I receive a commission if you choose to purchase anything after clicking on them. What does platonic love mean? Platonic love definition is - love conceived by Plato as ascending from passion for the individual to contemplation of the universal and ideal. In our secular world, a platonic relationship has basically become code for “we’re just friends” (minus the benefits). There is no need for a sexual connection. And like its ancient origins, the expectation of a platonic relationship today is relatively the same: that you would treat that person the way you treat a close friend of the same sex. If you do, will that change if one or both of you gets involved with someone romantically? Platonic describes a relationship that is purely spiritual and not physical. The object which awakens this desirous love in all its forms is beauty, and beauty is eternal. You may be expecting too much. Romantic love is, in part, selfish. But, at the same time, physical touch in the form of hugs, or reassuring touches, is important in a relationship. If you start to notice that they are coming first, or that you’re often disappointed by their behavior because they aren’t living up to your expectations, you may need to step back and ask yourself: are romantic feelings creeping in? You have to take care to build trust to ensure that your partners understand the nature of your relationship, and that it doesn’t pose any potential threats. This doesn’t mean that you don’t consider other people’s feelings outside of your own or your romantic partner’s, but there is a different level of consideration we go to when we have a romantic end game in mind. You aren’t putting them first, in the way you would if you were romantically involved. platonic love A romantic bond between a couple that involves no lust or carnality; often a deep pure love. Originally, Platonic love was love that was not vulgar, meaning it wasn’t centered on lust or fulfilling carnal needs. However, this isn’t the answer people are looking for; especially at a time when relationships, and power structures, are changing and are in dire need of boundaries. – you’re close, (and potentially) lifelong friends. The relationship comes first and the needs of the individual sometimes have to be sacrificed. Ask yourself these questions, and listen to those feelings. But look closer and you’ll realize that they are selfish in the sense that you do them in order to maintain harmony and to keep the relationship going. Platonic relationships provide an important piece to how we love, and are loved, through life. You can ask the unaskable questions, and not have to worry too much about the status of your relationship. Many people believe it is, and that little is possible without love as a motivator. Platonic love synonyms, Platonic love pronunciation, Platonic love translation, English dictionary definition of Platonic love. It is rooted in genuine honesty, and the ability to be yourself around that person without fear of censure, or abandonment. What wouldn’t? Platonic love doesn’t have to spare anyone’s feelings. Platonic love or platonic relationship means a close relationship between two people that is not romantic. I thought i was in love with someone some 20 years back. At some point, one or … Platonic love is a really common expression in everyday slang. Initially, Plato’s dialogue was directed toward same-sex relationships, sexual, and otherwise, but by the Renaissance, platonic love had come to encompass the non-sexual, heterosexual relationships we know today. If it drives a wedge between you temporarily – or even permanently – you still do it because you want what is best for them. The first use of the modern sense of platonic love is taken a… It is on the way to fruition, just as the philosopher is not yet in possession of wisdom but is reaching out after it. Remembering these three key things will go a long way to a healthy, and happy relationship. When we use it, we’re usually talking about a kind of non-sexual, non-romantic love between two friends. Over time, the concept of ‘platonic love’ evolved to its other definition of unattainable love. It wants what is best for the partnership as a whole. Information and translations of platonic love in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. These are not normally discussed or negotiated the way steps are in romantic relationships, but they hover in the background nonetheless. This is when the real work begins. As time passes, you will know how far you can push those boundaries, and when you have to pull back. Instead, it was a love that inspired nobler pursuits, and brought one closer to the divine. It is a space where jealousy doesn’t rear its ugly head, and hidden agendas and unrequited love are left at the door. If someone wants to spend their life with you, they need to be of the highest caliber, and up to scratch. A secondary meaning that also stems from the name of the philosopher describes something (such as feelings or a relationship) that is characterized by an absence of romance or sex (a platonic relationship in this sense might simply be called a friendship). In some sense, this brutal honesty is great; in fact, it is often a relief. These are the people who love us minus the baggage, the “rock” friends who inspire the best in us, and tell us what we need to hear when we’ve gone astray. However, these days the term “platonic relationship” is usually … It brought about the best in both people. The meaning of platonic love describes what it feels like pretty well. This is especially true when you (or your platonic bestie) are in a romantic relationship. Thus, in common speech, platonic love means a supremely affectionate relationship between human beings in which sexual intercourse is neither desired nor practiced. You aren’t an item, so the stakes aren’t as high. There isn’t the same caution, or need to check in with the other person emotionally. