Heteromantic (love vs sexual attraction)

Love is one of the most complicated and complex experiences.

It takes over your emotions, body and mind, and can have countless forms of manifestation. In this blog post, we will define the word “heteromantic”, but we will also talk about all the shades of love. 

What is a heteromantic person? 

A heteromantic person is someone who longs for a romantic relationship with someone of the opposite sex. 

The word heteromantic is composed of the words hetero/heterosexuality and romantic

Heterosexuality is a predominant sexual orientation, characterized by desire and attraction to people of the opposite sex.

A heterosexual man is attracted to women, while a heterosexual woman is attracted to men. 

Romantic means something which is inspired by romance, of romance; regarding romance. 

Therefore, a heteromantic is looking for a romantic relationship with someone from the opposite sex, a relationship that may or may not involve sexual attraction.

What does it mean to be a Homoromantic?– people ask questions like these because they confuse terms like homosexuality with this.

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What does it mean to be in love?

First of all, when someone falls in love, the person to whom they feel acquires a special meaning, becomes unique.

This is associated with the inability to fall in love with several people at the same time. Due to the high level of dopamine, all attention is focused on the loved one, who becomes unique. 

Also, the lover focuses on the positive traits of the partner and overlooks or misjudges the negative traits.

He thinks of certain events, objects or things that he has come to associate with his loved one.

A person in love is happy, euphoric, full of energy, unable to sleep, loses appetite, trembles, and his heartbeat and breathing accelerate.

Many feel anxiety, panic or fear in the presence of the person they are in love with.

They are euphoric when things are going well and they fall into deep despair when things go wrong. 

They become possessive, jealous, afraid of being rejected, and become anxious when they think of parting.

They always think of that person in an obsessive way. He could say “I would die for her/him” as easily as he would ask someone to give them salt.

High levels of dopamine in the brain are associated with euphoria, loss of appetite, hyperactivity, increased mental activity, decreased need for sleep, but also with anxiety, panic and fear. 

Interestingly, amphetamines and help increase the level of dopamine in the brain and cause the same feelings as romantic love: excitement, euphoria, insomnia, decreased appetite, fear and anxiety.

When obstacles arise in the way of the lover, he will amplify his feelings and become even more eager to be with his loved one.

This is again associated with high dopamine levels because when a reward is delayed, dopamine-producing neurons increase their productivity.

A person in love deeply wants his partner, not only sexually but also emotionally.

She is empathetic and ready to sacrifice herself if necessary.

She reorganizes her priorities, changes her habits, even her values ​​just to be available for her loved one.

The explanation of love given above might make you question ‘Is love an emotion?’

The state of being in love is involuntary and cannot be controlled. It is also transient.

Romantic love is not an emotion but a need that energizes and directs a person’s behaviour to seek and be with someone in particular, so it belongs to the motivational system. It is stronger than sexual attraction. 

If we occasionally invite someone to our bed and we are refused we will not fall into depression and think about suicide, while the refusal of the loved one is much harder to bear and in many cultures around the world, people end up committing “crimes from love”.

This is the true meaning of love for heteromantics. 

Is romantic love an addiction?

Due to the fact that romantic love is associated with a burning desire, euphoria, obsessive thinking, distortion of reality, personality changes, emotional and physical dependence, inappropriate or even dangerous behaviours, loss of control and mood swings, psychologists have concluded that it’s an addiction. 

Lovers record neural activity in an area of the brain that activates when people use stimulants and people who are rejected in love have the same neural activity as people addicted to gambling, who risk high losses.

How do sexual attraction, romantic love, and attachment interact?

People who are completely in love find their partner extremely sexually attractive.

The high levels of dopamine associated with romantic love trigger a series of reactions, including the release of testosterone, the hormone of sexual attraction.

But can you fall in love with someone you have casual sex with? It may happen. 

Dopamine released during intercourse is associated with romantic love and you can fall in love with someone you have sex with by chance.

Also, the released oxytocin and vasopressin are associated with attachment.

When these systems do not work together, you can feel very attached to someone, be in love with someone else and at the same time be sexually attracted to other people.

