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Frayromanticism: What Is It?

Have you ever felt romantically attracted to someone you didn’t know? Did those feelings disappear the more you got to know them? If you answered yes, you might be frayromantic!

If you’re hearing the word “frayromantic” for the first time, this quick guide will tell you everything you need to know about the term, including signs it might be the right label for you.

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Frayromantic Meaning

Frayromanticism is a romantic orientation characterized by a strong attraction to strangers. It falls under the aromantic spectrum (ace-spec), which refers to people who:

  • May lack or feel very little romantic attraction to other people; or
  • Only feel romantic attraction under very specific circumstances

When experiencing attraction, frayromantics might feel most drawn to people they don’t know very well. In most cases, frayromantics lose romantic feelings for someone once they form an emotional bond with them.

There is no single definition of frayromanticism, and people who identify as frayromantic may have different reasons for doing so. If you know someone who identifies as frayromantic, the best approach to understanding what it means to them is to ask!

History Of The Term “Frayromanticism”

Etymology-wise, the prefix “fray” in “frayromantic” is derived from an Old English word meaning “stranger.” The term was first coined by Tumblr blogger Edensmachine on July 19, 2014. Another version of the term, “ignotromantic”, was invented by Tumblr user Aroacesafespace on December 14 of that same year.

What Does The Frayromantic Flag Look Like?

Like most orientations and identities, frayromantics also have a flag. Blue and cyan stripes represent strangers or acquaintances, while the white stripe represents a lack of attraction. The flag’s creator has said that blue is a complementary color to red and yellow, which are often used to signify romantic and platonic love. Finally, the gray stripe represents feelings of confusion about romantic relationships.

An anonymous Wiki user designed the frayromantic flag. They uploaded it to the platform on October 18, 2020. Initially, the flag did not contain a gray stripe and was flipped the other way around.

How Do You Know You’re Frayromantic?

To find out whether you are frayromantic, you must be honest about how you experience romantic attraction to others. Consider the following questions:

  • Do you feel romantic attraction exclusively towards strangers?
  • Can you imagine being romantically attracted to a close friend?
  • Do your romantic feelings for a person fade as you get to know them?

Other things you can do to determine whether you are frayromantic include:

  • Taking a frayromantic test online (these are usually created by others on the aromantic spectrum)
  • Talking to someone who also considers themselves frayromantic
  • Reflecting on past relationships, if you have had any
  • Looking at an LGBTQ glossary to determine if another term suits you better

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The Bottom Line

If you only feel romantic attraction toward strangers, getting to know them and watching those feelings fade can be frustrating. The good news is that being frayromantic is a valid romantic orientation, and you aren’t alone. By talking to other frayromantics about your experiences, you can get a better grasp of how to manage your attraction and handle future relationships.

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Frayromanticism: What Is It?

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