What is the difference between Asexual and Aromantic?

As we have discussed in previous courses, there are five different types of attraction: sexual, sensual, romantic, platonic, and aesthetic. Allosexual people, people who are not asexual, typically experience all of these forms of attraction at the same time.

However, not everyone experiences all forms of attraction, and some people may experience attraction differently.


Asexual (or ace for short) is a sexual orientation describing people who do not feel sexual attraction to anyone, regardless of gender.

Asexuality exists on a spectrum, and includes other identities such as:

  • Demisexual: someone who feels sexual attraction to a person only after developing a strong emotional connection to them
  • Graysexual: someone who may feel sexual attraction very rarely


Aromantic (or aro for short) people do not experience romantic attraction to anyone, regardless of gender. 

Just as with asexuality, aromanticism exists on a spectrum and similarly includes other identities, such as:

  • Demiromantic: someone who feels romantic attraction only after establishing deep emotional intimacy
  • Greyromantic: those who relate with aromanticism, yet feel that there are parts of their experience that aren’t fully described by the word aromantic

Aroace people are people who are both aromantic and asexual.

Common misconceptions

It is commonly believed that all asexual people are also aromantic, believing that because someone doesn’t want to have sex with anyone they also don’t want to date anyone. This is not true. Many asexual people can experience romantic and other forms attraction, and many aromantic people cam experience sexual and other forms of attraction.

One of the most common forms of aphobia is talking about aspec people (people on the asexuality or aromantic spectrum) as not knowing or understanding their own experiences. (For example: “Are you sure?” “You haven’t found the right person” “This is just a phase”) However, it’s important to remember that aspec people aren’t confused or deluded – they simply have a different experience of attraction than most people.

Another extremely common form of aphobia is the belief that aspec people are less than human. (For example: aspec people are broken / alien / robots / cold and emotionless).

Many asexual people can experience romantic and other forms of attraction, and many aromantic people can experience sexual and other forms of attraction.


SPECTRUM offers a safe place where LGBTQ2+ individuals can be themselves and find community and supports.