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Should You Wait For Someone You Love? Watch this video to understand the same. Both expressions signify a love focused on the beauty of a person's character and intelligence rather than on their physical charms. You can get insights and perspectives you wouldn’t be able to get from your romantic partner. Is love the guiding light to a better life? On Ficin… Or perhaps you realize that your presence is having a detrimental effect on the other person. How Many Friends Do You Need In Your Life. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Updates? From the Renaissance to the end of the 19th century, the term platonic love was also used as an occasional euphemism for homosexual love, in view of the comparatively tolerant attitude to such love discernible in Plato as well as in other Greek authors. Love made both parties to it better than before. a relationship between two people that entails no sexual feelings nor lewd thoughts but rather plainly just being friends with the person. Platonic relationships require (especially in the beginning) strong boundaries. Is It Worth It? You’re not sharing a home, children, pets, bank accounts, etc. Platonic love is a special emotional and spiritual relationship between two people who love and admire one another because of common interests, … They did it for tax and insurance purposes. It wants what is best for the partnership … In the modern use it has generally been used to mean a non-romantic relationship between heterosexual opposite sex friends. However, modern notions of platonic companionship are not completely devoid of its original meaning; just like the original idea, platonic love, like romantic love, can be deep and intense, and form some of life’s best, and longest friendships. This is especially true once the first flush of love has faded, the butterflies are gone, and you’ve settled into a comfortable pattern together. The love between friends is platonic love. Platonic love doesn’t get held to the same high standard. Keep your relationship honest, respect each other’s boundaries, let go of expectations, and do what’s best for them. Platonic love is understood as a distance love, based on fantasy and idealization , where the object of love is the perfect being, which possesses all … Platonic love can be sturdy, unwavering, and unfazed. Unlike in a romantic relationship, there is no fear that the person will leave you because they were never with you in the first place. The term platonic love originally comes from philosopher Plato who described his notion of love in his famous text ‘The Symposium”. To put it simply, platonic love refers to a form of love that is not sexual. It refined and ennobled them. In Plato’s Symposium, guests at a banquet take turns giving speeches in honor of the god Eros and debating the true meaning of love. noun Platonism. There is little need for deceit in a purely platonic relationship. Meaning of platonic love. 6 Signs You Are + How Not To, © Copyright A Conscious Rethink. We expect a lot from our romantic partners because with every person you date, you’re potentially interviewing them for the role of life partner, or spouse. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Definition of platonic love in the Definitions.net dictionary. Maybe you are acting as a crutch for them to lean on so that they don’t have to address their issues. Plato wrote about love in his work, the Symposium, a dialogue where the guests of a banquet each gave speeches in honor of the god Eros and debated the true meaning of love. For modern humans, platonic love is the way we understand friendships that are not romantic. All the surprises in the world could pop up, but this relationship may stay the same. What To Do When You’re Married But In Love With Someone Else, Am I Coming On Too Strong? Platonic love is rare, hardly known or acknowledged amidst the … Still more spiritual is the endeavour, in association with chosen minds, to enrich philosophy and science with noble discourses and thoughts. Are boundaries being crossed? So you let them go, in the hope that once their new relationship is established, you can reconnect with each other. Perhaps you give the other person space and time when they enter a new relationship. The following three characteristics of platonic love will help you recognize it, manage your expectations of it, and keep that relationship happy, and healthy, and thriving for years to come. By extension, it may be used to cover that stage of chivalrous or courtly love in which sexual intercourse is indefinitely postponed. This is just the truth sometimes. Why am I demanding this from this person? What would be considered OK? This little four-letter word called “love” is one of the most difficult emotions to explain in words; a feeling that has engulfed the … Love as Plato conceived it was completely separate from lust or carnal desires. While love might be fraught with complexities, two-way platonic affection is the one place where you can definitively say: it’s not complicated. Plato’s theory of love is fleshed out in the Phaedrus and the Symposium. Recently, I realized something. The immediate object of the Symposium—which professes to record the