Romanitc orientation is often hard to define in the asexual community. Because most people equate sexual attraction to romantic attraction (in which for most people it probably would go hand – in – hand), asexuals are sometimes left wondering how to differentiate romantic attraction to platonic attachment. Crushes, squishes, etc are labels to explain the emotional attraction people experience with others, either regularly or from time to time.
Generally, in asexuality, there’s four main labels in regard to the level of romantic attraction that someone can experience:
Aromantic: Those who don’t experience any romantic attraction (not exclusive to asexuals either).
Grey – Romantic: Those who feel a certain level of romantic attraction sometimes, but not always.
Demi – Romantic: Those who experience romantic attraction to someone after an emotional bond is already formed.
Romantic: Basic romantic orientations are: homoromantic, hetero – romantic, bi romantic, and panromantic. It’s the feeling or desire for a romantic connection with another person/s.
Even though these labels are helpful, it got me wondering whether they go far enough. Is there a space between aromantic and grey romantic? Let me explain what I mean. Say you’re predominately aromantic, but experience some romantic attraction… or kinda. What if you only experience crushes, but never form a romantic relationship or longing in real life. See, that’s another thing: the difference between romantic drive, verses actual romantic attraction that you could (and do) act on. Yes, there are lithro – romantic, but something tells me you probably won’t know whether or not lithromantic without actually having someone ask you out, or someone want’s a relationship with you (I’m only guessing. I could be wrong). Other than that, how would you know? What if your just scared about admitting to yourself that you do experience romantic attraction?
Then there’s people that go from one to another (I’ve talked about this before). For example, someone may originally identify as arommantic, then realise they’re hetero – romantic, then maybe go back to aromantic again….
Labels don’t always fit. Regardless of what level of romantic attraction you feel, or what gender/s you romantically connect with, is there any guarantee that you’re going to remain that way inclined.
I remember when actress/ comedian Magda Szubanski came out and she was on the show “The Project”. She said something that stuck with me till this day. When asked about her sexuality, Magda said… “I’m gaygaygaygaygaygaygay….”, even though she said that she didn’ fully identify as gay or bisexual.
I think it’s the same for asexual in regard to romantic orientation. Yes, there is grey romantic (in between aromantic and romantic). But maybe it’s possible not to fully identify with that either. Maybe there’s a bit of ‘AAAAAAAAAAAA – romantic, grey romantic, AAAAAA…” That’s what I’m starting to think. To put it another way, there isn’t just one shade of grey. There’s heaps and heaps. It makes it harder to explailn yourself to others, but then, maybe it’s time to think, well, should you have to?
I’m weird and complicated. I hope you get this. Basic premise: some people can’t fit a label, even something as broad as grey – romantic. That’s what I think anyway.