Everyday terms used in the aromantic community
This glossary is a continuously updating record of terms that have been and are being used in the aromantic community. 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 label describing the usual patterns of a person’s romantic attraction or the lack of it.
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.
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.
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
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
Aromisia / Arophobia
The dislike of or prejudice against aromantic people. Aromisia is an alternative term to arophobia, which is sometimes misused to be synonymous with a diagnosable phobia or fear.
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
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.