What does aromantic actually mean?
A person who identifies as aromantic is someone who does not experience any romantic attraction to anyone and is not generally interested in having romantic relationships.
Aromantic (pronounced aye romantic) also known as ARO, gets its definition from the prefix ‘’A” meaning without as in words such as asexual and asymptomatic.
Aromanticism has always been around since humans have had attractions towards each other, but after studies were conducted, ARO got its own identity and the word aromantic was coined and is now a valid emotional orientation.
A person who has symptomatic aromantic feelings is still capable of other types of attractions, such as love for the family, friends, and pets, which provides the love they need without romantic attachments.
What it means if you are aromantic
There is a misconception that most ARO people are lonely, and are often unfeeling and lack normal emotions. Coldness and lack of feelings for others are actually personality traits which are not shared by aromantic folk.
Here are some characteristics which can apply to ARO people:
- ARO people are simply not interested in romantic affiliations but this does not mean that they are asexual i.e. do not want sexual relations. Some ARO people may be asexual, but by the same token, some sexually active folk do not want any romance attached to sexual encounters.
- Some aromantic people may be in committed partnerships with others and share finances and home, without any romantic entanglement at all.
- Aromantic people are not losers, or people who cannot get a date, and have no friends. AROs have strong feelings for friends and family and are capable of feeling platonic love very powerfully.
- Recognising that aromanticism is simply an orientation of life which helps you to accept your own perspective on love, which is part of who you are.
- You may have reached a stage in your life when you realise that, for a very long time, you have not experienced the desire to be in any kind of romantic relationship. You also have come to the conclusion that you cannot imagine yourself ever fostering a desire to be involved in that type of relationship.
Remember that as popular and desirable it may be for people to have crushes, fall in love, and have romantic relationships – it is not the case for everyone. You may fall into the category of being aromantic, but that doesn’t mean that you are not an emotional human being, who has a strong capability to experience love just the same as anyone else. Albeit without a romantic attachment.
Although there have been several studies about asexuality, and actually no formal studies that have been specifically focussed on aromanticism. Of the respondents from the asexual surveys, approximately 25% also stated that they identified as being aromantic. This makes it the most popular romantic orientation amongst asexual people.
Among other asexual folks, in spite of complete avoidance of sexual relations, 24% had no qualms about platonic romantic friendships.
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