Alphabetical collection of all terms
This glossary is a continuously updating record of terms that have been and are being used in the aromantic community by at least one person. As a record, this glossary is meant to document the various concepts that are thought up when the language is not sufficient to describe people’s experiences and doesn’t encourage or discourage the use of any term.
Please keep in mind these are shortened definitions and identities can be nuanced.
A spectrum (a-spec)
A-spec is also used as a specific identity describing someone who doesn’t differentiate their experiences of conditional or no attraction into types.
Coined by: Whes and Strategicgoat and Warriorsdebt
Afecturomantic / Affecturomantic / Adfectual / Adfomantic
Describes a person whose romantic attraction is affected by their neurodivergency.
An interest or strong appreciation for a particular person’s appearance or beauty.
Describes a person who can feel romantic attraction towards others and enjoys romantic relationships in theory, but does not need that affection to be reciprocated or to be in a relationship with the one the feelings are directed towards.
Describes a person who may stop feeling romantic attraction once in a relationship or stop enjoying it.
Coined by: Cisphobeofficial
An interest or desire for emotional closeness without necessarily being platonic and/or romantic. Alterous is often used in the place of -romantic or -sexual suffixes (e.g., bialterous instead of biromantic).
A significant attraction that is related to other attractions (e.g., romantic).
A significant attraction that is unrelated to any other attractions.
Coined by: Schizotypal-scully
The widespread assumption that everyone is better off in an exclusive, romantic, long-term coupled relationship, and that everyone is seeking such a relationship.
Coined by: Philosopher and professor Elizabeth Brake
Describes a person on the aromantic and asexual spectra, who experiences a form of attraction other than romantic or sexual, but is significant enough to warrant a place alongside their aroace orientation. This label is for use by arospec asexual people, aromantic acespec people, and arospec acespec people.
Coined by: Black-aros
Describes a person who would prefer not to develop romantic feelings for people, but does anyway.
Describes a person who may or may not experience romantic attraction, but is indifferent to receiving it or acting on it.
Describes neurodivergent aroaces who struggle to form relationships of any kind with people.
Coined by: Mr. Shuttershy
Aplatonic spectrum (aplspec)
An umbrella term for people who experience little to no platonic attraction, abbreviated to aplspec.
Aplspec is also used as a specific identity describing someone who experiences conditional or otherwise nonnormative platonic attraction, but doesn’t label it further. Platonic is often used in the place of -romantic or -sexual suffixes (e.g., demiplatonic instead of demiromantic).
Describes a relationship or partner that is not romantic. It may not quite fit the definition of a queerplatonic relationship or queerplatonic partner either. Appromour is a way to describe a relationship that may seem like a romantic relationship to oneself or outside observers but is decidedly still not romantic.
Coined by: Pixelprattlexp
Describes a person who feels that their aromantic identity is more important than other identities or is their “primary” or most important identity. Can be thought of to be an experience under the non-SAM/unit aro umbrella.
Coined by: Arokeladry
As a subset of non-SAM/unit aro proposed by: Arokeladry
Describes a gender which is significantly connected to one’s aromanticism. It can be any gender identity influenced by having an aromantic spectrum identity. It can be used as a standalone gender label or in conjunction with others; for example, one could be an arogender boy.
Coined by: Arokaladin
Commonly describes someone who experiences little to no romantic attraction, abbreviated to aro.
It also describes someone whose experience of romance is disconnected from normative societal expectations, due to feeling repulsed by romance, or being uninterested in romantic relationships.
Commonly used as a specific identity term by people who experience no romantic attraction.
See also: FAQ
Aromantic spectrum (arospec, aro)
Arospec is also used as a specific identity term describing someone who experiences conditional, unreliable or otherwise nonnormative romantic attraction, but doesn’t label it further.
Noun form of aromantic.
Describes a platonic friend who fulfills the role of a soulmate in a nonromantic way.
Coined by: Caeghost
Describes a person whose romantic orientation fluctuates very rapidly, skyrocketing into intense attraction, then plummeting down to feeling no attraction again.
Commonly describes someone who experiences little to no sexual attraction, abbreviated to ace.
It also describes people whose experiences with sex are disconnected from normative societal expectations, due to feeling repulsed by or uninterested in sex.
Describes a person who has interest in conventionally romantic actions, yet does not desire a romantic relationship.
Coined by: Shygu on Tumblr
Describes a person whose feelings of attraction are very weak or vague, almost nonexistent, like a vapor, fog, or mist.
Coined by: Terribledactyl on Tumblr
A group of individuals who, based on emotional closeness, deliberately choose one another to play significant roles in each other’s lives and consider each other family even though they are not biologically or legally related.
An intense feeling of romantic attraction to a person.
Describes a person whose romantic orientation fluctuates from feeling no attraction to feeling attraction. When attraction is felt, it is accompanied by a strong feeling of dread or anxiety.
Greyromantic (grey aromantic)
Describes a person who feels romantic attraction very rarely, weakly, unreliably or gains/loses attraction in unusual or unknown circumstances.
