Sexual Identity What Does the Term 'Alloromantic' Mean? By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MSEd Facebook Twitter Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book." Learn about our editorial process Published on April 25, 2022 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Monica Johnson, PsyD Medically reviewed by Monica Johnson, PsyD Dr. Monica Johnson is a clinical psychologist and owner of Kind Mind Psychology, a private practice in NYC specializing in evidence-based approaches to treating a wide range of mental health issues (e.g., depression, anxiety, trauma, and personality disorders). Additionally, she works with marginalized groups of people, including BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and alternative lifestyles, to manage minority stress. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print Kupicoo / Getty Images Table of Contents View All Table of Contents What Does the Term 'Alloromantic' Mean? Characteristics Alloromantic, Aromantic & Allosexual Alloromantic Spectrum Impact on Relationships Considerations Healthy Romantic Relationships What Does the Term 'Alloromantic' Mean? Alloromantic The term alloromantic refers to people who experience romantic attraction. Romantic attraction involves a desire to have an emotional connection and interaction with another person. Many different types of romantic orientations fall under the alloromantic umbrella. A person who is alloromantic can experience romantic attraction for someone of the opposite gender. They can also have these feelings for the same gender as themself or any other gender. While it is often assumed that all people are alloromantic, it is important to recognize that this is not always the case. Not all people experience romantic or sexual attraction to other people. It can be helpful to understand that romantic attraction is different than sexual attraction. Romantic love involves a number of feelings, including a desire for emotional intimacy. It also often involves feelings of passion and a desire for sexual contact, but this is not always the case. A person can also desire romance without desiring sex. Characteristics of Alloromanticism First, it is important to recognize that not everyone experiences romantic feelings in the same way. For many people, they may be certain periods of life, such as during young adulthood, when these feelings are more pronounced. There also is not a single way of defining what it means to be romantic. While each person has their own ideas, expectations, and emotions associated with this feeling, it can vary from one person to the next. Some signs that you might be alloromantic include: You experience feelings of romantic attraction toward other people.You have experienced feeling "in love" or have had a "crush" on another person.Having a romantic relationship is important to you.You like feeling close to someone, even if you're not sexually attracted to them.You feel a strong connection with someone after sharing intimate details about your life.You enjoy going on dates, even if they don't lead to anything serious.You often wonder if you will ever find "the one."You frequently daydream or think about being in a romantic relationship.You feel incomplete without romance in your life. It is also important to remember that romantic feelings are always the same as love. You might experience feelings of romance, such as desiring intimacy and closeness, without necessarily being in love with that person. Recap People who are alloromantic experience romantic attraction. Signs of being alloromantic include desiring romance and enjoying fictional depictions of romance. The Terms Alloromantic, Aromantic and Allosexual While some alloromantic people are also allosexual, the two terms are not interchangeable. A person who is allosexual experiences sexual attraction to other people, which is not the same as experiencing romantic attraction. They do often occur together, but a person can also be alloromantic without being allosexual and vice versa. It is also important to distinguish between alloromantic and aromantic. Aromantic is a term to describe people who do not or rarely experience romantic attraction. Alloromantic Spectrum Alloromantic is an umbrella term that encompasses a number of different romantic identities, including: Gray-romantic: This romantic orientation falls somewhere between alloromantic and aromantic. People have romantic feelings sometimes, but only at certain times or under certain conditions. Demiromantic: This romantic attraction involves only having romantic feelings for people with whom a person shares an emotional connection. Lithromantic: This type is focused on romantic attraction for people who do not return the same romantic feelings. Recipromantic: This type involves only feeling romantic attraction if the other person also shares these feelings. Panromantic: This involves romantic attraction for people of all genders. Heteromantic: This involves experiencing romantic feelings towards people of the opposite gender. Homoromantic: This romantic orientation is focused on feeling romance for people of the same gender. Biromantic: This involves feeling romance for people of both the same and opposite genders. Recap Alloromantic is an umbrella term that encompasses many different romantic orientations, also known as affectional orientations. These orientations refer to the identities of people you want to become emotionally and romantically involved with. Glossary of Must-Know Sexual Identity Terms How Alloromanticism Affects Relationships