Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week 2022


Kyle Bridston, Writer

Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week (ASAW) is an annual event, occurring in the week following Valentine’s Day. This year, it will be from February 20th to the 26th. The week, similar to Ace Week, is meant to spread awareness about the aromantic identity and spectrum, in addition to promoting diversity. Similarly to the asexual spectrum, the aromantic spectrum spans from aromantic (meaning one who experiences romantic attraction), demiromantic (one who only experiences romantic attraction once they have a personal bond with a person), grayromantic (one who experiences romantic attraction infrequently), and alloromantic, which is the opposite of aromantic.

For the most part, this week is meant to be a safe space for aromantic people, and for aromantic people to openly talk about their identity and see themselves represented in media. It is also meant to be a week of raising awareness and educating about the aromantic identity and spectrum. This week also includes events such as conferences, panels, discussions, fundraisers, and celebrations.

ASAW is dated in the week after Valentine’s Day specifically because of the central idea behind the holiday, creating an accepting and validating environment for those under the aromantic umbrella. It can be an exhausting time for some, as allonormative ideas become reenforced, especially with the ideas of romantic love being a basic and essential trait to being human.

However, aromanticism does not necessarily mean that one does not want close relationships, and therefore there have been many different labels for different kinds of relationships. Typically called alterous relationships, these relationships do not fit into traditional ideas of platonic or romantic relationships. Instead, they are somewhere in the middle, and sometimes are even described as being completely separate from platonic and romantic relationships. One of the most well-known labels for these relationships is called queer-platonic relationships (QPRs), which is a type of relationship that defies societal expectations for friendships. Specifically, they are meant to fulfill the need for emotional connection that is not common or expected in regular friendships.