What Does It Mean to Be Panromantic?

Panromantic couple looking at each other.

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Panromantic is a type of romantic orientation that describes people as being romantically or emotionally attracted to all genders.

A panromantic person may experience feelings of love, affection, and attraction to someone regardless of their gender identity. As with many other aspects of sexuality and gender, the concept of panromanticism has evolved over time and continues to be understood in different ways by different individuals.

What's the Difference Between Panromantic and Pansexual?

The term “panromantic” is distinct from “pansexual” in that it does not necessarily include any physical attraction between two people; rather, it emphasizes the emotional connection one might feel towards another person regardless of gender.

Pansexual people are attracted to all genders, both sexually and romantically. In contrast, panromantic people may be sexually attracted only to certain gender identities but feel a strong emotional connection with individuals of any gender.

A person who is panromantic can be of any gender identity or sexual orientation. Panromanticism differs from sexual orientation in that it relates to romantic attraction only, not sexual. For example, someone might identify as heterosexual but be panromantic, meaning they may experience feelings of love and attraction towards individuals regardless of their gender identity.

Panromantic vs. Biromantic

As with pansexuality, there is an even more specific orientation known as "biromantic," which refers to a person who experiences romantic feelings towards people of two genders. In contrast, someone who identifies as panromantic experiences the potential for emotional or romantic connections with people of all gender identities.

How Do I Know If I'm Panromantic?

The best way to know if you are panromantic is by reflecting on your own experiences and understanding of attraction.

  • What types of people do you feel attracted to, and how does this attraction manifest itself?
  • What types of relationships have you been in or had an interest in, and what can you learn from these experiences?

Taking the time to explore your feelings is a great way to gain insight into your romantic orientation.

Understanding your own panromantic identity can be liberating and help provide clarity on who and what type of relationships are right for you. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to identify as panromantic—the most important thing is that whatever label you use accurately reflects your own unique experience.

Everyone's journey with sexuality and gender exploration is different; embracing this uniqueness is key to feeling comfortable with yourself.

How Do I Tell People I'm Panromantic?

Telling people that you are panromantic is a personal decision and should be done in whatever way feels most comfortable for you. If you decide to tell someone, it can help to explain what panromanticism means to you so they have a better understanding of your unique orientation.

If the person is a close friend or family member, they may want to know more about how panromanticism affects your life and relationships. Being open with them can help strengthen these bonds and create meaningful conversations about sexuality and gender identity.

It's also important to remember that not everyone will be accepting of your identity—but this does not mean that it is any less valid. What’s most important is that you are comfortable with how you identify and know that there are many others who share similar experiences.

Below are some ways to start a conversation about being panromantic with family or friends:

  • Explain what panromantic means to you and why it is important for you to be open about it.
  • Ask if it’s okay to talk about your orientation and what they think about it.
  • Share any experiences you have had that helped shape your understanding of panromanticism.
  • Be prepared for some negative reactions, but also be open to different points of view.
  • Let them know how much their support means to you.
  • Let them know that you are open to talking about the subject further if they want more information.

Ultimately, being able to openly talk about your panromantic identity can help others better understand and respect your experience.

Other Types of Romantic Attraction

In addition to panromanticism, there are many other types of romantic attractions and orientations. These include heteroromantic, homoromantic, romantic, biromantic, polyromantic—the list goes on. It's important to remember that all romantic feelings and experiences are valid and should be respected. Below are brief descriptions of a few common types of romantic orientation:

Types of Romantic Orientation

  • Heteroromantic: Attraction to members of the opposite gender
  • Homoromantic: Attraction to members of the same gender
  • Biromantic: Attraction to members of two genders
  • Polyromantic: Attraction to multiple genders
  • Aromantic: Little or no interest in any type of romantic relationship

Why Labels Matter

Labels can be powerful tools for understanding and expressing one’s own romantic identity. Labeling yourself as panromantic, for example, can help create a sense of belonging and connection to others who may share similar feelings or experiences. It also provides an avenue for self-expression, allowing individuals to communicate their preferences in terms of relationships and attraction.

Ultimately, labels are only helpful if they accurately reflect how you feel—so it’s important to take the time to explore your personal journey with sexuality and romantic attraction before settling on any label in particular. What matters is that you find something that feels comfortable and honest to you, regardless of what other people might think or say.

In conclusion, panromanticism is a unique and valid type of romantic orientation. It can be liberating to understand your own identity and share it with others in whatever way feels right for you. What matters most is that you feel comfortable in your own skin and embrace the beautiful complexity of romantic attraction.

3 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill LGBT Center. Asexuality, Attraction, and Romantic Orientation.

  2. LGBT Foundation. ​What it Means to be Pansexual or Panromantic.

  3. University of Massachusetts. LGBTQIA+ Terminology.

By Arlin Cuncic
Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety."