Panromantic is a romantic attraction to people regardless of their gender. Panromantic people can be romantically attracted to people of every gender identity. And people of any gender identity may identify as panromantic. Some use the terms “pansexual” and “panromantic” interchangeably, but there are important distinctions between the two.
Other Names for Panromantic
Some people refer to themselves as pansexual with the implication that they are also panromantic. However, this is not always the case. Romantic and sexual attraction are not necessarily correlated; it is not necessary for someone to be pansexual for them to be panromantic.
Meanwhile, some people who could identify as panromantic will use the term biromantic instead. This is often because more people understand what “bi” means.
What Is the Difference Between Panromantic, Pansexual, and Biromantic?
Pansexuality is the sexual attraction to people regardless of gender, while being panromantic is having the ability to feel romantic attraction regardless of gender. Finally, being biromantic is having the ability to be romantically attracted to two or more genders.
Panromantic vs. Pansexual
Pansexuality and being panromantic are closely linked, but someone can be one without being the other. If someone is pansexual, they can feel sexual attraction to all genders. Many people who are pansexual are also panromantic, so they just call themselves pansexual or “pan.” However, some people may not experience romantic attraction to all genders to which they are sexually attracted. These people may be pansexual and homoromantic, for example - only able to feel romantic attraction to people of their own gender.
On the other hand, a panromantic person may only feel sexual attraction towards certain genders or people. For example, they might be panromantic and demisexual, so they can feel a romantic attraction to anyone but only feel sexual attraction towards people they are very close to.
Panromantic vs. Biromantic
The difference between biromantic and panromantic is subtle, but important. People who are biromantic are romantically attracted to multiple genders, but not necessarily all genders. They may not feel romantic attraction to men, for example. Meanwhile, people who are panromantic can feel this romantic attraction for people of any gender identity.
Myths and Misconceptions about Being Panromantic
A common misconception is that romantic and sexual attraction are always linked. That’s not the case. Many people have romantic and sexual orientations that are not the same. A panromantic person doesn’t necessarily identify as pansexual. In fact, many panromantic people only feel occasional sexual attraction, or never experience sexual attraction at all.
Another common stereotype of panromantic and pansexual people is that they are less likely to remain monogamous than hetero- or homosexual people. Studies have shown that people who are attracted to multiple genders have the same variety of opinions regarding monogamy as people who are only attracted to one gender. This means that panromantic people are just as likely to remain monogamous as anyone else.
How Being Panromantic Works in Relationships
Panromantic people can be romantically attracted to all genders, so any given panromantic person might find themselves in a wide variety of relationships over their lifetime. These relationships may be “straight-passing,” or they may be obviously non-heterosexual. Regardless of their romantic partner’s gender, a panromantic person’s orientation does not change. If a panromantic person is dating someone of a different gender, they do not experience “straight-passing” privilege. However, they might experience microaggressions as their orientation is dismissed.
Helping Your Loved Ones Understand Panromantic Orientations
While you don’t need to come out to your loved ones as panromantic, some people find it to be helpful or cathartic. If you choose to come out, you can explain your panromantic orientation as being a natural romantic attraction to people regardless of gender. It may help to make the point that you do not actively feel romantic feelings for everyone you meet. Instead, you can clarify that you have the potential to develop a crush or other romantic feelings for all genders.
You can also compare a panromantic orientation to hetero- or homoromantic attraction. Heteroromantic people don’t have romantic feelings for everyone of a different gender they know, after all. If you are panromantic, you will still have preferences regarding potential romantic partners, just like anyone else.