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Heteroromantic Orientation: What It Is, the Different Types & Must-Knows Facts

You know all about the different types of sexual orientations, but have you considered your romantic orientation? Could you possibly be heteroromantic?

HETEROROMANTIC

Most of us have heard of homosexual, heterosexual, and bisexual. These are the commonly known and most basic sexualities. But heteroromantic? You may not have even known that people can be romantically oriented as well as sexually oriented.

What does it mean to be heteroromantic?

Before getting into the nitty gritty of heteroromance, it is important to understand that sexuality and romance are not the same things. [Read: Understanding what it means to be heteroflexible]

The fact that you’re sexually attracted to someone does not mean that you’re romantically attracted to them. Maybe you find yourself sexually attracted to both men and women but are only romantically attracted to or are interested in relationships with men. That’s where your romantic orientation comes in.

Heteroromantic means being romantically attracted to someone of the opposite sex, but it doesn’t have to mean that you’re sexually attracted to them.

For instance, if you’re an asexual woman and you don’t necessarily experience sexual attraction toward men but have romantic feelings for them, you’re heteroromantic.

How do romance and sexuality differ?

Romance is the intimacy of a relationship. It’s the talking, listening, holding hands, going out on dates, and cuddling on the sofa. It’s wanting to share those moments with someone. [Read: Not interested in dating? The reasons & why this is becoming the new normal]

Sexuality is about physical attraction beyond thinking that someone is just pleasant to look at. It’s about the passion, chemistry, and desire for sexual pleasure with that person. Although most of us may experience these two feelings simultaneously, you can have one without the other. That’s where heteroromance comes into play.

Are you heteroromantic?

If you’re curious about your romantic orientation, there are a few things that you need to consider.

Your romantic orientation is only indicative of those with whom you would want to fall in love or have a relationship. Ask yourself if you generally find yourself feeling romantic feelings for those of the opposite gender.

Do you prefer dates with them? Do you mostly think of the opposite gender when you consider relationships? Marriage? Kids?

If you believe that you only experience romantic attraction for the opposite gender, you might be heteroromantic.

There are several other romantic orientations to consider if you feel that heteroromantic doesn’t describe you. [Read: Panromantic asexual – what it is & 23 signs & FAQs]

Aromantic: no romantic attraction toward individuals of any gender

Biromantic: romantic attraction toward both men and women

Homoromantic: romantic attraction toward your own gender

Panromantic: romantic attraction toward those of all genders

Polyromantic: romantic attraction for multiple genders, but not all

Gray-romantic: rare romantic attraction toward any gender

Demi-romantic: romantic attraction only after a close bond has been formed

How does being heteroromantic work?

For those who experience sexual attraction, your romantic orientation might line up with your sexual orientation. For some, however, it doesn’t.

If you are heteroromantic, regardless of sexual attraction, how do relationships work? [Read: What does sexual attraction feel like? 15 hot signs to recognize it]

Heteroromantic relationships work exactly the same as any other relationship. Your romantic feelings are your romantic feelings. If you experience those feelings strictly for men, you’re likely to only enter into romantic relationships with men.

The only way that a heteroromantic relationship would be any different from a “standard” relationship would be if someone identified as asexual and heteroromantic.

This would indicate that the person doesn’t experience sexual attraction toward anyone, but they do have romantic feelings and desire a romantic relationship with someone of the opposite gender.

Sharing that you are heteroromantic can be difficult because it is not something that’s widely understood. It’s not as simple as saying the words.

It also means being patient with your partner and letting them come to terms with what heteroromance means in general and in regard to your relationship.

Are there other types of heteroromantic?

We’ve discussed the basics of being heteroromantic, at least in the simplest sense, but are there other ways of being heteroromantic? Yes, indeed. [Read: List of sexualities – 15 gender orientations you need to know about]

A person’s romantic orientation is completely separate from their sexual orientation, and many people choose to identify with their romantic orientation in conjunction with their sexual orientation.

It might be difficult for some to grasp, but there is a difference between whom you want to bed and whom you want to wed.

There’s no right or wrong way to identify sexually or romantically. You are what feels right for you.

1. Heteroromantic asexual

As discussed, an asexual person doesn’t experience sexual attraction to any gender. That absolutely doesn’t mean that they don’t crave romantic relationships, though. [Read: What does it mean to be asexual & how to understand it better]

A heteroromantic asexual person has romantic feelings for those of the opposite gender. A heteroromantic asexual man won’t feel sexual attraction for anyone, but they want relationships with women.

2. Heteroromantic bisexual

A bisexual person is sexually attracted to both men and women, but they only feel romantic feelings for the opposite gender.

A heteroromantic bisexual woman might have sexual relationships with men and women, but she only feels love and romance with men. [Read: Biromantic – what it means & how to read between biromantic vs. bisexual]

3. Heteroromantic homosexual

A heteroromantic homosexual man will only have a sexual attraction toward men. Maybe they don’t feel any sexual desire for women, but they experience romantic feelings and close emotional connections with women that they don’t feel with men.