discourses made in eulogy of Eros by a group of eminent speakers at a banquet in honour of the tragic poet Agathon—is to find the highest manifestation of the love which controls the world in the mystic aspiration after union with the eternal and supercosmic beauty. You may want to spend time with them, but you accept that what is best for them might not be what you want. In this sense, it most often refers to a heterosexual relationship. Love is multi-faceted and comes in many forms: parental, filial, romantic, and platonic. In many cases, that person can end up being someone you’d go to the moon and back for, but just have no romantic interest in, or attraction to, in a sexual way. If a guy and a girl hang out all the time but aren't boyfriend and girlfriend, they'd describe their friendship as platonic. You may also like (article continues below): While purely platonic relationships may have a no-holds barred aspect to them (because we don’t hold our friends to the same standards as we do our lovers), this doesn’t mean that there are no boundaries. Platonic love takes its name from famous Classical Greek philosopher, Plato (428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC). Platonic love can tell it like it is, and can take the lumps a romantic relationship cannot because it’s not as complicated when you’re not busy trying to keep up appearances and impress someone. If a guy and a girl hang out all the time but aren't boyfriend and girlfriend, they'd describe their friendship as platonic. In a platonic friendship, each party wants whatever is best for the other, regardless of what that might mean for the relationship. A romantic relationship is less like a rock, and more like a flower. For many people, platonic love is not what you think about when you consider the opposite sex because feelings like attraction or sexual chemistry get in the way. What Does Platonic Love Mean Today? You can talk openly about your dating troubles, and share your personal gaffes without worrying about how it makes you look. Platonic love, a phrase used in two senses, with allusion in both cases to Plato’s account of love in his Symposium. 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. Platonic love will always be a part of the human condition – we award different values to every person we meet, and we love each one in a unique way. Platonic love is a chaste and strong type of love that is non-sexual.. Platonic love in this original sense of the term is examined in Plato's dialogue the Symposium, which has as its topic the subject of love or Eros generally. Platonic describes a relationship that is purely spiritual and not physical. That act is selfless in the sense that you will not gain anything from it, but you do it in the hope that your platonic friend will get some benefit. In the Middle Ages arose a new interest in Plato, his philosophy and his view of love. Even though it’s called “platonic,” which links it to Plato’s philosophies, you’ll see in this article that this wasn’t exactly what his idea of love was. When you experience this type of love, you will experience it by caring about a person very deeply. For example, when you travel together – do you share a room? There is no need to maintain a facade. Often, we think of the type of love that two friends have who are the same gender. Platonic Love Is Selfless. You get to go home at the end of the night and not worry about what that person is doing, who they’re with, whether they paid the electric bill, ate the dinner you left in the fridge, or hung the laundry to dry. It has to be carefully cultivated, and taken care of; it is fragile and liable (like a flower) to die without the proper attention. Therefore, Platonic love doesn’t mean idealizing a person but achieving wisdom, a type of spiritual beauty. They refer to the special bond of affection between two men Plato had highlighted in a dialogue, and exemplified by the affection between Socrates and his young male pupils, in particular to the one between Socrates and Alcibiades. The term Platonic love is named after ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher Plato, who first tried to explain this form of love. In the philosophic understanding, platonic love is a feeling strong yet pure from any carnal attraction or desires. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Platonic-love. The main argument may be summarized thus: eros, desirous love in all its forms, is a reaching out of the soul to a good to which it aspires but does not yet possess. For example, you might have helped them out with money a few times, but you know that they are still not being frugal. Although friendship is a give and take partnership, when it comes to platonic love, you have to be careful not to expect or demand more of that person than you would of a regular friendship. