With the world starting to turn a light to s*xualities other than just heteros*xuals, you may have seen the word “aromantic” pop up every now and then. If you’ve never heard about this type of s*xual 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 s*xual orientation that isn’t highlighted very much because it doesn’t have to do with who someone likes or dislikes.
What is an aromantic?
An aromantic is someone who feels no desire to be in a romantic relationship. These people are perfectly happy in being just friends with people and only having platonic relationships.
Furthermore, they don’t even want a romantic relationship. For those of us who desire being in a relationship and having someone special in our lives, this can be a hard thing for us to understand. However, an aromantic just doesn’t want to be romantically involved with someone. They have no need for it.
Being an aromantic definitely changes your love life
You may think that just because someone is an 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. I’m sure you can only imagine how it may be a little different than what you know.
Aromantic myths debunked
Before we get into how being an aromantic changes your love life, 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, and I’m 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. 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.
#3 All aromantics are a s*xuals. A s*xuality and being aromantic aren’t related at all. Aromantics don’t have romantic feelings, but they still have s*xual desires. On the other hand, as*xuals don’t have any s*xual feelings toward anybody, but they still feel romantic love. The pairing of the two is sometimes seen, but not always.
#4 They don’t want physical affection. You don’t have to feel romantically 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. *Insert eye roll here* 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, when in reality, aromantics can commit, they just don’t get romantic.
#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. They love their family and their friends with all their heart. However, they just don’t fall in love with people in a romantic way.
The love life of an aromantic
Just because someone doesn’t have any romantic desires to fall “in love” with “the one” doesn’t mean they can’t have relationships or a love life. In fact, many do still date and have boyfriends or girlfriends. Their love life is just different than yours.
#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’ll be very annoying.
#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.
#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 s*xual orientations – having s*x doesn’t require romantic love. It just requires two consenting people to get it on.
#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.
#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.