Platonic love shouldn’t be secondary to romance


Asila Sabouri

One of those friendships I hope to maintain forever

I have never been one to be enamored by the world of Greek mythology; I never read the Percy Jackson series, and I’ve never opened The Song of Achilles. Even so, there’s one myth that has always fascinated me: the concept of a soulmate.

The notion of soulmates came from the writings of the Greek philosopher Plato. The myth depicts that, in the beginning, humans once had four arms, four legs, and two faces. Eventually, these people began to believe they had the power to overthrow the gods themselves. In order to stop impending catastrophe, Zeus ripped each person down the middle so they would become two—leaving each individual forever yearning and searching for their other half.

Centuries later, we live in a world with technology unlike any other time; we have the ability to talk to someone across the world in a matter of seconds, and even technology that can simulate human intelligence in machines—we have the ability to do what was once thought to be impossible. Yet, we still find ourselves longing and seeking for someone to love, just as we had ages ago.

In our pursuit of someone to truly love, we form other relationships: friendships, acquaintanceships, and family. We learn to love platonically. 

However, sometimes it seems as if destiny steps in and brings someone right to your doorstep. Oftentimes, this leads to such a pair dating, even falling in love. It begins to feel as if you have once again been reunited with your other half.

It is why we feel ‘whole’ when we are near the one we love.

Yet, we still find ourselves longing and seeking for someone to love, just as we had ages ago.

Love makes relationships feel like they are dreamy fairy tales, but as people become more and more infatuated with one another, it becomes easy to lose sight of those around us. Subconsciously, many form the sentiment that relationships, like friends and family, should be secondary to our romantic ones.

Every relationship, romantic or not, requires effort. Even so, the effort put in to maintain those relationships isn’t a fruitless endeavor. There is a multitude of reasons to maintain those purely platonic relationships.

Even though it may seem a bit obvious and cliché, platonic relationships give us memories and moments that we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to experience. It is impossible for you and your partner to have all of the same interests at the same time, so having other relationships allows you to go out and express those interests in the company of someone else. At times, our friends can push us to try new, adventurous things we’d never thought to have tried before; they push us in a way that we may not have been pushed with a partner alone.

Our friends are there for us in our good moments, but they’re also there for us through the bad. As much as we like to lean on our partners in moments of disarray, solely relying on them to support you can become overwhelming for both parties. Being able to rely on friends and family—an outside support system—can give you different perspectives on a problem, but it can also just prevent that overwhelming feeling of only ever going to one person for help.

Arguably, the most evident reason to maintain friendships is that they’re your friend. They are more than just the person you go to for support or to try something new with. They are the people you enjoy spending time with: the people you want to keep in your life.

That’s not to say that romantic relationships are horrible and you should only have platonic relationships, but rather to say that romance isn’t the end all be all. It is possible to balance platonic and romantic relationships.

The platonic relationships we form with others should not be seen as ones to be neglected for the sake of romance. Rather, they should be treated and maintained with the same respect and care as a romantic relationship.