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Can someones romantic orientation and sexual orientation be very different (aromantic pansexual or asexual polyromantic) or do they have to go in hand (aromantic asexual, biromantic bisexual)?

29 Answers
Last Updated: 03/01/2021 at 2:41am
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Top Rated Answers
Anonymous - Expert in LGBTQ+ Issues
January 18th, 2015 6:52am
If you feel it, it is real and valid. We separate the types of attraction because they are so different, and many people have different orientations for each of them. While most people label no more than their romantic and sexual orientations, anyone can have a different orientation or all types of attraction -- aesthetic, platonic, romantic, sensual, and sexual. With the number of different people in the world, we can near guarantee someone out there can define themselves as panaesthetic, polyplatonic, biromantic, homosensual, asexual. Some people even have opposing orientations, like heteroromantic homosexual, or have fluid sexuality that changes regularly. Whatever set of labels feels right, is right, even if that means having no label or making up a new one.
June 5th, 2015 6:32pm
They can absolutely be different! Your sexual orientation and your romantic orientation are two separate things. Even if they statistically are more likely to go hand in hand, almost ALL combinations are possible here. :)
April 19th, 2015 8:10pm
No , they don't , it's not the same thing at all! An asexual could be panromantic and a pansexual could be aromantic
April 3rd, 2015 1:03pm
The romantic orientation and sexual orientation of the person need not go in hand, it may be different. It's all about the preferences in the end.
May 2nd, 2015 2:54am
Of course not, for example, I am a hetroromantic asexual. Romantic attraction and sexual attraction are different which means they do not have to match each other, sometimes they do, sometimes they don't, it depends on the person.
November 9th, 2015 3:10am
They can absolutely differ! And the amount they differ, can be extreme or very slight. Someone can just not experience one form of attraction, but still very much experience the other, and that's okay. That's why the terms are separated now - it's not just one word description.
November 16th, 2015 4:03pm
They can be different, you can be bisexual without having to be biromantic; just because you're attracted to a certain gender etc sexually doesn't mean you are romantically
- Expert in LGBTQ+ Issues
June 10th, 2019 8:18pm
Romantic and sexual orientation do not necessarily coincide. Any combination of orientation is possible, and they can also be very different, like the example you mentioned. That's totally alright, and it's always possible to find a lifestyle and relationships that fit the way you feel!
April 26th, 2015 11:18am
Of course it can my friend is pan romantic but identifys sexually as lesbian so it doesn't matter your orientation is your orientation no one can change that
August 3rd, 2015 7:11pm
They can be different. Not everyone feels both romantically and sexually attracted to people.
September 21st, 2015 7:16am
Romantic and sexual orientation are like socks, sometimes they can be paired, but they don't have to be.
September 29th, 2015 1:56am
Someone's romantic orientation can definitely be very different. We are all different to begin with. For example, Somebody might be aromantic, but may be interested in both genders.
December 8th, 2015 4:18am
Of course they can be different! I have a friend who is aromantic pansexual, she is sexually attracted to people but not romantically involved.
December 14th, 2015 1:33am
How we each identify can vary greatly. Some of us have our romantic orientation as very different than our sexual orientation. Personally I am pan-romantic grey-asexual.
February 1st, 2016 12:20am
They can absolutely be different. Sexual and romantic attraction are different, and while the most common combination of differention orientations is asexual xxromantic or xxsexual aromantic, any combination is possible and whatever fits you.
February 22nd, 2016 6:45am
Well, my girlfriend is an asexual lesbian, and one of my friends is bisexual but heteroromantic, and another friend of mine is pansexual but aromantic. So, yes, the two can be very different.
February 23rd, 2016 4:37am
Romantic and sexual orientation can be very different. There can always be a dichotomy between who you do or don't want to date and who you do or don't want to have sex with. It's different for everybody!
May 24th, 2016 6:38pm
They can be extremely different! It all depends on the person, but usually, it actually doesn't go hand in hand.
