Exploring Platonic Romance
We put a lot of emphasis on our romantic relationships, and for good reason.
Romance lights us up, inspires us, and helps us feel that fiery rush of what it means to be alive.
Romance, however, isn’t always easy to find, especially amidst a pandemic with off-and-on lockdowns. Even dating apps can be a tricky and complicated terrain to traverse.
So how do you get more romance in your life so that you can reap the benefits of its juiciness, without the difficulty of finding romantic partners?
You get resourceful and use what you’ve got.
Chances are you have at least one friend who has similar needs as you and is also looking for more romance in their lives.
So how do you dive deeper into your relationship so that you can both get more of your needs met and develop a deeper connection?
With platonic romance, of course.
What is Platonic Romance?
Many people were brought up in societies that had a general fear of intimacy. If this is you, you may only associate intimacy with people you are sexual with or get apprehensive about being “too touchy” with friends.
These clear lines of what different kinds of relationships should and shouldn’t look like held so many people back from exploring different dynamics.
As younger generations start to push these boundaries with different kinds of relationships and dynamics, they make space for everyone to get more out of all of their relationships, not just the ones traditionally deemed “romantic”.
So what is platonic romance?
The definition of platonic romance, like anything, may differ from person to person. Generally, it’s a type of relationship where you’re diving deeper into the dynamic than you may with other friendships but are not sexual with each other.
It’s most likely different from a romantic relationship that’s asexual because there isn’t that sense of eros love, which feels sensual and passionate.
You may or may not have some sort of commitment to each other, but this might not be more than other close friendships you have.
Again, this is all so nuanced and will vary from person to person.
Benefits of Platonic Romance
You probably don’t need convincing, but here are some added benefits to having platonic romantic relationships in your life:
Getting Comfortable with Intimacy
Intimacy isn’t just about sex or even physical connection like cuddling.
Intimacy is the extent to which you can open up to someone and let yourself be metaphorically, and sometimes physically, held by them – and vice versa.
Platonic romance allows you to explore intimacy without the pressure of a sexual relationship.
This is especially beneficial if you’re burnt out on romance, or are abstaining from sexual relationships with other people for whatever reason.
Platonic romance can fulfill that vital human need of connection, and meet you where you’re at in your life.
You Already Trust the Person
If you are building a platonic romantic relationship with someone you already know, you have the added benefit of already having a base layer of trust.
Trust is so necessary to be able to open up with somebody. When you already have that baseline, it makes it that much easier to feel comfortable exploring elements of romance.
Gender Doesn’t Matter
Gender and sexuality are totally different experiences from person to person.
For people who have maybe only been in heterosexual relationships but would like to explore more queer dynamics without sexual intimacy, platonic romance can give you a glimpse into what that looks like.
That being said, gender shouldn’t and doesn’t matter no matter what kind of relationship you’re in.
How to Get Your Platonic Romance On
If you’re intrigued by the idea of platonic romance but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered.
Here are some tips on how to explore platonic romance:
Know Your Boundaries
Before you bring new energies into your relationship, you’ll have to check in with yourself about what your boundaries are, and do the same with your person.
Are you both comfortable with cuddling and holding hands?
Are there topics you don’t want to talk about?
Are there certain lines you don’t want to cross?
These are all things to consider.
Keep in mind that boundaries can grow and change as you deepen your relationship, be honest with yourself and your person when they do.
Be Open About Your Feelings
Sometimes when we go deeper into relationships, new feelings begin to surface.
If this happens to you, communicate that with your person, and ask them where they’re at, and if they’d like to re-evaluate the relationship.
Being open about your feelings doesn’t just mean your feelings towards the person. It means all your feelings, or at least the ones you want to share.
Platonic romance is an opportunity to share more of yourself and say what’s on your mind and in your heart, as well as what your needs are in relationships – specifically this one.
Take this opportunity to do so.
Use the Love Languages
Do you know what your person’s love language is? Or your own for that matter?
Using the love languages is a great way to incorporate more elements of romance into your relationship.
Here are some examples:
- Words of affirmation: Write them a sweet poem or note telling them all the things you think are wonderful about them.
- Acts of service: Make them their favorite meal.
- Quality time: Go on a sunset picnic.
- Physical touch: Give them a massage or cuddle.
- Receiving gifts: Surprise them with a sweet thoughtful knick-knack like a candle or comforting tea.
Things to Remember About Platonic Romance
After reading this, you may have realized that some of your friendships already have some elements of platonic romance, whether or not you want to use that term. Or maybe you’re getting a better idea of what you can offer in your platonic relationships, as well as what to ask for to get more from each other.
As with any kind of relationship, there’s no one right way to practice platonic romance. It’s up to you and your loved one to figure out what that container looks like, how you want to navigate it, and what boundaries are there.
So be honest, respect boundaries, vocalize your needs, and go get more out of life with platonic romance.
Natasha (she/her) is a full spectrum doula, reproductive health content creator, and sexual wellness consultant. Her work focuses on deconstructing the shame, stigma, and barriers people carry around birth, sex, and beyond, to help people navigate through their lives with more pleasure, softness, and sensuality. You can connect with Natasha on IG @natasha.s.weiss.