If you ask me, what is the purest emotion in this world? I would say love. Love makes every relationship beautiful. Relationships are not easy to handle. You have to give your 100% to make your relationship successful. But when there is love, you are willing to do any sacrifice for your relationship. And by relationships, it does not mean that I am talking about romantic relationships only; I am talking about all kinds of relationships. All other relationships are as important as romantic relationships, for instance, relationship with your parents, siblings, friends, etc. These relationships play a very important part of our life. We can’t imagine our life without these relationships. We deeply feel it when we don’t have siblings or a parent or a friend. It makes us feel alone.
In this article, my focus is on “Platonic relationships,” which can affect your life positively or negatively. I am going to tell you about the platonic relationship meaning, its signs, and how you can differentiate romantic and platonic relationships. So let’s get started:
Platonic relationship meaning
This concept was first used by philosopher Plato, and you can see his name basically makes this term. He says that every human has two kinds of desires, emotional and physical. When physical desires exceed, it is lust, but when emotional desires exceed, it is love. The Platonic relationship, meaning he told, was a bit different than the modern meaning of platonic relationships. According to him, a platonic love relationship is not about lust at all, but it is about the love that brings out the best version of a person based on the best traits. This concept applied to all kinds of healthy relationships, whether romantic or not.
The modern concept of Platonic relationship also involves some of the key points from Plato’s concept; for instance, the idea of a healthy bond between two persons bringing out the best traits. But in a modern way, a platonic relationship meaning is to be just friends. Yes, it revolves around two persons being friends but involved sexually. Usually, it applies to heterosexual people, but it can also be applied to people with same-sex relationships. To be clear romantic relationship is the opposite of a platonic relationship.
We can say that a sexual or romantic relationship is the opposite of the platonic relationship. These kinds of relationships are very valuable. These days this kind of love is almost impossible to have or maintain, and the reason is stereotyped in our culture and society. The idea of dating first and having casual sex is normalized, which has led to many confusions. For instance, a person may think, maybe it will work as a couple, maybe it is love, and we should take our friendship to the next level, maybe we should try having an affair. So two friends will either try to avoid the cultural restrictions or will follow them.
Let me put this in simple words for you a platonic relationship or platonic love is a close relationship free from selfishness and lust, sexual desire does not exist at all or is suppressed from expectations. You may wonder do such kinds of relationships really work in life. Well, yes, these relationships can work if you do them the right way. It is great to have such a kind of friendship with a person regardless of their gender, where there is not sexual attachment. It is a precious spiritual and emotional bond based on loyalty, deep care, and of course, respect.
Now you know the meaning of platonic relationship, any relationship which is selfless and free from sexual desires fall under this category. Now let’s talk about platonic friendships particularly. It may seem a little wired because almost all friendships are platonic. Let me explain it to you.
Platonic friendship refers to a friendship where two people can feel attracted to each other in theory. They may also experience sexual tension among them at some point. This relationship may continue as a friendship or turn around to be a romantic one. In case you experience these kinds of feelings but choose to stay friends, your friendship is platonic.
You can be friends and stay friends with anyone regardless of their gender. Friendships are important in life, and they look different for different people. Well, that does not mean you can’t enjoy the situation that is healthy and will work for you. Here is what not included in platonic friendship:
Friends with benefits
Let’s say you have a friend you like to spend time with, you guys go on hiking, enjoy movies together. You also have sex casually, but none of you want to be in a romantic relationship. It is because you don’t have romantic feelings for each other. This kind of friendship is not platonic at all if you, even if you guys are not romantically involved.
You have a crush on your friend.
Having a crush on someone is not bad at all. It sometimes happens when you have a crush on one of your closest friends but don’t show your feelings and still manage to be friends with them. This kind of friendship is not platonic as you have romantic hopes for your friend. If you are the one who thinks that you are in a platonic friendship but don’t know how your friend feels, the situation becomes a bit tricky. Well, it is not unusual but if you two respect each other and have set boundaries, your platonic friendship can last long and be sustained.
