Love is the closest thing we have to real magic. However, we seldom talk about platonic love even though it forms an important part of our lives. Here’s taking a look at what is platonic love and how important healthy platonic feelings are.
What is platonic love?
To put it simply, deep platonic love refers to a form of love that is not sexual. Platonic relationships generally involve a deep friendship of non-sexual nature among two heterosexual individuals who may or may not be of the opposite sex. In today’s world, platonic affection refers to a loving relationship between two or more individuals where sexual attraction and impulses are absent, particularly when sexually interest may be easily assumed by others.
The term platonic love derives its name from famous Greek philosopher Plato. In his work The Symposium, Plato thoroughly discussed the notion of true love in honor of Eros, the Greek god of love. It is through his discussions with his guests, the idea of platonic love was formed in their dialogues. His idea of platonic love and platonic relationship was not based on lust or sexual relationships. When answering the question what is platonic love, Plato defined this emotion and affection as a form of love which is not reliant on sexual attraction. Instead, deep platonic love makes us feel connected, motivates us to pursue our dreams and passions, inspires us to improve ourselves and empowers us to feel enlightened and connected with The Supreme Being. Moreover, there are several benefits of platonic relationships such as having a sense of belongingness, a stable connection, lower expectations and a lifelong bond.
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What does platonic love feel like in the modern era
Today the answer to the question – what is platonic love? – and the meaning of a platonic relationship has changed drastically and is widely used to mean good friends, without any “benefits.” These relationships share a strong bond and affection for each other, yet there is no romantic or sexual attraction. But like Plato’s original version, platonic relationships today can be meaningful and deep, leading to lifelong friendships.
There are different types of platonic relationships which are pregnant with healthy boundaries, trust, respect, admiration, gratitude, honesty and without insecurities or jealousy. When trying to figure out what is platonic love, we need to realize that platonic feelings are the key to unique, spiritual and strong bonds between two individuals who trust, respect, love and care for each other. Such a platonic relationship is typically based on similar goals, common interests, shared worldviews and a deep spiritual connection. It is a relationship where you feel comfortable to be your genuine self without worrying about being criticized or abandoned.
Crucial elements of platonic love
Platonic relationships are simply good friendships that inspire us to be better. However, friendships and relationships have become overly complicated today. Let us take a look at some of the characteristics and signs of platonic love & relationships. This will help us identify and nurture it to create lifelong friendships with people who we love and care about.
Here are a re few primary elements that define what is platonic love –
1. Uncorrupted honesty
One of the defining features of a platonic friendship is pure and genuine honesty. Unlike a romantic relationship, a platonic relationship or friendship has no space for insecurities, fear of abandonment or infidelities. There is no need for white lies or deceit. As they are not your partner, you are not worried about them leaving you. As this is not an exclusive relationship, the stakes are not high. This is one of the crucial aspects when figuring out – what is platonic love?
Platonic affection is natural and free from any compulsion. In a platonic friendship, you don’t need to worry about being overly sensitive about speaking the truth. You don’t have to think about what you have to say as it may hurt the other person’s feelings. It is based on brutal honesty and that is often one of the foundations of a great friendship. In such a relationship, you can talk about things you can’t in a romantic relationship, you can openly discuss your own drawbacks and ask questions which we may not be able to ask our romantic partners.
Romantic relationships are sensitive and need to be nurtured. Platonic relationships are less sensitive and can endure brutal honesty. There is no pressure to maintain peace in a platonic friendship. You can argue, disagree, fight and still enjoy a healthy, supportive relationship with your platonic friend after the emotional wounds have been healed.