The term is named after the philosopher Plato, although the philosopher never used the term himself. Maybe you are acting as a crutch for them to lean on so that they don’t have to address their issues. What To Do When You’re Married But In Love With Someone Else, Am I Coming On Too Strong? Platonic describes a relationship that is purely spiritual and not physical. Thus, in common speech, platonic love means a supremely affectionate relationship between human beings in which sexual intercourse is neither desired nor practiced. These acts might appear selfless on the surface because you may do something for the benefit of your partner. Over time, the concept of ‘platonic love’ evolved to its other definition of unattainable love. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Platonic-love. Love is multi-faceted and comes in many forms: parental, filial, romantic, and platonic. For many people, platonic love is not what you think about when you consider the opposite sex because feelings like attraction or sexual chemistry get in the way. For modern humans, platonic love is the way we understand friendships that are not romantic. They did it for tax and insurance purposes. You aren’t putting them first, in the way you would if you were romantically involved. There is no need to maintain a facade. You’re not sharing a home, children, pets, bank accounts, etc. And like its ancient origins, the expectation of a platonic relationship today is relatively the same: that you would treat that person the way you treat a close friend of the same sex. This little four-letter word called “love” is one of the most difficult emotions to explain in words; a feeling that has engulfed the … Often, we think of the type of love that two friends have who are the same gender. Is It Worth It? To put it simply, platonic love refers to a form of love that is not sexual. If you start to notice that they are coming first, or that you’re often disappointed by their behavior because they aren’t living up to your expectations, you may need to step back and ask yourself: are romantic feelings creeping in? In the modern world, people say that somebody loves another person platonically meaning that these two are close emotionally. Corrections? Thus, in common speech, platonic love means a supremely affectionate relationship between human beings in which sexual intercourse is neither desired nor practiced. Platonic relationships require (especially in the beginning) strong boundaries. Perhaps you give the other person space and time when they enter a new relationship. What Does Platonic Love Mean Today? The centre of philosophical interest lies in the discourse of Socrates, which he professes to have learned from the priestess Diotima of Mantinea. You aren’t an item, so the stakes aren’t as high. They refer to the special bond of affection between two men Plato had highlighted in a dialogue, and exemplified by the affection between Socrates and his young male pupils, in particular to the one between Socrates and Alcibiades. Should You Wait For Someone You Love? You have to take care to build trust to ensure that your partners understand the nature of your relationship, and that it doesn’t pose any potential threats. All Rights Reserved | Contact Us | Privacy Policy, 4 Characteristics Of Platonic Love: A Relationship Of A Different Kind, 10 Ways To Turn Casual Friends Into Best Friends, Kindred Spirits: What It Means To Have This Kind Of Connection. These are not normally discussed or negotiated the way steps are in romantic relationships, but they hover in the background nonetheless. Recognizing and respecting those differences will bring us closer to Plato’s initial ideal of platonic love – one that raises us up and anchors us throughout life. The following three characteristics of platonic love will help you recognize it, manage your expectations of it, and keep that relationship happy, and healthy, and thriving for years to come. In some sense, this brutal honesty is great; in fact, it is often a relief. However, modern notions of platonic companionship are not completely devoid of its original meaning; just like the original idea, platonic love, like romantic love, can be deep and intense, and form some of life’s best, and longest friendships. This is just the truth sometimes. I receive a commission if you choose to purchase anything after clicking on them. The love between friends is platonic love. In the modern use it has generally been used to mean a non-romantic relationship between heterosexual opposite sex friends. 6 Signs You Are + How Not To, © Copyright A Conscious Rethink. Instead, it was a love that inspired nobler pursuits, and brought one closer to the divine. Romantic love is, in part, selfish. It is rooted in genuine honesty, and the ability to be yourself around that person without fear of censure, or abandonment. Initially, Plato’s dialogue was directed toward same-sex relationships, sexual, and otherwise, but by the Renaissance, platonic love had come to encompass the non-sexual, heterosexual relationships we know today. There is no need for a sexual connection. A romantic relationship is less like a rock, and more like a flower. Remembering these three key things will go a long way to a healthy, and happy relationship. You can ask the unaskable questions, and not have to worry too much about the status of your relationship. Definition of platonic love in the Definitions.net dictionary. This is when the real work begins. Is love the guiding light to a better life? If someone wants to spend their life with you, they need to be of the highest caliber, and up to scratch. Although friendship is a give and take partnership, when it comes to platonic love, you have to be careful not to expect or demand more of that person than you would of a regular friendship. If a guy and a girl hang out all the time but aren't boyfriend and girlfriend, they'd describe their friendship as platonic. This doesn’t mean that you don’t consider other people’s feelings outside of your own or your romantic partner’s, but there is a different level of consideration we go to when we have a romantic end game in mind. Part of what differentiates platonic from romantic love is expectation. You may also like (article continues below): While purely platonic relationships may have a no-holds barred aspect to them (because we don’t hold our friends to the same standards as we do our lovers), this doesn’t mean that there are no boundaries. Keep your relationship honest, respect each other’s boundaries, let go of expectations, and do what’s best for them. However, these days the term “platonic relationship” is usually … ‘platonic love’ ‘Modern readers continue to debate whether the poems express platonic friendship or sexual love.’ ‘Have you had a platonic friendship that crossed the line and became romantic or sexual?’ ‘It is a purely platonic friendship, we are good company for each other.’ Platonic love doesn’t get held to the same high standard. For example, when you travel together – do you share a room? Watch this video to understand the same. It explains the possibilities of how the feeling of love began, and how it has evolved – both sexually and non-sexually. It wants what is best for the partnership … That act is selfless in the sense that you will not gain anything from it, but you do it in the hope that your platonic friend will get some benefit. A feeling of familiarity with another. Even though it’s called “platonic,” which links it to Plato’s philosophies, you’ll see in this article that this wasn’t exactly what his idea of love was. There is little need for deceit in a purely platonic relationship. What does a modern, healthy platonic relationship look like, and how do we keep it that way? Platonic love, a phrase used in two senses, with allusion in both cases to Plato’s account of love in his Symposium. On Ficin… Platonic love is a really common expression in everyday slang. A deep love that is between a male and a female, without the element of sexual attraction. You may be expecting too much. If your significant other has a platonic BFF, how would that play out for you? Or perhaps you realize that your presence is having a detrimental effect on the other person. Love as Plato conceived it was completely separate from lust or carnal desires. Platonic love or platonic relationship means a close relationship between two people that is not romantic. You can get insights and perspectives you wouldn’t be able to get from your romantic partner. They simply don’t come first. For example, you might have helped them out with money a few times, but you know that they are still not being frugal. The first use of the modern sense of platonic love is taken a… The immediate object of the Symposium—which professes to record the discourses made in eulogy of Eros by a group of eminent speakers at a banquet in honour of the tragic poet Agathon—is to find the highest manifestation of the love which controls the world in the mystic aspiration after union with the eternal and supercosmic beauty. They can provide fulfilling, lifelong friendships, offer us refreshing perspectives, and a much needed outlet to let off steam, and let it all hang out. Platonic love in its modern popular sense is an affectionate relationship into which the sexual element does not enter, especially in cases where one might easily assume otherwise. Marriages or other committed relationships sometimes require us to act in ways that we might not otherwise act. Unlike in a romantic relationship, there is no fear that the person will leave you because they were never with you in the first place. So you let them go, in the hope that once their new relationship is established, you can reconnect with each other. If you do, will that change if one or both of you gets involved with someone romantically? You may worry about them if they’ve been going through a difficult time, as naturally good friends do, but you’re not as invested in their day-to-day meanderings and external relationships. What would be considered OK? – Plato. Plato defined platonic love as the kind of love that motivates us to become better versions of ourselves, inspiring us to pursue greater goals, and bringing us closer to enlightenment or the divine. Omissions? Platonic love is one of the types of love that is close, but not interchangeable with the love that exists in a romantic partnership. I thought i was in love with someone some 20 years back. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. Platonic love can be sturdy, unwavering, and unfazed. Still more spiritual is the endeavour, in association with chosen minds, to enrich philosophy and science with noble discourses and thoughts. Both expressions signify a love focused on the beauty of a person's character and intelligence rather than on their physical charms. Platonic love is rare, hardly known or acknowledged amidst the … In a platonic friendship, each party wants whatever is best for the other, regardless of what that might mean for the relationship. The Symposium depicts Socrates as the type of the aspirant who has reached the goal of union and sets in sharp opposition to him the figure of Alcibiades, who has sold his spiritual birthright for the pleasures and ambitions of the world. Your gut is often the best indicator of what constitutes crossing the line, and what is acceptable. The object which awakens this desirous love in all its forms is beauty, and beauty is eternal. Platonic love is a special emotional and spiritual relationship between two people who love and admire one another because of common interests, … Romantic love is, in part, selfish. Platonic love takes its name from famous Classical Greek philosopher, Plato (428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC). It brought about the best in both people. Real love brought both participants closer to the Divine. A secondary meaning that also stems from the name of the philosopher describes something (such as feelings or a relationship) that is characterized by an absence of romance or sex (a platonic relationship in this sense might simply be called a friendship). Platonic describes a relationship that is purely spiritual and not physical. Its symbol would be the white rose. This is especially true once the first flush of love has faded, the butterflies are gone, and you’ve settled into a comfortable pattern together. The main argument may be summarized thus: eros, desirous love in all its forms, is a reaching out of the soul to a good to which it aspires but does not yet possess. The relationship comes first and the needs of the individual sometimes have to be sacrificed. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). 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