I suppose this requires a bit of backtracking just to make it easier to explain.
For a while, a lot of people described sexuality as an umbrella for all types of attraction - basically the full shebang. So, for example, if you were a girl and identified as a lesbian, it was presumed that you
A. wanted to have sexual relations with another girl
B. wanted to go on sweet sweet romantic dates with a girl
C. wanted to touch the girl’s face and hair, etc…
D. have lots of conversations with a girl, spend intimate time together, etc…
Now, this lumping-together thing isn’t a BAD thing inherently. But we. as humans, are usually a lot more complicated. So putting it all together into one word didn’t work so well for people when they wanted to describe something specific about themselves.
Here’s where we come to the next distinction. It is now (somewhat) widely recognized that we have SEXUAL ATTRACTION - “I want to have sexual relations/I am sexually attracted to this person” and also ROMANTIC ATTRACTION - “I have a crush on this person, I want to go on dates with them, get married, etc…”
What’s the difference? Well, I suppose for some people, the two are so closely related, it’s kind of hard to think of one without the other. But maybe this will help - have you ever met a person who is just REALLY UNDENIABLY HOT and you would sex them in a heartbeat - but then they open their mouth and say something really stupid or insensitive and you kind of step back, like one steps back from a pair of awesome pants with an unexpected pricetag?
In this scenario, you have experienced SEXUAL ATTRACTION, but… really nothing else. You wouldn’t go out with this person if you don’t like what they’re going to say and do. But if you erase all else, you can’t deny they’re hot.
But of course, this example doesn’t mean someone is aromantic just because they don’t like one person or another.
Asexuals (also called aces) don’t experience sexual attraction. BUT they can still fall in love with people. They just… might not want to have sex with those people. Because they don’t want to have sex. They don’t have that desire.
Aromantics are the upside of that - some aromantics (including me) are sexual. I like sex. I desire sex. Buuuut I don’t want to be in a relationship with someone. I just like sex. I don’t like relationships, and I don’t like most romantic (and sensual) experiences.
Hope that makes sense - and of course, if you are ace, or aro, and have similar experiences or want to fill in, send me an ask. I’ll publish it. :)