First, let’s get one thing straight: Greyromantic is a romantic orientation, meaning it describes someone’s romantic interests and patterns — not their gender or sexual orientation. It’s used to identify who a person is (or isn’t) interested in dating and / or falling in love with.
Knowing this, greyromantic specifically describes someone who rarely feels a romantic attraction to someone, explains Tatyana Dyachenko a sex therapist at Peaches and Screams.
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Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that they don’t feel a romantic attraction to anyone, but it’s rare when they do. (Kind of like a gray area … get it?) Someone who identifies this way may only experience romantic attraction a couple of times throughout their life.
The Biggest Difference Between Greyromantic, Alloromantic, and Aromantic
There are three terms on the romantic orientation spectrum you should be familiar with: alloromantic, greyromantic, and aromantic. Let me explain the differences.
To start, society assumes that everyone falls in love multiple times throughout their lives, but some people just don’t. That’s what it means to be aromantic. Someone who identifies as aromantic will not feel any type of romantic connection with anyone. Oftentimes they will stay single. And though they can sometimes have partners, they just won’t be in love with them.
On the other end of the spectrum is the term “alloromantic.” This is a privileged identity, in that someone who is alloromantic “can experience romantic feelings with someone from the opposite gender, the same gender, of two genders, or of various genders,” says Sophie Mona Pagès, a relationship expert and the founder of LVRSNFRNDS who previously told Cosmopolitan.com. You might know a lot of people who are this way — you might even be one of them! But it’s important to remember that not everyone shares the same experiences and attraction, and that’s okay.
Then, there’s greyromantic, which kind of just falls in the middle of these two. A greyromantic individual will experience romantic attraction more often than someone who is aromantic, but less than someone who is alloromantic.
What Identifying as Greyromantic Looks Like
Someone who identifies as a greyromantic has no physical cues that will tell people around them that they identify as such. In fact, very rarely can we know someone’s sexual orientation, gender, or romantic identity by appearances only.
However, you might pick up some cues from their love life. Someone who is greyromantic might barely have any romantic partners or can only tell you that they’ve only loved one person. And when they do fall for someone, it’s under very specific circumstances, so don’t expect any “love at first sight” type of thing.
“Additionally, they might be romantically attracted to someone, but they’ll have no interest in starting a relationship,” says clinical sexologist Katie Lasson. “They might even feel alienated from romance.”
Signs that You Might Be Greyromantic
Again, there’s no specific rule book that tells you the signs that you might be greyromantic, but, according to Dyachenko, there are a few things that separate greyromantics from aromantics and alloromantics.
Here are a few signs:
You hardly ever experience romantic attraction, but very occasionally might. Pretty self-explanatory, but people who identify as greyromantic have rarely been able to connect with someone on a deeper level, though it has definitely happened (or could happen). Greyromantics also fall in love during specific circumstances.You don’t desire having a relationship, even with the one person you’re attracted to. For you, relationships don’t seem all that they’re hyped to be. Like who wants to spend a few months in that awkward talking phase to then have them run away when you ask the dreaded question, what are we? You might just prefer your own company or the company of your sexual partners, family, and friends.May feel alienated from romance. Feeling alienated here is not a thingless. No one else is making you feel out of place with all of the relationship stuff, but you just don’t understand why people might jump into them every single time they are remotely attracted to someone. You might also not understand this need to find “the one” or find the person you’ll marry because that’s just not it for you.
How to Support Friends or Partners Who Identify as Greyromantic
When it comes to supporting a close friend or even a partner who identifies as greyromantic, it’s all about being a decent human being. When someone decides to come out to you, they do it because they feel like they are in a safe space where they will be free of judgments. Regardless of how confused you might be about what it means, show your support. Be open to learning more about the relationship orientation spectrum – whether that’s asking the same friend who came out to you or reading about it in online forums that give you insight into what it means.
You can further support this person by not questioning why they don’t want a romantic relationship with someone or why they can’t fall in love. Frankly and respectfully, it’s none of your business, and you should support them.
How to be a Proud Greyromantic
Like other gender identities and sexual and romantic orientations, greyromantics have their own flag. Though there are various flags attributed, the main one consists of five stripes going from dark green to gray and white and then repeating the pattern.
There are also plenty of social media communities you can join, where greyromantics get together virtually. Specifically, there are Reddit groups, such as / r / Greyromantic, and TikTok hashtags like #greyromantic and #aromantic.
Sophia Melissa Caraballo Piñeiro Sophia is a freelance writer based in New York City with experience in writing everything from beauty and lifestyle to health and wellness.
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