June 7th, 2016 6:18pm
For a long time I struggled to find both a sexuality and romantic orientation that really fit me. To be honest I never understood the sheer amount of sexualities out there, and felt compelled to join a more 'well-known' group, i.e bisexual, lesbian etc. Since then I have decided that the best fit for me is 'Questioning-Asexual, Demi-Pan-Romantic'--- which is incredibly long winded and seemed silly at first. But, we should never limit ourselves to one group, we should persevere to find one that feels comfortable, and accept ourselves if we can't find our place on the spectrum. Your romantic orientation does not affect your sexual orientation and vice versa, they are fluid and they can be completely different ends of the spectrum, and that does not invalidate you.
October 11th, 2016 10:37pm
It is totally okay to have a romantic orientation and sexual orientation that are completely different! They do not have to go hand in hand at all, as they are two different aspects of attraction. It is totally okay to be aromatic pansexual, just like it's perfectly okay to be biromatic bisexual!
May 29th, 2017 1:25am
They can be very different. I know people (my mom for instance) who feel no sexual attraction, but do want and enjoy romantic relationships. I also know people who are romantically attracted to multiple genders, but only sexually attracted to one. Many people have both the same, but others do not, especially if they're aromantic or asexual.
November 6th, 2017 6:36pm
Romantic attraction and sexual attraction don't always go hand in hand, you might be physically attracted to one gender and romantically attracted to a different gender.
November 28th, 2017 3:51pm
Absolutely they can vary! There's no rulebook :) I notice that it's usually asexual people who have it vary, but it's not exclusive! I myself am panromantic asexual, but not everyone feels comfortable labeling. If you do, just be comfortable or find resources that help you get there. Attraction types are very complex so it would make sense that attraction itself is complex as well
February 13th, 2018 6:49pm
They can definitely be different! Especially when dealing with the aro/ace spectrum, it's possible to have your romantic orientation not match up with your sexuality. Typically, they go 'in hand', as you put it, but it's not completely unusual for it to not match up entirely.
July 3rd, 2018 9:53am
Yes, they can be very different. Romantic orientation and sexual orientation are two seperate terms exactly because they're two separate things. It's perfectly fine to want sex with people of one particular gender (eg. because they have the physical attributes for a certain desired sexual act), but wish to cuddle together on the couch while holding hands with people of another. It's possible to only want a sweet romance with candlelit dinners and kisses in the snow, but no sex at all, and it's possible to only crave wild sex yet never feel the desire for a fairytale marriage and a happily ever after. Having a certain sexual orientation neither determines nor invaliditates someone's romantic orientation.
August 6th, 2018 2:38pm
In my opinion, there aren't any set rules a person in the LGBT+ community has to follow. Basically, do whatever makes you happy! A friend of mine is an ace bisexual, and another is asexual panromantic.
December 1st, 2018 4:51am
They can be very different. Many times they go hand in hand, as mine do, but other times they can be conflicting (homoromantic heterosexual). It may be difficult to cope with such attractions and difficult to be in a relationship, however you must define what you are comfortable with and if the other person cannot accept that, then that is their issue. Romantic attraction and sexual attraction are completely separate things in terms of who they are directed towards, and that is okay. It is completely normal to have a different romantic orientation and sexual orientation. I hope this helped!
December 31st, 2019 4:06am
One can be a romantic yet pansexual, or other combinations. Sexual means that they are attracted to that gender in a sexual way, such as the thought of intimacy and such. Romantic is when they are attracted in more of a romance way, thinking of more dating and non-intimate encounters. Hope this helped a bit, though it really only give a quick glimpse. Orientation is quite the confusing topic.
March 1st, 2021 2:41am
Yes, they can, and often are. Many are romantically attracted to one gender, as in "I could only be in a primary (household,) relationship with a man, but, while I am attracted to men sexually, I am also very attracted to women, and vice versa. They don't need to match up at all. Of course, poly relationships don't necessarily involve romance or sex. No one person can possibly meet ALL of the needs of another, although, societal norms would have us believe that they SHOULD. It's when these needs are out of sync, and we try to force them because of our conditioning, that stress occurs, which can lead to actual physical illness. Sex Coach Reid Mihalko says it in a way that makes total sense to me: "Date your species!" And sometimes, in poly relationships, the needs that need to be met aren't romantic or sexual at all. Perhaps your romantic partner(s) are not interested in politics and you are. And you need someone in your life with whom you can discuss politics, or share recipes with, or attend Broadway shows with. Then you need to seek out someone who can meet those needs, or be unhappy as you suppress your needs. And that is never a good thing.