You know how people often associate romance with a warm, gooey feeling? Like butterflies in one’s stomach that flutter and twirl so uncontrollably that it feels as though they’re going to burst from excitement, love, or lust?
Turns out, not everyone feels that way about romance!
Indeed, there are individuals who consider their romantic orientation to be ‘lithromantic’ (also known as ‘akoiromantic’ or ‘apromantic’). What’s it all about? And where exactly does it fall on the spectrum of love?
What Does it Mean to Be Lithromantic?
If someone were to identify as being lithromantic, they would understand and be familiar with feelings of romantic attraction, but they would rarely want to pursue a romantic relationship. For many, feeling a sense of romance for another in itself is perfectly fine, and they may not actively want or require said-person to reciprocate their feelings.
In this way, those who are lithromantic often don’t ‘act’ on their feelings by asking the object of their affection out or revealing their romantic interest. In fact, for some, when romantic feelings are reciprocated, the lithromantic individual may find that they’re less attracted to that person.
Do Lithromantic Individuals Have Relationships?
The world isn’t black and white, and there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to be a lithromantic. Some who identify with this romantic orientation do find themselves in relationships, and they could be short-lived or more long-term. However, it’s not uncommon for lithromantics to feel their romantic attraction fade relatively quickly when in a relationship.
On the other hand, lithromantic individuals rarely seek out relationships and merely find themselves in one. And when they are in a partnership, they may become more distant and less interested if they’re given too much space or autonomy.
For those who identify as lithromantic, they could either be quite happy and content with their lives or they could actively dislike the experience. And then there are those in the middle of the spectrum, perhaps feeling indifferent or apathetic towards romance and the idea of being in a relationship.
Lithromantic and Lesbian Culture
The term ‘lithromantic’ originally comes from the lesbian community, which is why some in the community have deemed it to be appropriation.
This is because the word ‘lithromantic’ comes from the Greek word ‘lithos’ meaning ‘stone’—an allusion to the stone sexual identity, which originated with butch lesbians and transmasculine individuals.
For that reason, some find it more appropriate to use the terms ‘akoiromantic’ or ‘apromantic’ when talking about lithromantic individuals. Despite this, a lithromantic can be of any sexual orientation or gender.
Could You Be Lithromantic?
If this information has resonated with you, perhaps you may want to ask yourself the following questions:
Do you feel the need to be in a romantic relationship?
Do you feel emotionally unavailable?
Do you feel repulsed by the idea of romance?
Are you somewhat afraid of romance?
Do you seek out platonic relationships rather than romantic ones?
Do you lose feelings of romance over time?
Do you often fall for those who are unavailable?
While answering these questions might give you a bit more insight into being lithromantic, it shouldn’t be used to self-diagnose. Your answers may give you more information about yourself in other spheres of your life, and so we suggest looking more into the term ‘lithromantic’ if you feel that that is something you identify as.
Regardless of who you are or what you identify as, we’re happy you’re here, learning and growing with us at LELO! Enjoy yourself, because you’ll always be wonderfully unique!