Aromantisicm is one of many Romantic orientations. An aromantic is a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others. People identifying as aromantic can also experience romance in a way otherwise disconnected from normative societal expectations (for example due to feeling repulsed by romance, or being uninterested in romantic relationships.) Where alloromantic people have an emotional need to be with another person in a romantic relationship, aromantics are often satisfied with friendships and other non-romantic relationships.
The aromantic attribute is usually considered to be innate and not a personal choice, just as the lack of sexual attraction is innate to asexuals. It is important to note that aromantic people do not lack emotional/personal connection, but most simply have no instinctual need to develop connections of a romantic nature. Aromantics do not differ from alloromantics in needs of empathetic support, but these needs can be fulfilled in a platonic way.
What distinguishes romantic relationships from non-romantic relationships is the romantic intent or lack thereof. This means that the outward expression of a relationship (for example existence of actions such as holding hands, kissing, etc.) can be misleading as to its type. Aromantic people may or may not enjoy activities that are often seen as romantic (e.g. kissing) or be uncomfortable with romance, be single or have a partner or be married - those are individual characteristics that vary between aromantic people.
Most aromantic individuals are involved in, and enjoy, devoted relationships with another person, but these relations are often close friendships, naturally reflecting the closeness of the two individuals and not a purposely initiated monogamous separation as is often found in romantic couples. Aromantic people may also have relationships that go beyond the cultural norms for a friendship and are non-romantic. Sometimes those relationships are called queerplatonic relationships, because they queer (or go against norms of) platonic relationships. Aromantics may experience squishes which are the aromantic or platonic equivalent of a romantic crush.
Like many things aromanticism, like Asexuality, exists on a spectrum. The aromantic spectrum is very similar to the asexual spectrum with aromantic (or aro) on one end and allo-/zedromantic on the other end. Common romantic orientations in between may include:
Like the Sexual orientation the Romantic orientation can change over time. Therefore it is possible that the position on the aromantic spectrum can change as well. If this happens very frequently it can be called Aroflux. The sexual equivalent is called aceflux.
Like all romantic identities aromantic people can have any sexual orientation. It's important to notice that one's Sexual orientation and Romantic orientation are two diffrent things, so a person could be aromantic but still experience Sexual attraction.
- The Aromantic thread - on AVEN Forums
- AUREA - Aromantic-spectrum Union for Recognition, Education, and Advocacy website
- @robase - Association pour la promotion et la visibilité de l'aromantisme
- Arocalypse - an aromantic spectrum forum
- Aromantic - on Aromantics Wiki