Being alloromantic can influence the type and course of your relationships. If you have an alloromantic relationship, you have a desire for romantic connections in your life. You will likely spend time looking for romance, dating, and other social rituals designed to lead to romance. It may or may not mean that you want a sexual relationship or a long-term relationship. Remember, being alloromantic is not necessarily the same as being allosexual. And not all people who want and enjoy romance and intimacy are interested in sex. Understanding your romantic orientations and needs can be helpful as you determine exactly what you want when it comes to romance, sex, and relationships. If you are alloromantic, you may find that your needs are not always met in your relationships. You might want more romance or intimacy than your partners do. Or you might feel disappointed when your expectations for romance don't match up to reality. This is why it is so important for both people in the relationship to communicate their needs and expectations. Recap Being alloromantic means that having romantic attraction and intimate connections are important in your life. If these needs are not being met in your relationship, talking to your partner about these needs is an important first step. Things to Consider If You Are Alloromantic It is important to recognize that being alloromantic is the norm. It is what society expects from people, so it is often difficult for people who don’t experience romantic attraction in the same way. This expectation is deeply ingrained in our culture, a phenomenon that has been dubbed amatonormativity. The dominant culture creates enormous pressure for people to make pursuing romance, marriage, and monogamy a top priority. Pressure to follow these romantic social scripts might cause people to stay in unhealthy relationships rather than stay single. Bad relationships can take a serious toll on your health. According to a study published in the Journal of Family Psychology, it's better to be single than stay in a low-quality relationship. Make sure that you aren't allowing social pressure to dictate your own romantic choices. Give yourself the time and ability to explore your own wants and needs outside of society's expectations. That way, when you decide that you'd like romance in your life, you won't be pursuing relationships just to be in a relationship. Supporting People Who Do Not Identify as Alloromantic People who are alloromantic are the most represented group in mainstream culture. This representation may be found in books, movies, video games, and even advertising. If you are alloromantic, you can take steps to be supportive of people who may not feel the same way that you do. This includes people who may have a different romantic orientation, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Steps you can take include: Remember that not everyone wants romance. While you may be alloromantic, not everyone wants to have a romantic partner. Recognize other people’s feelings. It's easy to assume that other people feel the same as you do, but try to remind yourself that other orientations and identities are just as valid and worthy of recognition as yours.Don't pressure people to pursue romance. Make sure that you aren't assuming that your single friends are unhappy just because they are not in a romantic relationship. It is possible that they are happy already happy, and they may not have any interest in a relationship. How to Navigate Your Own Privilege Cultivating Healthy Romantic Relationships If you are alloromantic, there are a few things you can do to cultivate a healthy relationship: Communicate with your partner about your needs and expectations. Don't expect your partner to always know what you need. Be direct and honest about what would make you feel loved and cared for. Be patient with yourself and your partner. It takes time to learn how to effectively communicate and meet each other's needs. Make sure you are on the same page about what kind of relationship you both want. Are you looking for something casual or long-term? Be mindful of your partner's needs. One way to think of this is to consider their 'love language,' or needs and preferences in a relationship. Respect your partner's boundaries. Just because you're alloromantic doesn't mean your partner wants the same level of romance and intimacy that you do. Remember that all relationships take work. Don't expect things to be perfect all the time. There will be ups and downs, but you can often work through problems as long as you are both committed to the relationship. Recap If having a romantic relationship is important to you, make sure you cultivate strong and healthy relationships. Communication, boundaries, honesty, trust, and mutual support are key elements to look for. A Word From Verywell If you are alloromantic, having a romantic relationship will likely be an important part of your life. Understanding your romantic orientations, needs, and expectations can help you find a relationship that will be fulfilling and meaningful. If you identify as alloromantic you can also be an ally to others who don't identify as such. 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Singles' Reasons for being single: Empirical evidence from an evolutionary perspective. Front Psychol. 2020;11:746. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00746 By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book." See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist Online Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.