Friends First? Exploring Demiromantic Relationships

You may or may not have heard of the term ‘demisexual’. For reference, demisexual is when a person only experiences sexual attraction to another when they have a close emotional bond with them. This bond need not be romantic in nature however—it could even be a platonic friendship.

demiromantic relationships

Regardless, demisexuality isn’t actually about being sexually intimate at all. It’s about the ability to feel sexual attraction towards others. 

For some demisexuals, it could take months or years before a bond is formed, and only then, sexual attraction may arise. More importantly, a bond forming doesn’t guarantee sexual attraction.

Now that we’ve covered demisexual, let’s take a look at the term ‘demiromantic’!

What Does It Mean to Be Demiromantic?

Just like a demisexual needs to form a bond with another in order to feel sexual attraction, a demiromantic needs to form a bond with another in order to develop romantic feelings. 

In other words, an already-existing relationship would need to exist before a demiromantic person would experience a romantic attraction. But that is not to say that a demiromantic individual is always actively looking for a romantic connection.

“The major difference for someone who is demiromantic is not that it’s a feeling that comes and goes with different people, but it’s an actual absence of any feeling around romanticism until they get deeply mentally connected to a partner,” said Courtney D’Allaird of the University of Albany.

Demisexual and demiromantic individuals can be of any gender or sexual orientation, and it’s possible for one individual to be both demisexual and demiromantic. 

Interestingly, demiromanticism falls on the aromantic spectrum (aromantic being when someone feels no romantic attraction to anyone). And some demiromantic people may refer to themselves as ‘greyromantic’ which is someone who occasionally feels romantic attraction. 

Common Demiromantic Misconceptions

There are a few common demiromantic misconceptions that exist, mostly because there is a lack of information or knowledge on the topic. 

Some may believe that demiromantic individuals:

  • don’t like physical affection
  • don’t enjoy cuddling, hugging, being sexually active
  • just haven’t found the ‘right person’ yet
  • are cold-hearted or have walls built up
  • are “waiting” to be sexually intimate 
  • have religious reason for being demiromantic
  • are frigid or prudish 
  • have a low sex drive

Yes, some demiromantic individuals may not like physical affection, and some may not enjoy cuddling, hugging, or being sexually active, but this is possible with any orientation. It solely depends on the individual. 

And while demiromantic individuals may not have a “typical” crush often, they could desire to have a friend with benefits, or they could develop feelings for someone after a period of time.

What Does a Demiromantic Relationship Look Like?

Every relationship is unique, regardless of circumstances, which is why a demiromantic relationship could look different from one couple to the next.

Some demiromantic individuals in a relationship may not enjoy romantic activities, some may like them but only with partners that they’re emotionally close to. 

And then there are some demiromantic individuals who strive to find a partner who makes them feel fulfilled and happy, instead of seeking a ‘traditional’ relationship. For many who are demiromantic, going on dates with someone unknown or with someone with whom they’re not already close with, may seem pointless.

In fact, some demiromantic people may feel a sense of anxiety or fear of rejection because they’re not very romantic.

Alas, it would be wrong to have any predetermined ideas or believe stereotypes that exist surrounding demiromantic people. Instead, let’s embrace the diversity that exists in love and intimacy, because that’s essentially what makes the world a wonderful and wondrous place.