There are 46 ways to describe a person’s sexuality. Aromance is one of them. The aromatic spectrum is a term used to describe people with a lack of romantic attraction. You may hear this referred to as the ‘aromantic umbrella’ or ‘aro-spec’.
Aromance has been prevalent throughout time but the term aromantic was only coined early in the 21st century. Musicians such as Robin Daniel Skinner (Cavetown) and Moses Sumney have used both their music and respective platforms to bring awareness to the aromantic spectrum. As it becomes more widely spoken about and represented, here are a few things you should know.
What Does It Mean to Be Aromantic?
Aromanticism is a spectrum. Keeping this in mind, there are, of course, varying degrees of romantic attraction that people may or may not feel. Though aromantic people may not feel nor display romance, it does not mean that they cannot form loving bonds with others. It simply means that their heart won’t metaphorically ‘skip a beat’ for anyone.
Each individual and respective relationship will differ. Though an aromantic person may not feel romantic feelings, they may still choose to participate in romantic gestures. This does not mean that they feel a romantic bond, simply that they are showing care for their partner.
It’s important to remember that aromantic people may be content with platonic love or emotional connections. However, they can still experience sexual attraction. It’s important to note that being on the aromantic spectrum does not mean a person is asexual. Asexuality and aromanticism have similarities but are not the same.
To further understand exactly how aromance and asexuality differ, it’s important to consider them both separately and together.
The Difference Between Aromantic vs Asexual
By defining the terms, we can get a better idea of the distinction between being aromantic vs asexual.
Aromantic – experiencing little or no romantic attraction. (Dictionary.com)
Often, romance and sexual attraction are interlinked. When alloromantic individuals (those who experience romantic attraction) think of aromantic vs asexual differences, they may pit the two terms together. It’s important to distinguish the difference here between what is defined as making love vs having sex.
The distinction between aromantic vs asexual comes with romance and sexual attraction. While people on the aromantic spectrum do not ‘make love’ per se, they can have sex. Sexual attraction is still something they may feel. By comparison, asexual individuals have less or no desire to participate in sexual relations. Much like aromance, asexuality is a spectrum that has varying degrees of sexual attraction.
The two terms, however, do not have to be mutually exclusive as you are able to be aromantic asexual. If this is how you identify, it means you feel little or no romantic or sexual attraction. The spectrum and terms can be combined, and so it is important for all parties who identify to be represented. The aromantic pride flag represents the nature of this spectrum and the variation across it.
The Meaning Behind The Aromantic Pride Flag
The aromantic pride flag is a representation of the community and a symbol of acceptance. Much like any other pride flag, the aromantic flag colours each represent a specific aspect of the community. Created in 2014 by Cameron Whimsy, let’s go over the aromantic meaning behind each colour.
Dark Green – the opposite of red, it represents aromanticism. As red is closely associated with romance, green sits on the opposite end of the colour wheel.
Light Green – representative of the entire aromantic spectrum. Aromanticism is not composed of one definition. The aromantic meaning varies from person to person.
White – represents platonic and aesthetic attractions. Often aromantic individuals identify with these feelings instead of romantic notions.
Grey – used to represent grey-romantic and demiromantic individuals. Both may also fall into asexuality but are represented here.
Black – representing the spectrum of sexuality, which is encompassing.
The first aromantic flag consisted of green, yellow, orange, and black. Its origins are unknown. However, the subsequent two flags that followed were designed by Cameron Whimsy, the last of which is the current design. It has been used to represent the aromantic spectrum since the 16th of November, 2014.
Why Learning About Aromanticism Is Important
It’s important to distinguish between terms of sexuality. As the LGBTQ+ community grows in acceptance, inclusivity is kept in mind.
Aromantics can often be preconceived as cold, emotionless or unloving, but this is simply not the case! By gaining insight into orientation, diversity and inclusivity are supported. Chances are that you may not have heard of all 46 sexuality types, now’s the time to change that!
If you fall under the aromantic spectrum, it’s important to know you are not alone. There are various websites and community groups that can support and accept you.