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. Clearly, today this is no longer completely the case. Unlike romantic love, in platonic love, you feel attracted by their inner self, personality, and character. The Symposium depicts Socrates as the type of the aspirant who has reached the goal of union and sets in sharp opposition to him the figure of Alcibiades, who has sold his spiritual birthright for the pleasures and ambitions of the world. So you say no the next time they ask and you stand firm even if it causes an argument. Later in 1469, Marsilio Ficinoput forward a theory of neo-platonic love in which he defines love as a personal ability of an individual which guides their soul towards cosmic processes and lofty spiritual goals and heavenly ideas (De Amore, Les Belles Lettres, 2012). Such an emotion is able to unite a person with fundamental truth and wisdom. The continuation of a happy relationship is as much for your benefit as it is for theirs. What does a modern, healthy platonic relationship look like, and how do we keep it that way? Platonic love is much less delicate and can weather these ups and downs. But what do we mean when we say “platonic friends” or talk about “platonic love”? This page contains affiliate links. These acts might appear selfless on the surface because you may do something for the benefit of your partner. It may take a lot to shake up a platonic relationship. Romantic love is, in part, selfish. Recognizing and respecting those differences will bring us closer to Plato’s initial ideal of platonic love – one that raises us up and anchors us throughout life. The desirous soul is not yet in fruition of the good. Real love brought both participants closer to the Divine. Platonic love requires a lot of trust. ‘platonic love’ ‘Modern readers continue to debate whether the poems express platonic friendship or sexual love.’ ‘Have you had a platonic friendship that crossed the line and became romantic or sexual?’ ‘It is a purely platonic friendship, we are good company for each other.’ Marriages or other committed relationships sometimes require us to act in ways that we might not otherwise act. love of the Idea of beauty, seen as terminating an evolution from the desire for an individual and the love of physical beauty to the love and contemplation of spiritual or ideal beauty. – Plato. Part of what differentiates platonic from romantic love is expectation. Plato defined platonic love as the kind of love that motivates us to become better versions of ourselves, inspiring us to pursue greater goals, and bringing us closer to enlightenment or the divine. The term amor platonicus was coined as early as the 15th Century by the Florentine scholar Marsilio Ficino as a synonym for amor socraticus. This was caused by Georgios Gemistos Plethon during the Councils of Ferrara and Firenze in 1438–1439. You can have a fight, not speak for a month, then patch things up, and things will pretty much go back to normal. It’s not always true that … All Rights Reserved | Contact Us | Privacy Policy, 4 Characteristics Of Platonic Love: A Relationship Of A Different Kind, 10 Ways To Turn Casual Friends Into Best Friends, Kindred Spirits: What It Means To Have This Kind Of Connection. The term is named after the philosopher Plato, although the philosopher never used the term himself. Platonic friendship specifically refers to friendship between two people who could, in theory, feel attracted to each other. In this sense, it most often refers to a heterosexual relationship. According to Plato, there are different stages of appreciation and love that a person must go through if he feels inclined to experience the ultimate and divine love, named ‘The Beautiful’. Your gut is often the best indicator of what constitutes crossing the line, and what is acceptable. In the modern world, people say that somebody loves another person platonically meaning that these two are close emotionally. We are less forgiving of mistakes in romantic relationships, and in a sense, that’s a good thing; we need to be picky when it comes to investing that kind of time in a lifelong companion. Platonic love is one of the types of love that is close, but not interchangeable with the love that exists in a romantic partnership. Omissions? Neither family, nor privilege, nor wealth, nor anything but Love can light that beacon which a man must steer by when he sets out to live the better life. It explains the possibilities of how the feeling of love began, and how it has evolved – both sexually and non-sexually. A more spiritual form of the same craving for eternity is the aspiration to win immortal fame by combining with a kindred soul to give birth to sound institutions and rules of life. “Wither thou goest, I will go; thy people shall by my people; where thou diest, will I die, and there I be … Platonic love is a feeling of idealized love, in which the sexual element is abstracted , characterized by being unrealizable or unrequited . Platonic love Plato said that love of wisdom was the most perfect and purest concept of love. If your significant other has a platonic BFF, how would that play out for you? 2 Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Thus, in common speech, platonic love means a supremely affectionate relationship between human beings in which sexual intercourse is neither desired nor practiced. Plato’s Symposium is a Classical text on the meaning of Love. You may worry about them if they’ve been going through a difficult time, as naturally good friends do, but you’re not as invested in their day-to-day meanderings and external relationships. Platonic relationships generally involve a deep friendship of non-sexual nature among two heterosexual individuals who may or may not be of the opposite sex. In the end, you know it’s in their best interest to learn how to budget and take responsibility for their finances. They can provide fulfilling, lifelong friendships, offer us refreshing perspectives, and a much needed outlet to let off steam, and let it all hang out. A simple way to sum it up would be: be a good friend, full stop. The centre of philosophical interest lies in the discourse of Socrates, which he professes to have learned from the priestess Diotima of Mantinea. A feeling of familiarity with another. 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