What is platonic intimacy

We are all looking for emotional and spiritual relationships in our lives that enrich us and bring out the best in us. Many people try to find such a special connection, especially in solid partnerships - but deeply Care, security and loyalty can also give us a purely platonic love - without sexuality playing a role. You can read here how exactly platonic love is defined, how to recognize it and what advantages it brings with it.

Definition: what is platonic love?

In order to understand exactly what is hidden behind the term Platonic love, we have to look into the past. The ancient philosopher Plato, after which Platonic love was named, was one of the first people to explore the meaning of interpersonal relationships and tried to define true love. At that time Plato was of the opinion that loving people above all have an erotic desire for one another and thus want to compensate for a deficiency that they feel in themselves. Here one often speaks of "Eros", that is, love, lust and desire one after the other.

In the Renaissance, the concept of platonic love was redefined again. To this day we mean by Plantonic love is a friendship that is devoid of passionate or sexual desire and aims to show the other person enough affection and attention. The familiarity of a platonic love is just as intense as that of a partnership - only the physical and the sexual desire one after the other are excluded or not felt. By the way: Platonic relationships can arise regardless of gender. It is only in the foreground that there is no sexual attraction in friendship between two people. Both women and men, as well as men and men or women and women, can enter into a purely platonic connection. Nevertheless, one often speaks of platonic relationships that are entered into between two opposite sexes.

Platonic love: You can recognize platonic relationships by these signs

There is a fine line between normal friendship and platonic love. So that you know exactly what makes a platonic relationship, we reveal the most typical features here:

  1. Platonic love gives no reason for secrecy: Platonic love is characterized by honesty, which makes it possible to get deep insights into the soul life of the other without arousing romantic feelings. You also don't struggle with the fear that you may be abandoned or that the person is cheating. So jealousy doesn't even arise. The focus here is on open communication, which does not depend on impressing a person - you show yourself how you are.
  2. Platonic love respects boundaries: It is true that in a platonic love you build a connection to each other - nevertheless, there are limits, especially when it comes to the physical. Friendship is and remains in focus and excludes sex and tenderness.
  3. Platonic love does not have high expectations of one another: While we set high standards in partnerships, platonic relationships get by without high expectations. In addition, we often share our possessions and everyday life in partnerships - unlike friendships. Here one leads two separate lives and does not interfere in the everyday life of the other.
  4. Platonic love is more selfless than romantic relationships: In friendships we are often more understanding and therefore often act more selflessly. In relationships we often put our needs behind those of the partner - but here there is still a great deal of self-interest. Purely platonic relationships also work according to the give and take principle - but with significantly less pressure and more understanding for one another.

Platonic love: why is it so enriching?

Even if many people believe that platonic love for a person cannot work in the long term, because after a period of deep connection, sexual pleasure and attraction also turns on, there are enough examples that show that purely platonic relationships can work . They can be an enrichment for us because we learn to integrate other perspectives into our life.

The friendship between a woman and a man in particular can be helpful in expanding one's own way of thinking. In addition, we sometimes just find people of the opposite sex nice and can better imagine a friendship without feeling any erotic desire.

What is the difference between platonic love and friendship?

As mentioned before: The boundaries between friendship and platonic love are minimal. Basically, one can say that platonic love goes beyond a normal friendship. In this context, one often speaks of a kinship - a spiritual connection that cannot be felt with everyone. In platonic love, feelings towards one another are stronger, the connection deeper and familiarity unlimited. Platonic love can occur, for example, in the following constellations:

  • with friends you have known since childhood
  • with (spouses) partners whom you still love, but with whom you no longer have a sexual relationship
  • Ex-partners with whom you have broken up on good terms, but no longer share intimacy
  • People who are asexual

Platonic love: you should know that before you have a purely platonic relationship

So that a purely platonic love doesn't become more - or you have the feeling of slipping into a kind of friend zone, you should ask yourself the following questions before you can be sure that platonic love will work:

  • Am I interested in the person, but don't feel any sexual attraction from the start?
  • Do I not feel like kisses, caresses or sex if I should get closer to the person at some point?
  • Do I want to deepen the friendship because I feel safe and valued as a person?
  • Do I not feel jealous when the other person enters into a romantic relationship with someone else?

If you can answer these questions with a clear "yes", you create great conditions for platonic love or you can find new friends who can definitely make your everyday life more livable.

Sources: respectively-magazin.de, genialepsychologie.de