10 Signs That You May Be a Panromantic
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What is love? Is it attraction, sex, connection, growth, compassion…the list goes on? Nowhere do the words label, rigid or conventional fit in. And yet many still force the traditional male-female labels. Instead, embrace what love means to you, and if that’s panromantic, you’ll resonate with these signs.
What is Panromantic?
The Cambridge dictionary defines panromantics as being “attracted to people of any gender in a romantic way”. Nevertheless, it’s more than just a phrase. It’s an identity and a movement.
If your big question today is, “Am I panromantic,” you’ll need to reflect on more than just what attracts you. It’s also useful to reflect on how you see yourself in the future because preferences change, which is perfectly normal.
A useful panromantic test can give you a starting point as you set off on your journey to explore what you want and need in life from partners.
Difference between Panromantic and Pansexual
To fully understand things, it’s worth noting the differences between panromantic vs. pansexual. As the dictionary on pansexual states, pansexual is when people are sexually, rather than romantically, attracted to others, regardless of gender.
Interestingly, the word pansexual came from one of Freud’s critics around 1914. Essentially, as this pansexual timeline indicates, psychologist Victor J. Haberman criticized Freud’s view that all human behavior is motivated by sex.
Although originally, pansexual didn’t refer to sexual orientation but was a word to define behaviors not motivated by sex. As this BBC article on understanding pansexuality continues to state, it was sex researcher Alfred Kinsey who, in the 1940s, liberated us from fixed labels.
Finally, sexuality was on a spectrum. This potentially led the way to today’s explosions of terms to try to define everyone’s individual preferences and habits with partners.
Moreover, the idea of a spectrum opens up the idea of sexual fluidity, where preferences and habits can change throughout one’s lifetime.
We might identify with the panromantic flag at one point in our life. Perhaps we later feel more in tune with pansexual or even any other possibility.
10 signs you may be Panromantic
The American singer Miley Cyrus famously declared herself as a part of panromantics, as detailed in this ABC News article on Cyrus, despite potential friction with her family. Even today, breaking away from the so-called norm can be challenging.
Nevertheless, review this list as you consider who you identify as. There’s always time to get the right support and guidance to then share this with those around you.
1. Attracted to personality
Naturally, personality impacts relationships because it’s part of how we interact with each other. Moreover, personality dictates how open you are to new experiences and to each other.
Nevertheless, to some people, it’s all about personality. You might still then be physically attracted to them, but as we’ll see, it’s the connection and the romance with that personality that takes precedence.
So, what exactly is personality? Western psychologists like to refer to the Big 5: openness to new experiences, conscientiousness, extroversion or introversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
Although, as this APA article on new studies on the Big 5, there are critics who question whether this is a universal model. Regardless, panromantics might be more attracted to those who behave in certain ways, whether it’s openness or how outgoing they are.
That’s not to say that other people aren’t impacted by personality in their choice of partners. It’s more a question of focus and how they prioritize that focus.
Related Reading: What Are the Types of Attraction and How Do They Affect Us?
2. A romantic at heart
Perhaps you’re more interested in a deep connection or an intimate bond before sex even comes into the picture if it ever does. Some panromantics are asexual but either way, what matters in your core is bonding rather than mating.
In other words, as psychologist Lisa Diamond explains in her paper on Emerging Perspectives on Distinctions Between Romantic Love and Sexual Desire, sexual and romantic drives are intertwined, but they are different in their needs.
3. Emotionally connected
The difference between pansexual and panromantic isn’t quite so extreme that it’s either. People are more subtle than that, and there are often overlaps, especially when it comes to emotions and sex.
Whilst some can separate emotions and sex, most people view romance as an emotion, including many psychologists. A rather interesting and potentially controversial approach is detailed in this paper on whether love is an emotion.
In summary, there seems to be an argument to show that love is also a construct and a script. In other words, the mind interprets body sensations as love. Is it, therefore, simply a set of responses based on our backgrounds and who we are?
Perhaps love is both a cultural and biological “pattern of thoughts, behaviors, and emotions”. It doesn’t make those emotions any less real, and if they’re your priority, perhaps you can say yes to the question, “am I panromantic”.
Watch this video to find out more about emotions and where they come from so you can also start working with them:
4. Gender doesn’t matter
Perhaps, like Miley Cyrus, you don’t really feel female, and you don’t really feel male. Moreover, you don’t really make a point of noticing other people’s genders. Who they mean so much more to you.