Friendships after breakup
According to the recent statistics, approximately 42 percent of marriages in England end up in divorce or breakup. Breaking up is normal; all of us have our differences. But if you choose to be separate and decide to be friends, it is not easy to go back to something platonic after a deeply intimate relationship. You will be confused that you should try again or not. It may look like an on and off situation in the future. Some people do stay friends after divorce or breakup, and setting clear boundaries can really help to maintain a healthy relationship.
Signs of platonic love
Platonic love is a good thing; I would say one of the best things that can happen in someone’s life. But it is not easy to figure out whether you have platonic love for someone or not. Well, I can make it easy for you, all you need is to look for some signs, and you are good to go. Let’s have a look at some of the Signs of platonic love:
You love spending time with them
I know what you are thinking; it is common when you like a person, whether romantically or not. It may not be a clear sign but can be a good start in figuring out your own emotions. When you have a platonic relationship with someone, you feel happy around them, and it feels like time passes quickly with them. You always try to find some time to spend with them.
You feel they understand you.
You feel like you two have a deep connection. You think that no one can understand you the way they do. You don’t have to be someone else around them; you are not uncomfortable around them about showing your insecurities. You can tell them your issues, and they will try to make things better for you.
They are part of your future plans.
For you, it is not easy to imagine your life without them. Whenever you talk about your future plans, they are a part of these plans. You want them to travel with you wherever you go. You can’t imagine losing them because it will break your heart. You want to keep them in your life forever.
You have a lot of common things.
It is one of the clear signs of platonic love. It is all a person wants from their friends and partner. When you have a platonic relationship with a person, it seems like you two have a lot of things in common. Your music taste, hobbies, favorite movies all is the same. This makes your relationship even stronger.
Some of your friends think you are dating.
If you have common friends, you will face this situation almost daily where your friends will try to push you and ask questions like, do you love each other? Are you two a thing? Even if you say no, they will ask you to try dating each other. Well, you do not need to listen to them; maybe they are jealous that you found your best friend.
Platonic relationship vs. romantic relationship
Differentiating between a romantic relationship and a platonic relationship is not easy sometimes. The basic difference between platonic relationships and romantic relationships is that in the former, you don’t have romantic feelings at all about the person; they are just your friend, and that is all, while the latter one is all about having romantic and physical feelings about the person. Let’s have a look at Platonic relationship vs. romantic relationship comparison:
A romantic relationship is needed to be committed to sharing thoughts and emotions. People hide some things when they are in casual relationships. On the other hand, a platonic relationship is based on honesty. You two are best friends; you can share anything you want; you can have a huge fight and then go back to normal after a few days like nothing happend before.
A platonic relationship is all about sharing things that you can’t even share with your romantic partner. You can ask them anything you want. There is a different level of comfort. A romantic relationship is needed to be cultivated with huge care as it is fragile; if you do not give the attention, it will die. Real work will begin after a romantic relationship is settled. But there is nothing to be worried about anything like this in a platonic relationship.
In a romantic relationship, there are no emotional or physical boundaries. You can spend time together without thinking about getting distracted. On the other hand, with platonic relationships, there are strict boundaries to follow. In a romantic relationship, you discuss first how you want your relationship to be. On the other hand, in a platonic relationship, there are unsaid boundaries; you don’t negotiate or discuss them, but they are there, and you have to be careful. Most importantly, it requires trust you can’t break it.
Whether friendship or relationship, both are giving and take partnerships. From a friend with whom you are in a platonic relationship, you can’t expect or demand something more than regular friendship. You cannot expect romantic love form your best friend. It is only restricted to a romantic relationship.
2017 statistics showed that a total of 61.4% of people above 16 are living as couples in England. Couples mean they are romantically involved, and it come with a lot of responsibility. With romantic relationships, you expect more, but it is fair because you have to be choosey if you are going to invest your time to be with a perfect partner. In a platonic relationship, you do not have to worry about these things, so you do not expect much. I hope so no Platonic relationship vs. romantic relationship comparison makes everything clear to you.
Are my feelings platonic or romantic?
