I was in the ninth or tenth standard then and a friend took me to her house. There I met a very kind, elderly gentleman who was a professor and I was totally floored by his collection of books. As I got talking to him I came to know he has been living with my friend’s family for the past one decade, he was not a blood relation but as my visits to their home increased I realised her mother treated him like a father figure and listened to him mesmerised whenever he would be talking about some author or some book. Years later I had asked my friend what exactly was the relationship between her mom and the elderly gentleman. She had told me matter-of-factly they have a platonic relationship.
“They are in love with each other but there is nothing physical. My father understands their feelings for each other so when my mom decided that “uncle” would move in it was cool. Our family might seem a bit odd to many people but I have grown up understanding the essence of a platonic relationship.” At that point I was only in college and I had kept asking myself what is a platonic relationship? Is it really possible to be in love and not be physically attracted to someone? But now I know maybe that is possible and we do live many relationships like that in our life. One example of a beautiful platonic relationship is between famous poet-writer Amrita Pritam and painter Imroz.
The Magic Of Platonic Love
When one talks about love, our minds usually picture the face of a partner or a crush. And why won’t they? Hundreds of movies everywhere have been dedicated to the idea of romantic love and its twists, turns and characteristics.
Whenever we talk of love, as a tragedy or as a story of happiness, it is romantic love that we are usually thinking about. And while romantic love deserves all the sonnets and songs poets and writers have dedicated it to, there is one other side of love that usually goes ignored even though it is just as important in anyone’s life. And this kind of love is the platonic love.
Great epics may not have been written, poets might not have died pining for it but platonic love always was and will be a very important part of our lives. From the constant and comforting presence of a friend in need to the kindness by that one person whom you do not want to be romantically attached with but still has a special place in your heart, platonic love takes many forms and, in all of its different avatars, it has the capability of filling our heart with as much warmth and passion as any romantic love would. So, without further ado, here’s why I think it is time that platonic love received the recognition of being as important as romantic love in our lives.
Signs of platonic love
If we compare between romantic love and platonic love the basic difference would be the absence of physical intimacy but apart from that there are many facets in platonic love that includes the tendency to give more than take, to revel in the love and not think of what the future holds or the simplicity of just enjoying every moment of togetherness. Platonic love comes with its signs and we tell you what are those. We will also tell you why platonic love is as important as romantic love.
1. It has no expectations of you
It is a shoulder when you need one to cry on one. It reads the poems you write as you cry at night and does not point out the grammar errors and the fact that your nose is running. It does not even expect a good joke out of you and tells you that your humour sucks. It is there because it wants to be and not because it wants to get into your pants. Which is strange yet liberating.
One can say platonic love is surreal, even intellectual to some extent. Because in platonic love the mind and heart do all the talking.
2. It accepts you the way you are
This kind of love accepts you in all your sweaty and covered in chips kind of glory. It knows you are gross but it does not mind. It loves you anyway, even though it might push you to take a bath once in a while. No amount of body odour or hair is making them run. (to think of it because you are not actually getting that close, that’s why.)
3. It understands and never judges
Well, it judges you sometimes, especially if you drunk called your ex again the night before. But it will also listen to what you have to say without judgment and try to understand where you are coming from. It might also smack you atop your head while at it, but it will listen. And it will hand you tissues. Even if they are somewhat used.
4. It also scolds you when you have done wrong
Platonic love is strange and there are some rules of platonic love. They will hand you fresh tea and food in the same breath as scolding you for your recent mess involving a cute person and you being a potato. They will judge your poor hygiene and choices. They will also judge your tendency to judge others. And they will often be disappointed in you as if they expect much more from you. Till you crumble under the pressure. Then they will pick you up and feed you chocolates till you can function again.
5. Sometimes, platonic love you more than you know yourself
From your favourite kind of tea to the exact seat that you like in a room, they know it all. They also know when was the last time you lied to your mom about being busy. Probably because you told them when you were drunk. They often know you more than your romantic partners ever will. Which basically means that they also get you the best gifts on your birthday and make everyone in the vicinity jealous.
Related Reading: One-Sided Love Is No Less Intense
6. It is not selfish
Whatever platonic love is, it is not selfish. A strange weight is taken off a relationship the moment the people involved decide they don’t want to sleep with each other or get married or something. They just want to be there for you, by your side. No terms and conditions involved. You can be platonically in love with someone without having any expectation from them.
7. No matter who comes and who goes, it stays by you
They are the family that you chose, the ones always cheering you on even after you keep messing up. So, romantic partners may come and they may go, but your platonic love stays by your side no matter what you do.
Platonic love is simply happy to be able to share a moment of warmth and companionship with you.
8. Simply by being there, platonic love fills us with warmth
There is something very reassuring about this kind of love. Even if you have to pretend and have your act together for everyone else, when it comes to this kind of love, you don’t need to do a thing. You can be drowning in your sweatpants and covered with ice-cream stains at 3 am and it will be there. You might not speak for weeks or months but you know that it is there the moment you call for them. You do not want anything more from each other, just the warmth of company and of shared honesty.
This is something no romantic love can give us very easily. And this is what you call platonic intimacy, the ability to reach out to each other at the oddest of times and never be apologetic about it.
You may call them a friend or you may treat them as something more. Whatever you treat it as, you know that, in your life, it is irreplaceable. It is the person you first call when something goes right or very wrong. It is the person you are possessive about while both of you might be involved with someone else entirely. And while you don’t like to share them, you also know that they are more than just a romantic interest, a soul mate in all literal sense of the term. And they are the ones in your life that you really can’t live without.