This is in contrast to bisexual people who feel sexually drawn to certain genders. On the flip side, Panromantics feel too restricted by the bisexual label. They might still appreciate bisexuals who support the panromantic pride flag, but to panromantics, the attraction has a wider definition.
Related Reading: 11 Examples Of Traditional Gender Roles
5. Other labels feel like boxes
We all spend our lives trying to work out where we fit in and who we are with varying degrees of success. Some want to conform, and others want to rebel. Regardless, no one enjoys being labeled, especially when those labels feel like straitjackets.
In her book Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women’s Love and Desire, psychologist Lisa Diamond goes one step further. She doesn’t just discard labels but also shows that sexual preferences change over time.
The point is you are free to choose who you like and why but panromantics like their word because it gives them freedom. They aren’t bisexual, but they’re open to all genders.
Lisa Diamond also demonstrates in her book and her research that sexual attractiveness can shift according to the situation. So, you might associate with panromantics at one point in your life but feel completely different in another scenario.
Of course, this can also be highly confusing because you could simply be influenced by those around you. It isn’t easy differentiating between what we really want and how we’re being influenced.
That’s why many turn to relationship counseling to give them a safe space to explore what’s really going on in their hearts and minds.
7. Highly sensual
Some panromantics simply focus on physical sensations and never want sex. These tend to refer to themselves as asexual panromantics. Essentially, they never feel sexually attracted, whilst other panromantics might have sex even though it isn’t the primary focus.
Either way, panromantics do everything around romance which usually includes sensuality. This could be giving each other a massage, a candlelit bath, or a touchy-feely dinner.
Related Reading: Sensuality vs Sexuality
8. A non-gender identity
We all have the basic need to belong, and often we turn to groups to help us form our identities. Panromantics as a term might be broad, but it’s still a label. For some, it helps them work out who they are, but for others, it helps them define who they’re not, including certain genders.
As this psychology article on labeling theory explains, labels can provide meaning and support. On the flip side, they can become a burden and overly influence our perception.
Always try to use labels to help you belong but not pressure you into being something you’re not. If they make sense in your gut, you’re in the right place. If not, you might want to reach out to a therapist to make sense of where you fit in.
9. Embrace a blended yin and yang
Male and female terminology makes sense biologically but not necessarily from an identity or emotional point of view. Consider the yin and yang model of feminism versus masculine. The well-known symbol epitomizes that we aren’t two sides of a coin but a unified blend.
So, if you feel that you balance both feminine and masculine characteristics, regardless of your looks, perhaps you are part of the panromantics. You embrace the wholeness of life rather than just either/or.
10. A spectrum
Contrast the term bisexual, which implies an either/or approach, and you’ll connect more deeply with the possibilities that panromantics like to embrace. In a sense, it’s about opening up to the variety of gender identities out there.
At one end of the spectrum, you might ask, “What is panromantic asexual,” but at the other end, you’re looking at the “difference between pansexuals and panromantics”. Then again, you also have the LGBT community and many more not listed here.
It goes back to Lisa Diamond’s concept of sexual fluidity. Everything is possible. Moreover, as this BBC article on sexual fluidity describes, it seems that women are particularly forthright in grabbing this new freedom and fluidity.
Who is a Panromantic asexual?
In short, someone who is panromantic asexual can be romantically attracted but never, or very rarely, feel any sexual attraction. That doesn’t mean that they never have sex, as they can still get a desire for sex.
Another way to think about the question “what is panromantic asexual” is to look at romance. A romantic evening might lead to sex, but the attraction is romance and emotions rather than the sexiness of the other person.
Create your best life as a Panromantic
Whether you are an asexual panromantic or one who’s sexually inclined, it’s important to honor your needs in a relationship. Regardless of your preferences or orientation, building a successful relationship is the same for everyone.
It takes honesty, compassion, and mutual growth to build a partnership that lasts a lifetime. Panromantics prioritize romance. Regardless, remember to listen to each other’s needs and find mutually beneficial ways forward to keep the balance.
Everyone struggles in relationships at some point in their lives, so don’t hesitate to reach out to relationship counseling if that’s you. Working through obstacles together with someone as your guide can make you stronger and happier in the long run, no matter who you are.
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