4. Heteroromantic graysexual

Graysexual individuals don’t experience sexual attraction too often. Their feelings of sexual desire are rare or only happen under specific circumstances.

A heteroromantic graysexual might not feel sexual attraction very frequently, but they are romantically attracted to their opposite gender. [Read: Graysexuality – what graysexual means, how it feels, & 36 truths to know one]

5. Heteroromantic pansexual

A pansexual person will experience sexual attraction to any gender identity. This doesn’t mean that they’re literally sexually attracted to every person on the planet, but they do experience sexual attraction to other people regardless of their gender identity.

If a pansexual person also identifies as heteroromantic, they might have strong sexual feelings for all other genders, but they would only want a relationship with the gender opposite theirs. [Read: What is pansexual? The full guide to everything you MUST know]

Can you stop being heteroromantic?

Sexuality is fluid. There is always a gray area, and it’s very rarely just black and white. You could easily have been heteroromantic your entire life, but things can change as you evolve as a person or as your situations begin to change.

The same is true for your sexual orientation. Maybe you always thought you were straight all across the board. You only had romantic and sexual feelings for the opposite gender. Then, you met someone of the same sex and had romantic and sexual feelings for them.

You’re not confined to one type of attraction for your whole life.

That being said, you cannot just stop being heteroromantic willfully. Sexuality and romantic orientations are completely involuntary. You can’t ONLY like women because you simply want that. [Read: Coming out of the closet – 20 steps to open a new life door]

You feel what you feel, and it’s perfectly fine as long as you’re being true to yourself. The most important thing is to be honest with yourself, even if you can’t find a way to be completely honest with others yet.

What’s the difference between demisexual and heteroromantic?

Demisexuality is when an individual does experience sexual attraction, but they only do so after they’ve formed a close and emotional bond. You could almost say that their sexual attraction is based more on the bond than the body. [Read: Demiromantic – what it is, the signs, & why you take longer to fall in love]

This does not mean, however, that a demisexual person experiences feelings of sexual attraction to everyone that they have a connection with.

It just means that they don’t often look at a stranger and think, “I’d like to bang that person at once.” Maybe they would like to bang that person, but they wouldn’t know it until after having the opportunity to get to know them.

This means you would not be sexually attracted to a celebrity, a stranger, or even someone you went on a few dates with. The sexual desire would only form after you have formed a meaningful connection. [Read: Demisexual – How they feel lust and how to connect with one deeply]

Heteroromance and demisexuality are different in that one is a romantic orientation while the other is a sexual orientation.

It’s completely possible to be both. If you’re a heteroromantic demisexual man, you know that you only desire relationships with women. You also feel sexual attraction toward women, but only after you’ve formed an emotional bond.

Heteroromantic flags and symbols

The heteroromantic flag is a blocked gradient of grays with a heart in the center. The top of the flag is the darkest gray, with each following color getting lighter.

The most common version of the flag has a gradient heart that starts black, while another version has a simple white heart in the top left corner of the flag.

What is the importance of a label?

Sexuality and attraction are some of the most diverse human traits. The beauty of it is that no one else can tell you how to identify because they don’t know you and your wants and needs the way that you do. It’s all on you to do some self-examination and decide what best suits you. [Read: Polyromantic relationships – a guide to simplify a confusing label]

However, being able to pinpoint exactly how you identify is definitely not a requirement. Sexuality is complicated and evolving for so many people, so don’t feel like you absolutely have to choose a category and stoically stand within it.

Whether or not you want to choose a label is your choice.

Deciding whether or not to label yourself as a specific sexual identity is based on your own self-understanding. Perhaps you just feel completely confident when you say that you’re a heteroromantic bisexual woman.

Maybe you crave a sense of belonging and wish to label yourself so that you can connect with others like you. Believe it or not, connecting with other people can be an incredibly important part of someone’s journey to discovering their sexual and romantic identities. [Read: 25 ways to emotionally connect with someone & instantly feel closer]

Labeling yourself heteroromantic is entirely up to you and you alone. You may even choose not to have a label. It can be difficult for people that do not identify as straight or gay to feel like they belong until they have chosen a label.

It can cause confusion for others and for yourself. Labels make things clear and concise and make you fit into a group, but they are not necessary.

With the growing acceptance that both gender and sexuality are fluid, these labels are not as hefty as they once were. [Read: The list of sexualities and what you need to know about each orientation]

For instance, bisexuality poses the idea that there are just two genders, while pansexuality broadens the scope to include those that are transgender and gender-queer.

The list of ways in which one can identify is ever-broadening to include all scopes of gender identities, sexual identities, and romantic identities. With more and more acceptance growing for these ideas and with more celebrities setting a precedent for this acceptance, being heteroromantic, amongst anything else mentioned, is becoming more commonly accepted in mainstream society and media.

[Read: Understanding the different types of romantic orientations]

Hopefully, you now understand a bit more about what being heteroromantic means.  It is just one of many forms of attraction to better help you understand who you are.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...