Platonic Love in a Relationship: Feeling or Illusion


Are platonic relationships possible? In the modern world of sexual freedom, platonic love seems something invented and unrealistic. Can it exist in our time?

Definition of a Platonic Relationship

What is Platonic love? This term means ideal love, devoid of physical attraction to the object of passion. It is distinguished by the depth, mental intimacy, the duration of feelings, and the lack of intimate connections. The sexual attraction is consciously excluded, or this happens by itself. Such love can be one-sided and exist exclusively in the imagination of one person. Platonic love relationship, if the object of passion is unattainable.

Where did the expression of Platonic love come from? The concept was based on the statements of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, who expressed the idea of the existence of two types of love - bodily and heavenly (platonic). The second towered a philosopher to the level of a true, divine, enlightened feeling that creates a harmony of souls. Feily love is just a fleeting reflection of heavenly love reinforced by animal instincts. Plato believed that the spiritual proximity of such a high level is possible exclusively between men. Physical pleasure, in his understanding, is only a way of continuing the genus, allowing for representatives of the weaker sex, which has nothing to do with inspiring heavenly love. Over time, the concept of Platonic love has transformed. This term began to mean different types of connections between people, not involving sensual and sexual contact.

Platonic relationship examples:

  • Related ties, as in the novel “Little Women” by Louise May Olcott, are the love of children for parents or parents for children.

  • Love for the Motherland, like Andrei Bolkonsky from the novel “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy.

  • Unrequited love, like Tatyana and Onegin in the novel by Alexander Pushkin “Eugene Onegin.”

  • Love for God, like the apostles in the Bible.

What are the signs of platonic love? Bounded by platonic relations, people feel spiritual intimacy. They are extremely honest, do not limit the freedom of the object of love, and do not violate the personal boundaries of the companion, but at the same time, they feel a deep connection with him. Lovers pay more attention to conversations, communication, joint walks, friendship, and romanticism. There is no sexual connection. Platonic love is ambiguous. There is no Code of Investigators and the list of permissible intimate manifestations. No one can unequivocally say whether the platonic connection is limited to kisses, hugs, or a complete absence of tactile contact, and bodily integrity is assumed.

Platonic Love in a Relationship: Feeling or Illusion

What is a platonic relationship?

Sublime love connections without a sexual component between a man and a woman are quite real. More often, platonic love manifests itself with the first early love, forced separation, psychological or physiological health disorders, or a conscious rejection of sexual relations.

The development of the platonic connection is affected by the following:

  • The inaccessibility of the beloved. Singers, athletes, film actors, or, for example, a married person become the object of love.

  • Age. Children are not sexually active and are easily content with companionship, gentle hugs, and hand-in-hand walks. At retirement age, tender feelings, mutual understanding, and closeness of spirit become essential than physical contact.

  • Worldview. The rejection of physical intimacy is often associated with a person’s inner convictions, his desire to resist earthly temptations and strengthen his spirit.

  • Questions of faith, religion. Many people adhere to religious traditions that forbid sexual intercourse before marriage. By virtue of faith, some people become clergymen, monks, nuns, and pilgrims and deliberately refuse sex, keeping in their souls a platonic love for God and people.

  • Forced separation. Occurs with online dating (love at a distance), in forced separation. Platonic feelings, in this case, are more of a necessary measure than persuasion. When meeting in person, lovers usually move to a new level that allows sexual contact.

  • Fear of damaging connections. If the connection has been platonic for a long time, the companions are afraid that the sexual connection will ruin them. Conscious rejection of physical intimacy. The reason may be sexual orientation, impaired sexuality, physical disability, personal taboos associated with past experience, or fear of intimacy.

Platonic romance can last for years, and in the case of unrequited feelings, a lifetime, while both companions are satisfied with the connection without sexual intimacy. If one of the lovers wants to take the connection to a new level, and the second one is not interested in this, communication will stop.

Platonic love is a special kind of love that involves a deep connection and the absence of sexual contact between companions. Platonic love is often described in literature, which leads many people to consider it fiction, but it also exists in real life.

Opposite platonic relationship

Many people try to balance their married life while maintaining a platonic connection. It is possible, and you should follow some rules.

  • Set boundaries. The essential thing is to set boundaries with your partner if you are already married. You must be open and honest about what is good and what is not. Some companions may have problems with touch, and some may not consider it an insult. This requires understanding what your partner likes and doesn't like. The meaning of a platonic relationship is understanding. Chances are, you don't want to show excessive physical affection while in a platonic connection. Perhaps you should consider separate rooms, for example, when traveling.

  • Communicate clearly. Communication and honesty are critical. Listen to your spouse first and try to understand if you are pushing his buttons. People are fragile and don't rock the boat too much. Also, communicate with your platonic life partner. Explain any problem or impact your platonic love may have on your married life.

  • Be honest but flexible. It's essential to express yourself and show your romantic companion that they can trust you. Platonic relationships define what your connection will be like. Be flexible in explaining how you can maintain your platonic connection in your marriage. You can still have platonic love as long as your partner feels seen and heard.

Platonic, romantic relationship

Sexual feelings for your spouse make your marital union very different from platonic love. Marriage also has a lot more responsibility and expectation from each other, while platonic love can be a sweet escape. It's more relaxed. Marriage can help you develop differently than a platonic connection, and you have the right to fight for both. When you communicate the situation and everyone is happy and heard, things can work out. You have the right to enjoy a platonic connection in your marriage.

You must respect your romantic companion and respect your platonic sexuality. With some guidance, you can do this, and it can be beneficial to your growth as a person.

How does platonic love manifest itself?

  • Intimacy without sex. Unlike romantic love, in platonic love, you are attracted to their inner essence, personality, and character. There is no need for sexual intercourse. But at the same time, physical touch in the form of hugs or reassuring touches is essential in a connection.

  • Feeling familiar. Some early signs of platonic types of relationships include feeling at home when you are with another person. It's as if you already know him, and there is no awkwardness when meeting him. The connection can be very deep, intense, and even life-changing.

  • Strong emotional connection. It's a special emotional connection. The deeper you dive into a platonic connection, the more you open up to yourself and your companion. You will learn about the depth of the human ability to experience different emotions at the same time.

  • No waiting. When you are around someone with whom you share platonic love, you enjoy them for who they are. You give without thinking about what you can receive. And yet, you are sincerely happy in this connection.

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