Platonic Love

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.

Love = shared perspective?

Love = shared perspective?

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!


13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kristin
    Oct 01, 2008 @ 03:49:01

    I truly believe in Platonic love. I have a best guy friend whom I can sleep next to without anything happening sexually, or even the thought coming up. He is like a brother to me and we talk about relationships, men/women, love, family, friendship, sports and anything which comes to mind. We have been on vacation together twice and nothing has happened, nor will it. I love him and I always will. Will I wonder? Maybe. Has the thought crossed his mind? Possibly. But it’s love none-the-less. Love is unconditionally being there for someone through thick and thin, feeling for someone through ups and down, accepting faults and applauding triumphs, rolling with the punches and accepting change. It has nothing to do with kissing….that is just an added bonus that the one you love and want to spend your life with can share with you.


  2. fennychandra
    Oct 02, 2008 @ 04:33:44

    ‘He is like a brother to me’ seems to suggest that what you have is familial affection 😉 But yes, I agree with your point that it’s love none-the-less, although in broader term. Personally, I can’t imagine spending my life with someone whom I share everything but my bed. But again, you’re one lucky gal Kristin to have such a special best friend 🙂


  3. thea
    Oct 05, 2008 @ 11:55:41

    siapa pula yang kamu bicarakan ini fenn??


  4. fennychandra
    Oct 05, 2008 @ 21:23:13

    Aku ga bicarain siapa2 in particular 😉 This was just my two-cents.


  5. DED
    Jan 07, 2009 @ 00:44:27

    fennyChandra, thank you so much… I have been struggling with the type of love I feel for this friend of mine. I am still struggling, but please tell me is it truly possible to develop a platonic love for someone that you were in love with? This is so very interesting…I have a friend and were each others first love (18 years ago). He is married for 15 years now and I have been married for 9 years now. I broke up with him because of his imaturity and trust issues all those years ago. Back then we both truly thought we were going to be together… around his wedding he came to me, but I was not there to see if we had a chance all those years ago. and then on several occastions over the years he tried to reach out to me, but I was still very hurt. After all these years neither one of us ever stopped thinking about the other one. I have finally made piece with the pain he caused me, and we have become the closest of friends. I want to maintain our friendship but there is alot of sexual tension, and neither of us want/will cross that line. We know that the ramifications are just to seviere. We are the best of friends, we discuss eveything and enjoy our conversations, we inspire each other. Please understand that I have a happy marriage; I truly love my wonderful husband an he loves his wife. Our friends who knew about us are very suspicious of our friendship. But we both agreed that we would prefer to have our friendship than distroy our families for the sexual part…So again, is it possible to develop a platonic love for someone you were in love with?


  6. Trackback: Comments on comments « Fenny’s Pensieve
  7. sandraraven
    Jul 01, 2009 @ 01:32:02

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.


  8. fennychandra
    Jul 02, 2009 @ 09:02:19

    @ DED: It’s not platonic if you still feel any kind of sexual tension with him. Only the situation justifies the ‘platonic’ state. He might be your true love and sadly, he’s also the one that got away. Instead of wondering if he feels the same way, you both already know your feelings for each other. And you too choose not to cross the line of friendship. That’s one brave and altruistic decision. Because you both know that you will not be happy at the expense of your family. Maybe over time, you will overcome this romantic passion for each other and be content with platonic friendship. Maybe not. So I personally think you should stop before someone gets hurt (can be you, him or your spouse). Because nothing hurts you more than knowing that the person spending his/her life with you has been in love with someone else.

    @ Sandra: Thanks a lot!


  9. priyanka
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 18:29:33

    awesome article!! brought me tears….


  10. rahil
    Feb 15, 2010 @ 02:06:14

    Seriously happy that this topic is being discussed. If there is something I have valued the most in my life (even beyond my family), it’s my friends. And many of them are of the opposite sex.

    If I were to define this term, I would say, it is utmost care, it is the feeling that gives u genuine happiness being in company with him/her; and most importantly, it is that feeling which wants you to keep ur friend happier than yourself. It’s that genuine wish from the heart that the other person (who has become a greater part of u now) is always happy and prosperous and over a period of time (doesn’t happen all of a sudden, trust me) u let go ur happiness willingly for his sake. You forget/forgive (forgive even if u don’t forget) all his mistakes. All that u want is him to be happy (u may be hurt (literally) but u r happy that he’s happy), love u sis, love u friends!!!


  11. Sue
    Jun 11, 2010 @ 15:40:09

    i truly believe in platonic love. i believe friendship and caring, combined with sweet innocent romance, that u feel for what could only be your soul-mate does not involve violent passion/lust which is a wholly separate thing.

    platonic love is wonderful but extremely rare due to the tendency of many people to crave for carnal pleasure.


  12. Daydreamer
    May 14, 2012 @ 21:54:55

    I think that i believe in platonic love. I do believe in happily ever afters and really believe that I can accomplish it when I grow up and i am in a committed relationship and may even consider marriage. All I was wondering was whether platonic love excludes ALL physical contact including kissing.


  13. sultan
    Jun 13, 2012 @ 18:53:11

    Platonic love: exists between the first sight and the first touch. It’s seen also in a pair of birds (chatok and chatoki)–fly, sing, dance all the day together but depart with the sunset and spend the whole night alone at either banks of the river.


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