Being biromantic and bisexual aren’t the same – here’s what it means to be biromantic

Biromantic
Biromantic people may have one serious partner, but some may practice ethical non-monogamy. Marilyn Nieves/Getty Images
  • Biromantic people desire a romantic relationship and emotional intimacy with men and women.
  • But being biromantic doesn’t mean you’re sexually attracted to people of different genders.
  • “Panromantic” is inclusive of all genders and may serve folks across the gender spectrum better.
  • Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.

If you find yourself wanting to date and develop a romantic connection with both men and women, you may be biromantic.

Biromantic people want an intimate, emotional relationship with people of either gender – but that doesn’t necessarily mean they want to have sex with both men and women.

Here’s what it means to be biromantic.

What is biromantic?

“Someone who is biromantic may have romantic feelings towards men and women, regardless of their own sexual and/or gender identity,” says Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Saba Harouni Lurie, owner and founder of Take Root Therapy.

Lurie says some signs that you might be biromantic are:

  • You enjoy non-sexual contact (such as cuddling or quality time) with romantic partners who identify as male or female.
  • You’re able to picture a future with a romantic partner who is either a man or woman.
  • You desire intimacy with your partners – men or women – however intimacy looks for you.
  • You like to make romantic gestures for your partners.

Related Article Module: Pansexuality vs bisexuality: Understanding the differencesDifferent biromantic people may experience biromantic relationships differently. As with any relationship, it all comes down to personal preferences.

Some biromantic people might happily have one serious partner, or, on the flip side, they may practice ethical non-monogamy.

“Ethical non-monogamy is the practice of engaging in multiple intimate, romantic, and/or sexual relationships simultaneously and with the full consent and knowledge of all parties,” says Lurie.

Therefore, being ethically non-monogamous can allow a biromantic person to have relationships with a man and woman simultaneously, if they so choose.

Biromantic identities

People who are biromantic don’t all fit the same mold. The way they approach sexual attraction varies, leading to varying degrees of biromanticism:

  • Biromantic asexual: Being romantically attracted to both genders, but not experiencing any sexual desire for any gender.
  • Biromantic demisexual: Being romantically attracted to both genders, but only experiencing sexual attraction to someone after getting to know them on a deep emotional level.
  • Biromantic bisexual: Being romantically and sexually attracted to both genders.
  • Biromantic pansexual: Being romantically attracted to both genders, and being sexually attracted to anybody regardless of gender identity including people who don’t identify with either gender.

Myths about biromanticism

Since biromanticism isn’t a commonly used term, there are some myths surrounding it. Lurie says some myths she’s come across in her profession are:

  • Myth 1: Being biromantic is just a phase. As with other non-heteronormative orientations and relationships, people may think that someone being biromantic is just a phase that they’ll grow out of, but this is not necessarily true, says Lurie. The romantic orientation may stay for life, or it may change over time. Still, this doesn’t mean it’s a phase. “Folks who are biromantic, like people who ascribe to any relationship style, are able to change their views or develop new perspectives,” says Lurie.
  • Myth 2: Biromantic isn’t a valid identity. Being biromantic isn’t widely accepted as a valid orientation since it isn’t commonly used or understood. “Given that it is different from how most people understand and experience relationships, it is easy for others to dismiss or disregard biromantic as a valid identity,” says Lurie.
  • Myth 3: Biromantic people can’t have monogamous relationships. Some people may think that since someone is romantically attracted to both men and women, they can’t successfully have a monogamous relationship, but this is not true. Biromantic people certainly may desire to have a monogamous relationship, says Lurie. Even if they are only in a monogamous relationship, they can still be biromantic and satisfied in their relationship.

How to find support if you’re biromantic

How to support someone who is biromantic

If you have a friend or family member who is biromantic, it’s important to be an ally and support them however you can. Lurie says in order to support someone who’s biromantic, you can:

  • Let them know you’re there for them: Sometimes, just making sure your loved one knows that you’re there for them can be helpful in and of itself. This opens the door for honest, vulnerable conversations.
  • Listen to them: One of the best things you can do is simply listen to a biromantic person so you can really understand their identity and their current situation. This way, you can be a better ally and supporter.
  • Validate them: Since many people likely misunderstand or invalidate biromanticism, you can make a difference by affirming and validating your biromantic loved one’s identity.

Insider’s takeaway

Being biromantic means having a romantic attraction to both men and women. However, romantic orientation is different from sexual orientation, and just because someone is biromantic, it doesn’t mean they’re bisexual.

Additionally, the types of romantic and sexual relationships that biromantic people have, come down to personal preferences.

What is demisexuality? When you don’t feel sexual attraction without an emotional connectionWhat is pansexuality? What it means to be attracted to others regardless of their gender identityWhat does it mean to be cisgender? The difference between sex and genderPansexuality vs bisexuality: Understanding the differences