Romantic orientation is a term that originates with asexual communities. It is related to a person's romantic attractions or desires, whereas sexual orientation is associated with sexual attractions. Romantic orientation is generally expressed in terms of which gender or genders a person is attracted to in relation to the person's own. These terms usually end in the suffix "-romantic".[1]

Romantic orientations are most often referred to in asexual communities, but they are not exclusive to asexual people. Although a person's sexual and romantic attractions are usually implied by the same word used for their sexual orientation, a person's romantic and sexual orientation may differ. The Split Attraction Model is sometimes used to convey these differences.[1]

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Examples of romantic orientations


Abroromantic, sometimes spelled as abromantic[2] people experience their romantic orientation as fluid and/or changing over time. Abroromanticism involves someone's entire orientation changing over time, not just the genders they are attracted to. They may also experience changes in the intensity of their attractions.[3]


The aromantic pride flag

Aromantic, often shortened to aro, describes people who do not experience romantic attraction,[3][1] or experience little-to-no romantic attraction.[4] One of the meanings of the A in LGBTQIA+ is Aromantic.[3] Aromanticism is a romantic orientation and may involve forms of attraction that are not necessarily romantic, or interests in relationships that are intimate in other ways. There is no singular experience of aromanticism.[4]

The aromantic spectrum, also known as "aro-spec", ranges from aromantic to alloromantic, referring to people who regularly and consistently experience romantic attraction.[3] People within the aromantic spectrum are part of a community that has much in common. They may use the label aromantic as a close fit for their experiences or use other labels that further describe them.[4]


A biromantic flag

Biromantic is a term used to describe people who are capable of feeling a romantic connection to people of two specific and distinct gender identities.[5] Biromantics want to date and form a romantic connection with more than one gender—including cisgender men, women, and other non-rigid identities like transgender and non-binary people.[6]


A demiromantic pride flag

Demiromantic describes people who do not experience romantic attraction until they have formed a deep emotional connection with someone,[7][8] according to the most common definition.[8] Other definitions of this romantic orientation are only experiencing limited romantic attraction,[8] or falling somewhere on a spectrum between aromantic and romantic; the latter definition overlaps with one for grayromantic.[9]


Heteroromantic describes individuals who feel romantic attraction to people of a gender different than their own. Within the Split Attraction Model, its sexual orientation equivalent is heterosexual.[1]


Homoromantic refers to individuals who feel romantic attraction to people of the same or similar gender as their own. Within the Split Attraction Model, its sexual equivalent is homosexual.[1]


The panromantic pride flag

Panromantic is a term used to describe people who are capable of feeling a romantic attraction toward people regardless of their sex or gender identity. The sexual equivalent of this is pansexual.[10][11]


Polyromantic, refers to someone who is romantically attracted to many, but not all, genders,[12] and not necessarily involving sexual attraction.[13]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Asexual Visibility and Education Network: "Romantic Orientations". The Asexual Visibility and Education Network. (Archived on December 4, 2021).
  2. "Abroromantic".
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Hardell, Ash. The ABC's of LGBT+. Mango Media Inc., 2016. ISBN 9781633534087.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "About Aromanticism". Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week. (Archived on February 20, 2022).
  5. WebMD Editorial Contributors: "What Does Biromantic Mean?". (Archived on December 12, 2021).
  6. Laderer, Ashley: "Being biromantic and bisexual aren't the same — here's what it means to be biromantic" (2012-09-24). (Archived on January 14, 2022).
  7. AUREA: "All Aromantic Terms". AUREA - Aromantic-spectrum Union for Recognition, Education, and Advocacy. (Archived on January 29, 2022).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Hardell, Ash. The Gay BC's of LGBT+: An Accompaniment to The ABC's of LGBT+. Mango Media Inc., 2017-11-09. (web archive)
  9. Holleb, Morgan Lev Edward. The A-Z of Gender and Sexuality: From Ace to Ze. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2019. ISBN 9781784506636.
  10. "What Is Panromantic?". WebMD.
  11. Admin Silverchip: "What it Means to be Pansexual or Panromantic" (2019-05-21).
  12. "Exploring identities". (Archived on November 26, 2021).
  13. "I Am A Polyromantic". (Archived on December 9, 2021).