The Split Attraction Model (SAM) separates romantic attraction or desire for romantic relationships from sexual attraction or desire, thus dividing romantic orientation and sexual orientation into different identities. Terms for sexual orientation have commonly been understood as implying a corresponding romantic orientation; however, a person's romantic and sexual attractions may not exactly align with each other, and people can be attracted to different people in different ways. To convey these differences, split attraction language uses prefixes for the gender or genders a person is oriented toward in relation to themself (such as bi-, queer-, homo-, hetero-), then combines it with a suffix for the attraction type (such as -romantic, -sexual, -sensual). The asexual community has used such language to communicate differences in romantic and sexual interests, and the types of relationships that may interest them. For instance, asexual people do not feel sexual attraction, but some asexual people have romantic attractions and may use a term for their romantic orientation to express that it differs from their sexual orientation.
Combinations of differing romantic and sexual orientations include the following: