Platonic love. It's something that is getting rarer every day. Finding a real connection with anyone, in general, these days is getting rarer too. With the sexualization of today's society and the stereotypes of friendships and relationships, it is hard sometimes to get to know someone simply for who they are without physical attributes or attraction getting in the way.
But, I think few people realize the benefits that come from finding a true love that is completely platonic. However, some might say if you can make this kind of relationship work for you, it is even better than romance.
A user on Urban Dictionary defines platonic love as "a deep connection between two people with no sexual desire or attachment." Personally, I have experienced this connection with a very select number of my closest friends. In my opinion, platonic love goes beyond just friendship.
It is a love that is so deep and meaningful that you would pretty much do anything for that person, and you feel like they know you better than you even know yourself. Like a romantic partner, you may even get the "butterflies in your stomach" feeling when you think about them, but it is not because of sexual attraction or desire. It's just the overwhelming feeling of love you have for that person.
People will argue that platonic love isn't real; that you can't truly have that deep of a connection with someone without experiencing some kind of romantic or sexual attraction. I think this is completely false, as I've experienced it firsthand. The first person that comes to mind when I think about platonic love is my friend Travis.
To be honest, the word "friend" seems much too vague, and almost devaluing for the connection we have. We sometimes joke about being soulmates. But in reality? It's not that far off. The pool of people I've come across in my life that I've connected with on such a level is minuscule.
Travis is so much more to me than a friend, however, there has never been and never will be any kind of physical or carnal desire. Our kind of relationship is rare, but it works, and it is probably the healthiest relationship I've ever had with anyone.
Platonic love has so many benefits. First of all, you can talk about absolutely anything. This includes romantic interests. Travis and I often vent about our romantic ventures and can gush or complain about them to each other without it ever being weird. (Plus you always have someone to go crying to after a breakup.)
Secondly, you never have to worry about whether or not you are enough for your partner physically or sexually, because that aspect of attraction is eliminated completely. On that note, you never have to worry about breaking up, either. You might have fights, but if your love connection is strong enough, you will always be able to get through them. Sorry, Travis, you're stuck with me forever.
In my opinion, platonic love tends to be a more open and honest relationship than a romantic one. Both parties truly feel like they can share anything, and completely be themselves. The reason for this, I think, is because neither person feels as if they need to impress or court the other, because romantic involvement isn't even an option. You never feel like you have to "win" their affections.
There are even health benefits to maintaining a healthy platonic relationship. It has been scientifically shown to decrease health risks to have love in your life, romantic or otherwise. It can lower blood pressure, cholesterol, depression, and anxiety. Platonic love can also eliminate the stresses of being in a romantic relationship that might not be so healthy, such as one where there are thoughts of cheating or abuse.
Finally, one of the most important benefits of functioning platonic relationships is unconditional love. According to betterhelp.com, unconditional love is quite rare and not typically present in romantic relationships. It is the idea that no matter what you do, nothing will stop the person from loving you, and nothing will cause them to leave. This is the kind of love families have for each other, and the way our pets feel about us.
Travis sent me a poem the other day called "on platonic love being a real thing." It was written by Sabrina Beinam, who is a genius and a hugely inspiring poet. There are a few lines in this poem that stood out to me. One of them says, "I think about each relationship sitting at the table / how we trust each other / with our whole bodies / how that's love / now, isn't that love?"
Platonic relationships are not for everyone, but they are for me and have numerous benefits for your health and psychological well-being. I don't know where I'd be without the small group of people I share this kind of connection with.
I have been fortunate enough to find some of the best people to share my life with, without ever being romantically involved. When I do find someone I want to be with romantically someday, these people will still remain a large part of my life. They are a part of who I am, and they make me a better person. Unconditional love doesn't die, and neither will these relationships.
Now, isn't that love?