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Aromantic Asexual: What It Is & Traits & Challenges of this Sexual Identity

Most people are familiar with heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual orientations. But many have not heard of the aromantic asexual. Here’s what it means.

aromantic asexual

It’s not your fault that you don’t know the other types of sexual identities that exist in the world. In mainstream media, we’re only shown straight or gay people. Showing these sexual identities isn’t bad, they exist so they should be exposed. However, there are many other identities with which people identify. So, if you hear terms such as aromantic asexual floating around, you may wonder what they mean.

Some people choose to keep their identity private due to the fact that others won’t understand and won’t be accepting. But now, it’s time for us to take responsibility as a community and let everyone’s voice be heard.

Aromantic asexual – Looking at love in a different way

Many people have a hard time accepting identities out of the mainstream because it changes the way they learned about love.

Most societies taught us what love is in a specific way. However, aromantic asexual people do feel love. But, they see love in a non-traditional way. This doesn’t make it less or more, it’s just a different way to connect with someone. [Read: What does it feel like to be in love]

Society has come a long way in the last several decades. We used to live in a world where it was only acceptable to be heterosexual and married to someone of the opposite sex. But these days, we have discovered so many different ways that people feel sexual and romantic feelings for other people.

Some people are completely comfortable with these different types of sexualities. However, some others struggle with it – whether it is their own identity or of someone they love. And that’s okay.

It all starts with understanding and knowing what it is. So, let’s start the discussion with the difference between aromantic and asexual before we understand the romantic asexual identity better.

Aromantic vs. asexual

These two terms might sound the same to some people, but they are quite different. So, let’s define them both so we can get a better grip on what it means when you put the two of them together. [Read: Aromantic dilemma – 16 myths and truths about their love life]

What is aromantic? 

Most people seek to get into a romantic relationship of one kind or another. But not everyone desires to experience the “romantic” part of that partnership. A person who is aromantic does not experience romantic attraction or any interest in romantic relationships.

So, what exactly is “romantic attraction?” Romantic attraction refers to the desire to have emotional contact and interaction with a partner. However, it can be different for each person.

Romantic love involves feelings of passion and a desire for closeness and emotional intimacy. Most people experience romantic love that can be overwhelming. But for aromantic people, they don’t feel this way nor do they have any desire to.

Here are some characteristics of aromanticism.

a. Don’t experience any feelings of romantic attraction.

b. They don’t feel that they need a romantic relationship to feel complete or fulfilled.

c. Have a difficult time relating to romantic stories and/or movies.

d. Don’t experience having a “crush” or being “in love” with another person.

However, just because someone is aromantic doesn’t mean that they don’t feel or experience love. They love their family and friends just like anyone else does. But they don’t feel those butterflies when meeting someone. 

Aromantic people even desire to have sex and enjoy it. So, yes, they do have sex. They are physically and mentally attracted to other people, but that’s where the attraction ends. They just don’t fall in love with people who they have sex with. [Read: 16 myths and truths about the aromantic love life]

What is asexuality?

So now that we know what aromanticism is, what is asexuality? Well, asexuality is when an individual doesn’t experience sexual attraction to another person. Sure, if you’re highly sexual you may be thinking how is this even possible, but it is. Everyone is different. [Read: What it’s like for asexuals in the dating world]

In a nutshell, an asexual person has a persistent lack of sexual attraction to any gender. They neither experience sexual attraction nor can they choose to. These kinds of people are simply born without any sexual desires. 

One important thing to remember is that being asexual isn’t a lifestyle decision. Instead, it’s just that they don’t experience sexual attraction.

People who are celibate, dealing with sexual repression, or actively choose not to engage or give in to their sexual desires aren’t necessarily asexual. Asexuals simply don’t have the need, desire, or feeling to have sex with others.

Just because asexual people may not experience sexual attraction doesn’t mean that they can’t have sex or date other people. They can still feel romantically attracted to others. It’s just that the sexual part of the relationship isn’t part of who they are. [Read: 18 signs you’re asexual and don’t like getting laid as much as others]

What it means to be an aromantic asexual

Now that we’ve identified what it means to be asexual and aromantic independently, we need to talk about what it means when someone experiences both of these at the same time. And if you’re struggling with this, we’re glad you’re here reading this. It means you actually want to know what these words mean and educate yourself on the society you live in. 

You could also be unsure about your sexuality. So, if this helps you narrow down who you think you are, we’re happy to help. Consider this your guide to understanding aromantic asexual identity.

First, you have to know that this is a type of orientation, and it exists on a spectrum. Not all asexuals are aromantic nor are all aromantics asexual.

