Women's Health

What Is Grayromantic and How Is It Different from Aromanticism?

A woman sitting alone on the couch. | Source: Shutterstock

Grayromanticism, also known as being grayromantic, is a concept that may seem unfamiliar to many. However, this distinct romantic orientation has become a growing trend today, and people are curious about how it differs from aromanticism.

The terms grayromanticism or grayromantic are rarely heard in daily discussions, and they do not pertain to the color gray or represent a subgroup within the LGBTQ+ community. It is intertwined with how we perceive romantic culture.

Love stories are everywhere: in books, music, TV shows, and films. However, only some connect with these tales of romance, and that’s where grayromantics come into the picture.

A woman standing by the balcony. | Source: Pexels

Understanding Grayromanticism and Grayromantic

Aromanticism covers various identities and orientations for people with different levels of romantic attraction who may not want romantic relationships. Grayromanticism is one of these identities in the aromantic spectrum.

Grayromantics may have a limited range of romantic emotions or feel romantic attraction only on rare occasions. Sometimes they have no feelings of romantic interest at all.

A woman using her mobile phone. | Source: Pexels

A woman using her mobile phone. | Source: Pexels

Grayromantic is the opposite of alloromantic. Alloromantics usually experience romantic attraction and desire in a way that is considered normal in our society. Seattle-based therapist Claudia Johnson said:

“There’s a spectrum of alloromantic and aromantic, and in the middle not everything is black and white… There’s a grey area, and that’s where the greyromantics exist.”

The queer community often uses the “gray area” metaphor to introduce a sense of openness and flexibility to experiences commonly considered fixed within the mainstream perspective.

A man sitting on the floor. | Source: Pexels

A man sitting on the floor. | Source: Pexels

Meanwhile, psychotherapist and coach Tarynn Dier emphasized that struggling with or lacking interest in romantic connections doesn’t mean being asexual or uninterested in sexual relationships.

It also doesn’t diminish the ability to form friendships, show empathy, or care for others. Instead, those who identify as grayromantic may approach relationships in unique and unconventional ways.

A woman sitting by the window. | Source: Pexels

A woman sitting by the window. | Source: Pexels

Grayromanticism Is Quite a Diverse Concept

Being grayromantic varies from person to person, relieving those who can never relate to society’s expectations of romantic relationships. Other grayromantics reveal that romantic attraction is rare, while others feel it sporadically with significant gaps in between.

For other grayromantics, their romantic attraction feels subtle and difficult to distinguish from other ambiguous emotions. It’s worth noting that grayromantics can experience sexual attraction unless they also identify as asexual.

Sometimes, they may even feel sexual attraction toward individuals they have no romantic interest, a phenomenon described as “mixed-orientation” or “cross-orientation.”

A woman looking out the window. | Source: Pexels

A woman looking out the window. | Source: Pexels

Exploring Grayromanticism through Candyde and Siggy

Some individuals identify as grayromantics, including Candyde, a well-known YouTube personality, and Siggy, who writes for The Asexual Agenda blog.

While Candyde frequently has crushes and infatuations, the social media star’s attraction differs from the intense love that alloromantics typically experience.

Meanwhile, in 2019, Siggy mentioned that he identified as grayromantic. However, when he first started using the term, he felt uncertain because he had always perceived his sexual and romantic orientations as interconnected.

While some individuals differentiate between their sexual and romantic attractions and orientations, others — like Siggy — find it challenging to distinguish between them.

Later, Siggy finally embraced his own identity as a “gray-asexual.” He identifies as such because his experience of sexual attraction differs from the norm, and he is unsure if it fits the conventional definition.

A man alone in the field. | Source: Pexels

A man alone in the field. | Source: Pexels

To sum up, the experiences and identities of grayromantics like Candyde and Siggy provide insight into the complex and diverse aspects of asexuality and aromanticism. Individuals who identify within this spectrum have ample opportunities for personal growth, as the journey of self-discovery is boundless.

It’s essential to recognize that regardless of whether you identify as a grayromantic or not, emphasizing acceptance is necessary for dating, intimacy, or seeking compatibility. Without such, relationships cannot flourish.

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