This week is Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week. You might have possibly stumbled across it online on Twitter or overheard one of the local college kids talk about it too loudly with their friends as you try to enjoy your cup of coffee in peace. That might have naturally led to a few questions such as:
- What is that?
- What does that mean?
- Those kids mentioned something to do with arrows? Should I be worried?
- Is it a sex thing?
Well, let’s clear up this confusion. Here is a short explanation of aromanticism.
Sex and romance aren’t necessarily connected. People can engage in sex without wanting romance, and people can have romance without engaging in sex. The two are related, but they are not the same. When you go on a date with someone to the Hillside Restaurant and begin to imagine growing old together, cuddling as you two watch TV, it is not the same as jumping into bed with them and having a wild time with a one-night stand.
Aromanticism is when someone is not romantically attracted to a person. Simple as that. Aromantics (often shortened to “aro,” pronounced like “arrow”) might still be sexually attracted to people or want to have children. Still, they don’t feel the need to pursue someone romantically or develop romantic love for someone.
It would be highly reductive and incorrect to say that aromantics don’t experience love or that romantic love is the only type of love. Think of the love between parent and child or platonic love between friends or the love you have for your pet. Aromantic people experience love, but they don’t experience romantic love. There are circumstances where an aromantic person might experience romantic attraction while others don’t feel anything at all, nor will they ever. They aren’t going to hold their breath and wait. Why would they? Romance isn’t the end all be all of life.
Written by Claudia Piwowarczyk
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