The ancient Greeks called romantic love “the madness of the gods.” All over the world people sing for love, pray for love, work for love, live for love. Even in arranged marriages, husbands often fall in love.

Nothing can make you lose the need to love.

The differences between love, desire, sexual attraction, passion, intimacy and love

Fascination, adventure, comfort, energy, success come with their specific cocktail of chemicals that invade our brains, and that determines our mood: either an agitation and an impetuous desire, or a soothing feeling of deep connection (all depending on the stage in which your relationship is).

Intimacy, passion and affection are the three components of love, being interconnected with sexuality, emotional connection, long-term attachment.

Whatever you choose to name them, the main ingredients remain the same and govern our love life.

Here is what happens to the emotions and chemicals in our brain during each of the 6 phases of love:

Falling in love 

1. You feel butterflies in your stomach;

2. You want to do things that make the other person happy;

3. You want to understand what is in his mind and what interests him;

4. You want to spend as much time with him as possible;

5. Your brain reacts to pheromones, which triggers attraction.

Desire

1. You miss the other;

2. You want to enjoy romantic and erotic experiences with him;

3. Curiosity and erotic imagination are at their peak;

4. You have an intense erotic connection;

5. Your body releases estrogen, so you get aroused much easier.

Sexual attraction 

1. You want to have sex to fulfil your emotions;

2. You often feel aroused and often find yourself thinking about sex during the day;

3. Your mind is populated with all sorts of erotic fantasies;

4. You seek to achieve sexual satisfaction with your partner;

Passion

1. You want him/her both physically, but you want to feel emotionally connected to him/her;

2. Trust your ability to seduce, so do not be afraid to sprinkle some mystery in your interaction;

3. Have fun together, laugh out loud, make surprises for each other, and have your games and jokes;

4. You are very creative when you make love and focus on the pleasure of the other;

5. Adrenaline will make you feel “madly in love”.

Intimacy

1. You feel comfortable enough with each other so that you can share your thoughts without fear that the other will judge you;

2. Show each other appreciation through gestures and words;

3. Make commitments to each other;

4. Feel that you are forming a team;

5. Your brain releases oxytocin, a substance also called the “love hormone”, responsible for the couple’s sense of attachment.

Love 

1. You have a strong feeling of affection for the other;

2. You expect the one you love to express their feelings through words and actions;

3. You and your partner enjoy a strong connection: you touch, you kiss, you have complicit gestures;

4. Between you there is friendship, respect, trust, communication, passion, that is, all those ingredients that make love last;

5. The brain releases both oxytocin and vasopressin, the hormone responsible for long-term attachment.

A heteromantic relationship

A heteromantic relationship, which is based on romantic attraction, based only on feelings, increases the level of dopamine and serotonin, hormones of happiness, which give you a feeling of exaltation and cut your appetite.

Because of these substances secreted by the body, those butterflies appear in the stomach from the first meetings. 

If the relationship continues and the flame from the beginning turns into a lasting feeling, the secretion of oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone”, increases.

It gives you that feeling of well-being and peace that you have when your partner hugs you.

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Conclusions

In this blog post, we defined what a heteromantic is, but we also talked about all the shades and stages of love: falling in love, desire, sexual attraction, passion, intimacy, love. 

A heteromantic person is someone who longs for a romantic relationship with someone of the opposite sex.  

Due to the fact that romantic love is associated with a burning desire, euphoria, obsessive thinking, distortion of reality, personality changes, emotional and physical dependence, inappropriate or even dangerous behaviours, loss of control and mood swings, psychologists have concluded that it’s an addiction. 

What do you think, do you agree with the psychologists that claim that romantic love is an addiction? Let us know in the comments section below!

References

Antonsen, A.N., Zdaniuk, B., Yule, M. et al. Ace and Aro: Understanding Differences in Romantic Attractions Among Persons Identifying as Asexual. Arch Sex Behav (2020)

Martin, K. A., & Kazyak, E. (2009). Hetero-Romantic Love and Heterosexiness in Children’s G-Rated Films. Gender & Society, 23(3), 315–336. 

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