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Aromantic: What It Means, How It Works & 28 Must-Knows about their Love Life

Do you think that you might be aromantic? Or maybe you know someone who is? Here’s what you need to know about this romantic orientation.


With the world starting to turn light onto sexualities other than just heterosexuals, you may have seen the word “aromantic” pop up every now and then. 

If you’ve never heard about this type of romantic orientation, or what it even means for people, don’t worry. You’re not alone.

Many people have never come across the term aromantic, or have even heard about it at all. That’s because it’s a romantic orientation that isn’t highlighted very much because it doesn’t have to do with who someone likes or dislikes.

What is an aromantic?

First of all, before we get into what aromanticism is, let’s quickly cover the difference between sexual orientation and romantic orientation.

We all know what sexual orientation is—what a person is sexually attracted to. But romantic orientation is like the relationship version of sexual orientation that isn’t talked about a lot, so not a lot of people are aware of it.

But in short, romantic orientation is a person’s preference for romantic relationships.

So, an aromantic is someone who feels no desire to be in a romantic relationship. These people are perfectly happy being just friends with people and only having platonic relationships. [Read: Aromantic asexual – what it is, and traits and challenges of this sexual identity]

What’s the difference between being aromantic and asexual? 

Many people wonder if aromantic and asexual are the same thing. But they are actually very different. [Read: 18 signs you’re asexual and don’t like getting laid as much as others]

Asexual refers to someone’s sexual attraction, whereas aromantic refers to a person’s romantic attraction.

Asexuality means someone does not feel sexual attraction to other people regardless of their gender. This is different from celibacy, which is just a choice to not engage in sexual behaviors.

On the other hand, aromantics can experience sexual attraction, but they experience little or no romantic attraction to other people. In other words, they have no emotional need to be in a romantic relationship with someone. [Read: Panromantic asexual – what it is, 23 signs, FAQs, and ways to recognize them]

They may feel satisfied with just friendships and other non-romantic relationships such as family. And being aromantic isn’t a personal choice, it’s just natural for them. 

An aromantic can identify as any sexual orientation. That’s because a person’s sexual orientation doesn’t necessarily define or predict their romantic orientation. 

So, it might be a good idea to find out how someone identifies sexually and romantically before trying to connect with or date them. [Read: What does it mean to be asexual and how to understand it better]

Aromantic myths debunked

Before we get into what an aromantic’s love life looks like, we first have to bring some truth to what aromantics really go through. 

There are many myths flying around that give people the wrong idea about aromantics, so we’re here to set them straight!

1. They don’t want families

This is a HUGE myth about aromantics that has to be debunked right now. [Read: Women who don’t want children – the valid reasons behind their choice]

Just because someone doesn’t desire a romantic relationship with someone doesn’t mean they don’t want to settle down and have a family with someone. You don’t need romantic love to love a child.

2. They don’t want a life partner

This is related to the above myth and is completely false. While SOME aromantics don’t really care to find a life partner, some really do want to find someone to build a life and settle down with.

This is the person they’ll usually end up having kids with, getting married to, and living out a relatively normal relationship. [Read: Loveless relationships: 10 reasons why people choose to stay]

You don’t need to have romantic feelings to do this.

3. All aromantics are asexuals

Asexuality and aromanticism aren’t related at all. Aromantics don’t have romantic feelings, but they still have sexual desires. 

On the other hand, asexuals don’t have any sexual feelings toward anybody, but they still feel romantic love. The pairing of the two is sometimes seen, but not always. [Read: Asexual people: What it’s like for them in the dating world]

4. They don’t want physical affection

You don’t have to feel romantic feelings for someone in order to want them to hug you and show you physical affection. Aromantics like to cuddle just as much as anyone else! Their cuddling, however, is not synonymous with romantic feelings.

5. Aromantics are just commitment-phobes

This is something many people will say when they don’t believe aromanticism is a real thing. 

They use this as a means to justify why someone wouldn’t want to feel romantic love. But, in reality, aromantics can commit, they just don’t get romantic. [Read: 30 really sweet & romantic ideas for couples to feel loved & connected 24/7]

6. They don’t have many feelings at all

People who think of an aromantic can sometimes think that because they don’t love romantically, they are heartless beings. 

That’s completely false. They have just as many feelings as us. They just don’t have a certain one that is seen in other people.

7. They can’t love

Aromantics love just as much as anyone else. They just do so in a different way. [Read: What is true love? 58 signs and ways to tell if what you’re feeling is real]

They love their family and their friends with all their hearts. However, they just don’t fall in love with people in a romantic way.

Common characteristics of being aromantic

If you’re wondering if you might be aromantic, there are some common characteristics that might give you a clue. Here they are:

1. You can’t relate to romance movies or books

While everyone else around you in a movie theater is crying their eyes out because of the beautiful love story on the big screen, you just sit there emotionless. [Read: 69 most romantic movies that are a must-watch in 2023]

You don’t understand the big deal and why people would feel a deep romantic connection with each other.

2. You’ve made up a crush

Whether it was when you were in school or even now, you feel uncomfortable when people ask you if you are interested in anyone or have a crush. 

Because of that, you have made up a fictional “crush” just to get people to stop asking you. You don’t want to be “weird” by not having romantic feelings. [Read: Platonic crush – what it means, 22 signs, pros, cons, and what to do about it]

3. You’ve never had “butterflies”

When people have crushes or are in love, they experience butterflies in their stomachs when they think of or see the object of their affection. But you have no idea what that feels like. While you find people attractive, you have no emotional reaction when you see them.

4. Valentine’s Day is so not your jam

While many people think that Valentine’s Day is just another “Hallmark holiday,” you just really don’t understand the meaning behind it. 

