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".
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.
Examples of romantic orientations
Abroromantic, sometimes spelled as abromantic 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.
Aromantic, often shortened to aro, describes people who do not experience romantic attraction, or experience little-to-no romantic attraction. One of the meanings of the A in LGBTQIA+ is Aromantic. 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.
The aromantic spectrum, also known as "aro-spec", ranges from aromantic to alloromantic, referring to people who regularly and consistently experience romantic attraction. 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.
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. 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.
Demiromantic describes people who do not experience romantic attraction until they have formed a deep emotional connection with someone, according to the most common definition. Other definitions of this romantic orientation are only experiencing limited romantic attraction, or falling somewhere on a spectrum between aromantic and romantic; the latter definition overlaps with one for grayromantic.
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.
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.