It is not a bad thing to love your friends. We all love our friends. But how to find out whether it is friendship or love. If you are thinking about “Are my feelings platonic or romantic?” and can’t decide you are in the right place, I am going to help you with this. I have listed here some questions that will help you in finding the right answer. Let’s have a look at these:
- Do you feel happy even when you are not doing anything?
- Do you smile unconsciously when you think about them?
- Do you acknowledge all of their imperfections and still want to be with them?
- Do you feel ‘high’ around the person?
- Do you want a physical connection in a non-sexual way too?
- Do you fantasize about a future with that person?
- Do their words attract you?
- Do you feel jealous when they talk to others?
So “Are my feelings platonic or romantic?”, Well, If the answer to all these questions or most questions is “yes,” then the chances are that your platonic love is turning into something romantic. You want to take your friendship to the next level. It means that your feelings are changing. Honestly speaking, there are not any perfect criteria to find out whether your feelings are platonic or romantic. It all depends on you. Only you can figure it out; all you have to do is to look for signs and read them carefully, accept your emotions, and then make any decisions. You just know whether you love someone or they are just your friend. Now you have a clear view of romantic vs. platonic attraction.
Platonic love quotes
So, what is platonic love? You have a bigger picture now; platonic love is one of the best things you can have in your life. It is like finding a soul mate outside your romantic relationship. There is someone other than your partner with whom you can share your problems without any filter.
Let me share some of the Platonic love quotes that will inspire you, and you will know how lucky you are to have this kind of partnership. So here are some of my most favorite Platonic love quotes:
- “But I think we both knew, even then, that what we had was something even rarer and even more meaningful. I was going to be his friend and was going to show him possibilities. And he, in turn, would become someone I could trust more than myself.” ― David Levithan, Boy Meets Boy
- “He reached out and took her hand. Neither cared that someone might see. They had been taught all their lives that the only deep feelings between men and women were sexual, but now they knew that it was a lie. They were friends, and they loved one another, and their hand-holding was perfectly innocent. It was one more thing to rejoice in, one more way in which they had risen above the system, above the machine.” ― William Sleator, House of Stairs
- “I have felt so many loves so deeply: love of friends, love somewhere between friendship and romance that our society doesn’t define, love of art, love of life, love of death, love of language, so many loves such a multitude more than romance. Yet I have never been in a “relationship.” ― Noella Handley
- “As friends, you are very happy, and your frequent quarrels soon blow over, but I fear you would both rebel if you were mated for life. You are too much alike and too fond of freedom, not to mention hot tempers and strong wills, to get on happily together, in a relation which needs infinite patience and forbearance, as well as love.” ― Louisa May Alcott, LITTLE WOMEN
- “Love is something far more than the desire for sexual intercourse; it’s the principal means of escape from the loneliness which afflicts most men and women throughout the greater part of their lives.” – Bertrand Russel
- “Just because you know someone doesn’t mean you love them, and just because you don’t know people doesn’t mean you can’t love them. You can fall in love with a complete stranger in a heartbeat if God planned that route for you. So open your heart to strangers more often. You never know when God will throw that pass at you.” ― Heather Grove
- “True friendship comes when the silence between two people is comfortable.” – David Tyson Gentry
- “There are different kinds of love, and I’d never experienced that kind of totally platonic love. All the love I’ve experienced has always been a kind of deal, and now, as I get older, I realize that there’s this other love out there.” – Tracey Emin.
- “That’s another hallmark of truth, is that it snaps things together. People write to me all the time and say it’s as if things were coming together in my mind. It’s like the Platonic idea that all learning was remembering. You have nature, and when you feel that nature articulated, it’s like the act of snapping the puzzle pieces together.” – Jordan Peterson
- “People instantly assume you can’t have a platonic friendship with someone of the opposite sex. I think this may be specific to L.A. or America.” – Isabel Lucas
Platonic relationships make you a better person and bring out all the good qualities of yours. These are much more different than romantic relationships, because you get a best friend with whom you can share whatever you want. You can share anything with them, and there is nothing to be worried about. Make sure not to confuse your platonic relationship with romantic relationships. If you are having trouble with understanding your own feelings, make sure to seek professional help. If you need a free consultation please call 03333443853.