You have no desire to truly be with this character because the fantasy is fulfillment enough. [Read: How to find your fictional character crush in real life]

9. You may not want any type of relationship—romantic or not

Since it is a spectrum, everybody who identifies as a lithromantic falls on a different part and identifies accordingly. Some may feel uncomfortable with any relationship, be it sexual in nature or romantic in nature.

The idea of developing any bond with another human being makes them very uncomfortable. They seek out short-lived interactions with others. This could mean you don’t have close friends. It could mean you have loose acquaintances or simply distance yourself from others altogether.

10. You may lose feelings for somebody if the topic of relationships is brought up

Like losing romantic feelings over time, if somebody close to you brings this person up and starts a conversation about them, you feel very uncomfortable. This even makes you analyze those feelings and psych yourself out.

Lithromantics may stop having romantic feelings for an individual or their partner if somebody brings it up. They may not want to acknowledge that those feelings exist.

Even the discussion of feelings or the idea of a relationship could be enough to shut those feelings down.

11. You choose to keep your romantic feelings *crushes* a complete secret

You might be in a relationship now and discuss how you choose to identify and discuss your feelings *or not at all*. However, for those that are single, you prefer to keep your crushes a complete secret forever, never telling the other person or others how you feel.

This might not be because you are afraid to tell them, but simply because you prefer not to have those feelings reciprocated. This way, they never will be.

You may not even tell friends or anyone else about a crush. While many others feel the need to get this off their chests or want to speak it into existence, you desire quite the opposite.[Read: 22 secrets to living a happy life you want]

12. You may find yourself sexually attracted to people first

You may seek out sexual partners instead of romantic partners and later develop romantic feelings for this person.

At which point, you choose to disclose those feelings that you have for that person. Non-committal sexual relationships may be your ideal situation because you do not need to talk about your “feelings.”

Remember how you identify sexually and romantically is your own business, and it does not need to be disclosed to anybody or anyone. You are welcome to do so if you choose, but do consider the feelings of others. If you know someone has feelings for you and that makes you shut down, let them know so that they can move on.

13. You may fall for those who are unavailable

This may actually seem like the ideal situation for you. You seek out people who are unavailable because you don’t desire any reciprocation. Falling in love with a married friend wouldn’t be the worst thing because you don’t want those feelings returned.

You would never act on the feelings, not just because it is wrong, but because you don’t want to. [Read: What if you love someone that is taken?]

14. You can’t describe it

When you don’t want a romantic relationship, there is usually a reason. Maybe you don’t like the person or are hung up on someone else. But, when you are lithromantic, you often can’t actually describe why you feel the way you do.

You know how things usually go in society with dating and relationships, but you don’t fit that mold.

15. You’re not lonely

Many people that are single for a long time feel the need to be close to someone. They crave the company of others and may want a relationship even though they don’t actually have romantic feelings for anyone at the moment.

For someone who is lithromantic, they will feel okay by themselves. Whether they have feelings for someone or not, they do not crave that connection that others do.

There’s nothing wrong with being lithromantic

There are many different sexual orientations, and lithromantic is just one of many. As with any other orientation, there is nothing wrong with it.

The goal is for the person to be happy and comfortable in their own skin. And also, hopefully, they can get the people in their life to understand them too.

[Read: Why are people so afraid of being single?]

Hopefully, these signs helped you determine whether or not you may be lithromantic and what it means as it is a newer term.

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