Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week Image by alicia_mb on Freepik

Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week, 20th – 26th February 2023

This week we celebrate Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week. It is our yearly important reminder that not every person experiences romantic attraction.

Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week is a yearly international event dedicated to spreading awareness and acceptance of all aromantic identities. It is a celebration of the wider ace community, and was created in 2014 to tackle the low level of public knowledge regarding aromanticism.

What is Aromanticism?

The term aromantic refers to people who do not feel any or little romantic attraction towards others. Essentially, people do not experience many romantic feelings for other people.

Stigma Against Aromantic People

Aromantic people are capable of being in a relationship. However, their relationships may be more platonic or sexual rather than romantic. Anyone can be aromantic, it is not limited to a specific gender identity or sexual orientation.

Aromantic people experience romance in a way that does not align to normative societal expectations. They may not be interested in having romance in their life at all. However, there is an ‘assumption that all people are sexual’, as the term compulsory sexuality highlights. Thus, our society marginalises any form of non-sexuality, and by extension aromanticism.

Cis heteronormativity has conditioned us to believe that romantic relationships are the end goal. According to that worldview all people should seek a romantic partner in life. However, this set of expectations will often exclude many ace identities. Aromantic people may not crave such romance and neither ‘should’ they. Their experience and feelings are as valid as those who experience feelings of romance.

Many may not relate to the experience of falling in love or having crushes. Nevertheless, aromantic people can lead very fulfilling lives without ever needing a romantic connection.

Aromanticism is a spectrum, encompassing many different identities. For example, greyromantic people may only experience romantic attraction sometimes or under specific circumstances. Another identity within the spectrum is demiromantic. This term refers to a person who only feels romantic attraction after they have built a strong connection or bond with the person beforehand.

How to Be An Ally

Here are some tips on what NOT to say. For example, if someone you know identifies as aromantic or part of the ace community:

  • Do not tell them that they just haven’t met the right person yet. This is extremely invalidating. They do not need to be ‘fixed’ or ‘cured’ of their aromanticism.
  • Do not tell them that it is a ‘phase’. This community most certainly does not need you to invalidate their experiences.
  • Do not tell them that not experiencing romantic feelings is ‘not normal’. There is nothing wrong with being aromantic.

If you identify as aromantic, we would like to hear from you. Feel free to share your story by @-ing us on Twitter or Instagram. It is important that aromantic stories get heard and that we break the stigma against the community.