Definition of platonic love (Latin: amor platonicus) is love beyond physical attachment, the existence of love despite impossibilities and challenges. According to Wikipedia, 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. A simple example of platonic relationships is a deep, non-sexual friendship between two heterosexual people of the opposite sexes.
Often manifestation of such love is not marriage, however it is not lesser in value. The famous platonic known to the world is Kahlil Gibran’s love story. One may argue that his works of love would not have been so inspiring had he not been deeply in love with May Ziadeh, a woman he never married to, nor met in person.
Ragini Puri emphasizes it well.
A traditional and conservative society like ours looks on platonic relationships with suspecting eyes. It wonders whether in a friendship, physical attraction between the friends of opposite sexes can be sidestepped, whether platonic relationships – love and friendship without sexual alliance – can exist between a man and a woman. What they fail to understand is that platonic love is actually the sublimation of sexual urges into other forms of desires and attraction. It is love that looked beyond physical bodies to pure thoughts and intellectual stimulation.
Whether you agree or disagree, check out this one.. You can say it’s tragic. I’d say it’s beautiful.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup, but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping;
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together;
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
– Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
So…do you believe in platonic love? Do you think you can love someone you never kiss (or even never fantasize it)? Should I ask a monk (or a nun) to answer these questions? 😀 Since I’m not a nun (or I should say bhiksuni) I would say ‘nah.. I don’t believe it’s love’. If you don’t have the slightest desire to kiss him/her, then it ain’t love. Maybe it’s a cordial affection or brotherly love or friendship at its best. Yet, one more question lingers, could you develop a platonic love with someone you used to love romantically (or sexually, according to the definition)? Should I ask this to the lovely elderly couple who lives across the street? 😉 Well, I won’t start. They are probably -still- sexually active and me insisting this question will be a display of illicit mockery 😉
Okay, I pick a theme song to suit our mood of platonic love, Hayley Westenra – Both Sides Now. Enjoy!