LGBTQIA+ An Educational Series: Romantic Orientation and Attraction


Illustration by Kadia King

By Savi Ettinger

This is an educational series meant to distribute information about subjects of sexuality and gender orientations. All of the information for this month comes from the LGBTQ Center at UNC-Chapel Hill.

While sexuality is a topic that a great deal of people know of, romantic orientation and attraction is less discussed, and often not acknowledged as separate from sexuality. Romantic attraction is defined as “attraction that makes people desire romantic contact or interaction with another person or persons.” This can be either physical or emotional, but is separate from sexual attraction, while it can occur at the same time.

Romantic orientation is defined as “an individual’s pattern of romantic attraction based on a person’s gender(s), regardless of sexual orientation.” Often, sexual orientation will be in alignment with romantic orientation, but not necessarily; and as with sexual orientations, there are many different romantic orientations. Romantic attraction, also much like sexual attraction is a spectrum, meaning there are people who do not experience it, or who only feel it under certain circumstances. That is perfectly natural.

For those who are aromantic, there may still be the desire to have a relationship. Some people refer to these relationships as queer platonic or QP relationships. When a person wants to be in a QP relationship with someone, that crush is called a squish.

This series is meant to be educational and to inform people of terminology. Gender and sexual identity are personal traits, and people may define themselves as they choose or may decide to not use labels. Stay tuned for the next installment of LGBTQIA+ in The Salemite!

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