Being asexual vs. aromantic

If someone identifies as asexual, that means that they experience little to no sexual desire or attraction to other individuals.

Although it is commonly assumed that most asexuals are aromantic, the two are not mutually exclusive. Someone can identify as asexual but still experience romantic feelings, while someone else could identify as aromantic but still experience sexual feelings or desires.

Some asexuals may be completely sex-repulsed and have no urge to have sex, whatsoever. Others may have a sex drive but not direct these sexual feelings or attraction to others.

Asexuals will sometimes participate in sexual acts solely to please their partner. However, the majority of the time, asexuals do not desire to have sex.

On the other hand, an aromantic experiences little to no romantic attraction to others. They are often satisfied with other platonic or non-romantic relationships, such as friendships. They often feel no urge to be in a relationship or date someone.

However, this does not mean that asexuals and aromantics do not have feelings, or are cold-hearted or cruel. Both asexuals and aromantics still have the same emotional and psychological needs as others. Not wanting to have sex or be in a romantic relationship do not make these individuals robots; they are still humans with human emotions, needs, and characteristics.

Furthermore, being aromantic does not mean that someone just has not found the right person yet, and being asexual does not mean that someone is just not ready to have sex. It means that they do not experience romantic or sexual attraction, and even finding the right person simply cannot change that.

You can help be more inclusive and welcoming of both aromantics and asexuals by not assuming that everyone will experience some form of sexual or romantic attraction. Instead of asking someone why they aren’t dating someone, or why they haven’t found someone yet, simply accept their decision and move on. Instead of judging someone for not wanting to have sex or not experiencing sexual attraction, accept people for who they are. Not everyone experiences sexual or romantic feelings, and there is nothing wrong with that.

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