Regarding the spectrum, here are some other types of orientations that are closely related to the asexual aromantic.

a. Demiromantic

They only experience romantic attraction after forming an emotional bond with someone.

b. Lithromantic

They experience the romantic attraction without the desire to have it reciprocated, and if it is, they lose their romantic attraction

[Read: Lithromantic – what it is, what makes one, and 15 signs you may be one]

c. Gray-aromantic

This is a more general term meaning that someone only experiences romantic attraction under very specific and rare circumstances.

d. Quoiromantic

This is an inability to distinguish the difference between romantic and platonic attraction.

e. Cupioromantic

This is someone who is aromantic but still desire a romantic relationship.

Now let’s talk about the characteristics of an aromantic asexual person.

Characteristics of an aromantic asexual person 

If you identify as someone who’s aromatic asexual, it means you’re someone who does not experience romantic or sexual attraction. You simply like this person without any sexual or romantic motivations.

1. They are both asexual and aromantic

Sexuality is so fluid. You have to understand that no one on earth is 100% heterosexual or 100% homosexual.

Sexuality is a spectrum. It’s very normal for straight men and women to think about the same sex in a sexual way. The same goes for other sexual identities. So, yes, you can be an aromantic asexual individual. [Read: How many different kinds of romantic orientations are there?]

2. Aromantic asexual people still have sex

Many people who are aromantic asexual are attracted to others. They’re emotionally or mentally attracted but miss the sexual attraction. But, this doesn’t mean they don’t have sex.

Although it’s not instinctive to aromantic asexual people, many in relationships still engage in sex. Though it’s not so much fun for them as it is for their partner.

3. Aromantic people don’t have to date within the aromantic community

Wondering how people who are aromantic or aromantic asexual go about dating? Well, they don’t have to stay within that community in order to be with someone.

However, when it does come to dating, they usually keep things on a very short-term basis or simply friendship.

4. They’re not sociopaths

If you know someone who identifies as being aromantic asexual, they come across as being selfish and cold towards people’s emotions. This isn’t true. They’re not using you to cuddle or to watch movies.

They simply are not romantically or sexually attracted to people, in general. If anything, it really comes down to your ego being sore because they don’t want to sleep with you *or really anyone else*. [Read: Reasons why empathy is important in a relationship]

5. It’s not a choice

They didn’t choose to not feel romantic or sexual attraction toward people. Just like someone doesn’t choose to be straight, bisexual, or gay.

Sexual identity isn’t something we wake up with one day and decide on because we failed a math test or fought with our mom. You simply are what you are. It’s not something anyone decides.

6. They’re not emotionally broken

Aromantic asexual individuals are not broken people. It’s very easy to label these individuals as ones who didn’t get enough love during their childhood or had a traumatic dating life, but this isn’t the case. They simply don’t feel the emotions that typically occur when attracted to someone.

7. They’re not bitter and lonely

Most people who are able to experience romantic attraction think that romantic love is necessary for a person to be happy in a relationship.

But that’s only because they have a desire for romantic love in their own lives. However, an asexual aromantic person can get all the love they need from the family and friends in their lives. [Read: Demiromantic – what it is, the signs, and why you take longer to fall in love]

8. They can and do form committed partnerships

These relationships are similar to “normal” ones. They share finances, live together, and might even get married and have children together. The relationships can be with someone of any orientation, and they can be monogamous or polyamorous.

Some people describe these relationships as “queerplatonic” or “quasi-platonic.” This means that they are more intimate or committed than a normal friendship but still aren’t romantic in nature.

Challenges aromantic asexual people face

As you can imagine, sometimes people with an aromantic asexual orientation may face some challenges. For people who do experience sexual and romantic attraction for other people, it might sound like a strange way to live. They probably don’t understand it very well.

So, if a person who isn’t aromantic asexual wants to date someone who is, they might feel frustrated. They may fall in love and want to have sex with them, but the aromantic asexual person doesn’t feel that way.

As a result, they can feel quite rejected because they are not getting their emotional and sexual needs met very well. [Read: Homoromantics – the basic facts on what it means and how to understand it]

On the flip side, it can be frustrating for the aromantic asexual person too. They might be annoyed that their partner doesn’t understand their feelings toward them – or lack thereof. That’s not to say a relationship like this can’t work, but it will face more challenges than a “normal” couple might.

The key is to keep communication open. The aromantic asexual person has to be honest about who they are. They also have to let other people know that their lack of attraction isn’t anything personal. It might be easy to take it that way, so it’s important to be upfront before they start any relationship.

Figuring out your sexuality

If you read this and try to see if you fit into one or both of these, you may be stressing out. Sure, you want to figure out what you feel and where it fits on the spectrum of identity, but take it easy. You don’t need to have a definite answer right now. Read through it and if you’re not sure, it’s okay.

If you want more information, the best thing you to do is visit the aromantic asexual community and talk to people. After, you may have a stronger idea of who you think you are.

[Read: 20 sexually enlightening movies all about sexuality]

Sexuality and identity are not easy to sift through. There are no limits, whatever you feel inside of you, follow that feeling. We wish you good luck on your journey of self-discovery to wherever it leads—bisexual, aromantic asexual, or heterosexual!

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...