Can also be used as an umbrella term for orientations on the aromantic spectrum except for aromantics who don’t experience romantic attraction at all.
Grey coined by: KPsaz
Greyromantic coined by: Shortass Lady
Describes a person who experiences attraction only when engaging with depictions of attraction (e.g., drawings, writing), not when engaging with the acts themselves in real life.
Mixed orientation identity / Varioriented
Any combination of a sexual orientation and romantic orientation that do not “match up,” or share the same gender preference. Any person who is not heteroromantic heterosexual, homoromantic homosexual, aromantic asexual, biromantic bisexual, or panromantic pansexual, etc., has a mixed orientation identity. Also called cross-orientation sexuality.
A measurement of how much a person feels uncomfortable with components of monogamy (sexual, emotional, social, and activity) being displayed or directed at them.
Coined by: Mark
Describes an aromantic person who does not use the Split Attraction Model (SAM) to characterize their orientation. This term is disliked by many who fit the description as it defines them by what they are not, implies split attraction is the norm for aromantics, and that the counterpart “SAM aro” is rarely used.
A recently proposed alternative to this term is Unit aro.
Coined by: Omitef#7790 on Arocalypse Discord
Describes an aromantic and asexual person who experiences a form of attraction that is neither romantic nor sexual, but is significant enough to warrant a place alongside their aroace orientation. This label was specifically created for aroaces who never experience romantic or sexual attraction.
Coined by: Bioaroace
Describes a friend that one has a significant sexual relationship with.
Coined by: Alexei
Any combination of a sexual orientation and romantic orientation that “match up,” or share the same gender preference.
An interest or desire for friendship or other close relationship with a particular person. Most often, this relationship is non-romantic and non-sexual, but this can vary depending on the person.
Describes a person who switches between being either extremely attracted and not at all attracted to someone.
The practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships where individuals may have more than one partner, with the knowledge and consent of all partners. Individuals who practice polyamory are called polyamorous.
Describes a person who feels that they have not experienced attraction enough to know their orientation yet.
Queerplatonic (quasiplatonic) relationship (QPR)
A committed non-romantic relationship that goes beyond what is the subjective cultural norm for a friendship. Levels of intimacy and/or behaviors between the partners involved often don’t fit the conventional standards set by society. Some QPRs can include sex and elements that are generally considered romantic. In practice every queerplatonic relationship is different. Abbreviated to QPR, and queerplatonic (quasiplatonic) partner to QPP. Another common word for QPP used to be zucchini.
Coined by: Meloukhia and Kaz
Describes a person who doesn’t understand romance, romantic attraction, or romantic orientation and feels as if those categories are nonsensical, inapplicable, or inaccessible so they disidentify with those labels.
A helpful source
Describes a person who experiences confusion or frustration when trying to differentiate between and apply platonic and romantic attraction to their personal experiences, and therefore is not sure if they experience it.
Coined by: Cor (Epochryphal)
Romance repulsed / averse / indifferent / favorable
An axis describing a person’s level of comfort with actions that are perceived as romantic directed at them or displays of them (in person or in media). The level of comfort may be dynamic and conditional.
Romance repulsed/averse – describes a person who is mildly to severely uncomfortable with romance directed at them or displays of romantic affections.
Romance indifferent – describes a person who is neither uncomfortable with nor particularly enthusiastic about romance directed at them or displays of romantic affections.
Romance favorable – describes a person who is comfortable with and may enjoy romance or displays of romantic affections.
An interest or desire for romantic contact or interaction with a particular person. This type of attraction often comes with strong feelings, usually infatuation and the wish to form a romantic relationship with that person.
A label describing the usual patterns of a person’s romantic attraction or the lack of it.
A type of application of the Split Attraction Model (SAM). The semi-SAM is fluctuation in how one can classify their identity. For example, sometimes identifying under a SAM model feels appropriate, while at other times it does not. It can also be used if one feels a particular identity takes priority, but does not wish to disregard any other identities.
Coined by: Black-aros
An interest or desire to touch or be physically close to someone, in a non-sexual way such as hugging or cuddling.
An interest or desire for sexual contact or interaction with a particular person.
The stigmatization of or discrimination against people who are single.
Coined by: Bella DePaulo
Split Attraction Model (SAM)
Some aromantics use the SAM to make a distinction between experiences of attraction depending on certain characteristics, conceptualizing them as different types of attraction. A person who uses the SAM to describe themselves may experience different types of attraction as distinctive and decide to label the attractions separately. It’s not a model that works to describe everyone’s experiences, and there are some disagreements about its history.
The equivalent of a crush for other types of attraction. Sometimes used as a catch-all term for other types of non-romantic non-sexual attractions.
Coined by: Raisin (A-gent Raisin)
An umbrella term that includes types of attraction that are not strictly categorizable into romantic attraction or sexual attraction.
Describes a person who is mildly to severely uncomfortable with physical touch. The level of discomfort may be dynamic and conditional.
Describes a relationship that fluctuates or is fluid between different kinds of relationships.
Coined by: Wavership