Over the past two decades, our cultural understanding of gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, and romantic preferences have advanced by leaps and bounds. Not too long ago, most people couldn’t differentiate between gender identities and sexual orientations, which is why transgender individuals were often mistaken as homosexual. Similarly, it was previously assumed that sexual interest and romantic preferences were one and the same, but that is also incorrect. Sexual and romantic preferences can also span across spectrums.
One of the terminologies often met with confusion and skepticism is “demiromantic,” especially when it comes to relationships.
Because of our growing cultural understanding of sexuality, gender, and romance, people have suddenly been exposed to a wide range of terminologies with small nuances. You may have come across numerous words that describe sexual and romantic relationships in terms that you can’t comprehend. And you may have, in turn, felt validated by terminologies that accurately represent your experience. One of the terminologies often met with confusion and skepticism is “demiromantic,” especially when it comes to relationships.
This article aims to shed more light on demiromantic individuals and demiromantic relationships.
Who is a demiromantic?
A demiromantic is an individual who can only develop a romantic connection with an individual after they’ve already developed a strong emotional bond. Most people can have varying degrees of romantic interest in an individual, which may change with time and people. You may experience romantic feelings for someone even on a first date. But demiromantic individuals have a complete absence of romantic feelings until they’re emotionally and mentally connected to an individual.
Demiromanticism vs. aromanticism
Demiromanticism is often mistaken for aromanticism. While demiromanticism and aromanticism fall on the same spectrum of romantic preferences, they take up different positions. Aromantic individuals don’t feel romantic attraction to anyone, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, or other factors. Demiromantic individuals can feel romantic attraction, but only after developing a strong emotional and mental bond with an individual. That’s why demiromantic individuals generally go on dates with people they already know, and they might avoid blind dates or speed dating.
Demiromanticism vs. greyromanticism
Demiromanticism is also often conflated with greyromanticism, another iteration of romantic attraction and experience. A greyromantic individual who experiences occasional or infrequent romantic attraction, but that attraction isn’t conditional upon knowing someone really well. Demiromantic individuals may also experience occasional romantic interest, but only if they already have a strong mental and emotional bond with an individual. As such, demiromanticism hinges upon prior knowledge of the individual, whereas greyromanticism is more arbitrary.
Demiromanticism vs. demisexuality
Demiromanticism and demisexuality are often conflated because people still link romantic attractions and sexual identity. However, the two forms of identity are different. Demiromantics can only develop a romantic attraction to individuals they already have an emotional bond with, but they can develop a sexual attraction for anyone. Demisexuals can only feel sexually attracted to people they have an extremely close emotional bond with, but they can establish romantic attraction without a solid connection. You can technically be demiromantic and demisexual at once.
Understanding demiromantic relationships
All individuals can have unique romantic experiences, including demisexual individuals. There is no fixed pattern for romantic relationships. However, demiromantic individuals may have specific dating habits that represent their romantic identity. Demiromantics can’t develop a romantic attraction for an individual until they already have a strong emotional bond. As such, demiromantics gradually warm up to individuals before expressing their romantic interest. Since they can’t feel romantic attraction for virtual strangers, they often get into relationships with existing friends.
Demiromantics don’t usually develop crushes on random people, such as someone they may have met at a coffee shop or book store. For that same reason, demiromantics don’t always ask random people on dates or make grand romantic gestures. However, once a demiromantic individual establishes a strong connection with someone, they may indulge in traditional romantic gestures. Demiromantic individuals are often deemed to be unromantic, but it’s more appropriate and true to state that they’re more selectively romantic.
You might be demiromantic if:
- You’re confused by romantic feelings and don’t feel much for people on first dates
- You don’t struggle with sexual attraction, but romantic attraction is harder
- You often develop romantic attractions to existing friends
- You have a hard time falling in love
- You’ve never had a crush on someone you barely know
- You can’t comprehend falling for strangers
- You prefer casually hanging out with potential dates rather than doing traditionally romantic activities
The aforementioned signs may help you determine if you’re demiromantic. But even non-demiromantic individuals may identify with some or all of the signs mentioned above. There is no strict set of guidelines that help you determine if you’re demiromantic, so you have to simply figure it out for yourself. You also don’t have to label yourself — you can simply do whatever feels most authentic to you, dating who you want, when you want, and however you want.
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