Everywhere we go we are surrounded by concepts of love and romance (and sex). Romance books and movies, Valentine’s day, and an endless sea of “dream wedding” ideas. Our society puts heavy emphasis on finding a partner to have a romantic connection with.
But what about those who don’t really have that kind of bond with people?
Well, thanks to the burst of helpful language the LGBTQ+ community has brought about/shined a light on, we have a handy-dandy word for that. It’s called Grey Romantic.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A GREY ROMANTIC?
Well, first, let’s define a few other terms that will make the definition make more sense (especially if you’re new to these terms).
- AROMANTIC – is a spectrum for those who have very little or no romantic attraction to others. Or they do not feel/relate to romance in the standard ways or levels that society feels are “normal”.
- DEMIROMANTIC – is another group that sits on the Aromantic scale. It describes someone who will not feel a romantic connection to someone unless there is a deep, emotional bond.
Greyromantics sit on the Aromantic spectrum, but feel “there are parts of their experience that aren’t fully described by the word aromantic.”lgbtqia.wiki
They also might…
- Consider themselves not purely aromantic or maybe demiromantic
- Only experience society’s idea of true love only a couple of times in their life
- Feel it, but only under very specific circumstances
- Experience romance very weakly
- Be unsure where the line is between romantic and non-romantic attraction
Greyromantic and aromantic folks feel alienated from the dominant experience. If you’re constantly watching shows and reading books that prize romantic exchanges, written with the assumption that all people have the same expectations about love and romance, but you actually don’t feel compelled to find romance in your own life, it can feel dislocating.
Nothing is wrong with you, you’re not broken, and what a frickin’ treat it is to know that something doesn’t resonate with you and that’s not part of what feels good.Sex Therapist Claudia Johnson
Also, it’s very important to remember that this does not cover sexual attraction (which is a different category altogether). Someone who is grey romantic might still feel intense sexual attraction to someone else. And, it could be someone of the opposite or same gender. An example could be grey-homoromantic.
And, getting back to the idea of love. This doesn’t mean grey romantics don’t feel love. They are still capable of loving family, friends, children, etc. They just might not feel it towards a partner.
Note: It’s also spelled/called greyaromantic, grayromantic, or grayaromantic. Grey comes from the term “grey area”, which is widely used by the community to express flexibility or exploration.
LOOKING AT THE FLAG
I love LGBTQ+ flags. Even if the designs are simple (like most flags), there’s so much thought that goes into them. And I adore how they use hues that are not from the traditional flag pallet. The grey romantic flag is a great example. There are, however, a few versions out there – mostly because of their evolution towards something more all-encompassing or simplified.
No one knows who created the first one. But we do know it was based on the grey sexual flag (substituting in green instead of purple).
The next one was designed by “Angel” on December 3rd, 2020. The different colors represented the different levels of attraction, with white being in the middle and meaning community.
The next was made by Apollo on November 21st, 2020, with a similar idea using similar colors.
Finally, the most recent was submitted by Nyoomster on the LGBTA+ wiki discord On June 28. The idea was to keep the obvious grey, but the darker greens meant an occasional attraction, the lighter being further on the Aro spectrum or no romance at all. Finally, the white staying in the design to encompass community. The hues were updated for a more modern feeling.
GREY ROMANTIC – PERSONAL CLOSING THOUGHTS
While writing this article, I thought back on my past relationships – and how the burnout from them all has caused enormous stress and an intense desire to stay away from romance. And for those out there who might find the same connection, it’s important to remember this…
Being a grey romantic is something you ARE – not something you’re temporarily going through (like me).
Then again, I thought back on everyone I had been attracted to in the past, and it got me wondering how many of the guys I had truly been romantically attracted to (as opposed to sexually or wanting to be with for security). And, now that I’m emotionally healthy and stable, the push to feel romance isn’t there as much. Grey romantics or those in the Aro-family don’t need “that” kind of love to be happy. And I’m finding that makes sense to me more and more.
This got me thinking that even if you’re not on the spectrum, having loving relationships that are not romantic (like friends and family) can be enormously fulfilling. And even more so, learning self-love is vital to being truly happy.
Being in a society that goes crazy around romance, grey romantics (or those on the Aro spectrum) might be looked at as oddities. But in my opinion, they should be looked at as amazing examples that the rest of us could learn a great deal from.