Beyond the commercialization, you don’t understand why people would want to be all mushy with each other and go overboard with their love on that particular holiday.

5. You’re a dedicated friend 

Just because you don’t experience crushes or get butterflies when you see someone doesn’t mean that you’re not a great friend. In fact, that’s what you’re best at—friendship. It’s not that you don’t love people, you just don’t love them “that way.”

The love life of an aromantic

You may think that just because someone is aromantic, they don’t even have a love life. While technically this may be true, they still do date and are involved with different people. 

You can probably imagine how it may be a little different than what you know. [Read: Unpopular opinion: I don’t want a relationship]

Just because someone doesn’t have any romantic desire to fall “in love” with “the one” doesn’t mean they can’t have a relationship or a love life. [Read: Platonic friendship: What it is, 42 friend rules & ways to avoid sexual drama]

1. People will try to change them

Many people who date aromantics and learn about how they don’t have romantic feelings take this as a personal task to “fix” them. 

They think they’re going to be the “special someone” to change how they feel and show them they can love romantically. It’s very annoying. [Read: Should I give up on him? 25 signs he won’t change or be a good fit]

2. Many people won’t understand

There are a lot of people who will want to date you and then won’t understand when you tell them that you’re aromantic and don’t have any romantic feelings for them. 

They take it as a personal offense when it has nothing to do with them at all. [Read: 196 fun & deep relationship questions to test your couple compatability]

3. They’ll end up dating other aromantics

Many aromantics who want to find a life partner usually end up with other aromantics because they can understand them. 

Many times, if an aromantic is with someone who isn’t, it may cause problems in the relationship because the other person will be offended or unhappy that their feelings aren’t reciprocated equally.

4. They still get laid

Yes. Aromantics can go out, date, and hook up just like anybody else, and they definitely do so.

Just like for everyone else—aside from specific sexual orientations—having sex doesn’t require romantic love. It just requires two consenting people to get it on. [Read: 24 tips to initiate & get a friend with benefits and keep them sex-happy!]

5. Cuddling is still a thing for them

Aromantics are more than willing to get their cuddle on, and in fact, they might just suggest cuddling because they enjoy it more than you do. 

The point is, cuddling with an aromantic isn’t much different than cuddling with anyone else. Just don’t mistake their physical affection for romantic feelings.

6. Some don’t have love lives at all

On the flip side, some aromantics literally have no desire to date or find someone to share their life with. Instead, they choose to focus on family and friendship as their outlet for human contact. 

So, some aromantics will eternally be single. And they’ll be happy that way. [Read: What keeps the relationship intact when the romance dies?]

7. It’s a lot of trial and error

Dating as an aromantic takes time, and their love lives are a lot of trial and error. 

They have to figure out what works best for them and the type of people they should be dating in order to have a successful and fulfilling relationship. What works for some will not work for others.

8. They put in just as much work as anyone else

Just because an aromantic doesn’t have romantic feelings doesn’t mean they don’t know how to be romantic in a relationship. [Read: Healthy relationship – 27 signs, qualities, and what it looks like in real life]

If they’re dating someone who does need that romantic aspect of the relationship, aromantics will put in the effort if they want to make that person happy. It’s just that simple.

What should I do if I identify as aromantic? 

There is no test you can take to figure out whether you are aromantic or not, so sometimes it’s difficult to determine. But if you think that you identify that way, there are some things you can do.

1. Join groups or forums

There are groups on Facebook or Reddit, such as the AVEN forums where you can read about other people’s experiences as an aromantic person. This might help you figure out if you are similar to them, and find a community of like-minded people. [Read: List of sexualities – 15 gender orientations you need to know about]

2. Talk with a friend or a therapist

If you’re having a difficult time figuring out your romantic orientation by yourself, then talk to someone. It could be a trusted friend, family member, or even a therapist if you have the resources to do so.

3. Join aromantic-friendly LGBTQ+ groups

When you’re trying to figure things out, it helps to be around like-minded people. So, by joining some LBGTQ+ groups, you can talk to other people in person about how they discovered their sexual and romantic orientations.

4. Do some self-reflection

At the end of the day, you are the only one who can really figure out your romantic orientation. So, do some introspection and pay attention to your thoughts and feelings about sexual and romantic attraction. [Read: 25 honest, self-reflection questions to recognize the real YOU inside]

How can I support someone who is aromantic? 

If you’re not the person questioning whether or not you’re aromantic, but you know someone who is, then you can support them in a few ways.

1. Listen to them

It’s important to ask the aromantic person what they like and don’t like when it comes to talking about their identity. This is especially true if you’re in a sexual relationship with them. You need to understand them, so you don’t take their orientation personally.

2. Don’t be afraid to say the word “aromantic”

You might be worried that calling them aromantic might offend them. But usually, it’s welcomed. [Read: Graysexuality – what graysexual means, how it feels, and 36 truths to know one]

When you use the term, it helps them feel like you understand their feelings. And everyone appreciates feeling understood.

3. Try to understand their point of view

People who have the ability to feel romantic feelings for other people just don’t understand why aromantics can’t. But try to talk to them and let them know that you want to understand their experience and how they feel.

4. Don’t assume being aromantic is something that bothers them

Just because someone identifies as aromantic doesn’t mean that they aren’t happy that way. It’s not like they lie away at night wishing they were different. So, just accept that it’s a part of who they are and that they are content with it.

[Read: 22 new relationship advice & tips to avoid newbie mistakes many make]

Dating as an aromantic can be a little challenging when people don’t fully understand what exactly being aromantic means. These myths and what the love lives of aromantics are like will help you gain a better understanding of them.

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...