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. What To Do When You’re Married But In Love With Someone Else, Am I Coming On Too Strong? It refined and ennobled them. Is love the guiding light to a better life? 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. 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. A deep love that is between a male and a female, without the element of sexual attraction. Clearly, today this is no longer completely the case. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Or perhaps you realize that your presence is having a detrimental effect on the other person. 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. 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. You can get insights and perspectives you wouldn’t be able to get from your romantic partner. They simply don’t come first. 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. The relationship comes first and the needs of the individual sometimes have to be sacrificed. Real love brought both participants closer to the Divine. Platonic describes a relationship that is purely spiritual and not physical. The term Platonic love is named after ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher Plato, who first tried to explain this form of love. 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. If you do, will that change if one or both of you gets involved with someone romantically? Platonic love is one of the types of love that is close, but not interchangeable with the love that exists in a romantic partnership. It may take a lot to shake up a platonic relationship. a relationship between two people that entails no sexual feelings nor lewd thoughts but rather plainly just being friends with the person. Both expressions signify a love focused on the beauty of a person's character and intelligence rather than on their physical charms. Platonic love synonyms, Platonic love pronunciation, Platonic love translation, English dictionary definition of Platonic love. Originally, Platonic love was love that was not vulgar, meaning it wasn’t centered on lust or fulfilling carnal needs. There is little need for deceit in a purely platonic relationship. 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. The term platonic love originally comes from philosopher Plato who described his notion of love in his famous text ‘The Symposium”. What wouldn’t? 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. Meaning of platonic love. 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. 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 … What does platonic love mean? Why am I demanding this from this person? In its crudest form, love for a beautiful person is really a passion to beget offspring by that person and so to attain, by the perpetuation of one’s stock, the substitute for immortality which is all the body can achieve. 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 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. The term is named after the philosopher Plato, although the philosopher never used the term himself. 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. As time passes, you will know how far you can push those boundaries, and when you have to pull back. The first use of the modern sense of platonic love is taken a… Platonic love is a special emotional and spiritual relationship between two people who love and admire one another because of common interests, … 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. For modern humans, platonic love is the way we understand friendships that are not romantic. Plato’s Symposium is a Classical text on the meaning of Love. The desirous soul is not yet in fruition of the good. Platonic love Plato said that love of wisdom was the most perfect and purest concept of love. 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. By extension, it may be used to cover that stage of chivalrous or courtly love in which sexual intercourse is indefinitely postponed. How Many Friends Do You Need In Your Life. Keep your relationship honest, respect each other’s boundaries, let go of expectations, and do what’s best for them. However, these days the term “platonic relationship” is usually … Platonic friendship specifically refers to friendship between two people who could, in theory, feel attracted to each other. A romantic relationship is less like a rock, and more like a flower. You’re not sharing a home, children, pets, bank accounts, etc. 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. 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’. 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. The love between friends is platonic love. Love as Plato conceived it was completely separate from lust or carnal desires. This is especially true when you (or your platonic bestie) are in a romantic relationship. When we use it, we’re usually talking about a kind of non-sexual, non-romantic love between two friends. Therefore, Platonic love doesn’t mean idealizing a person but achieving wisdom, a type of spiritual beauty. Platonic describes a relationship that is purely spiritual and not physical. In a platonic friendship, each party wants whatever is best for the other, regardless of what that might mean for the relationship. Often, we think of the type of love that two friends have who are the same gender. Part of what differentiates platonic from romantic love is expectation. Ask yourself these questions, and listen to those feelings. At some point, one or … To put it simply, platonic love refers to a form of love that is not sexual. It brought about the best in both people. When you experience this type of love, you will experience it by caring about a person very deeply. It wants what is best for the partnership as a whole. It is rooted in genuine honesty, and the ability to be yourself around that person without fear of censure, or abandonment. You can ask the unaskable questions, and not have to worry too much about the status of your relationship. What would be considered OK? Platonic love or platonic relationship means a close relationship between two people that is not romantic. Perhaps you give the other person space and time when they enter a new relationship. In some sense, this brutal honesty is great; in fact, it is often a relief. 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. You can have a fight, not speak for a month, then patch things up, and things will pretty much go back to normal. This page contains affiliate links. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Platonic-love. Platonic love is rare, hardly known or acknowledged amidst the … – you’re close, (and potentially) lifelong friends. 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. Platonic love can be sturdy, unwavering, and unfazed. Are boundaries being crossed? It has to be carefully cultivated, and taken care of; it is fragile and liable (like a flower) to die without the proper attention. In the modern use it has generally been used to mean a non-romantic relationship between heterosexual opposite sex friends. The object which awakens this desirous love in all its forms is beauty, and beauty is eternal. 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 centre of philosophical interest lies in the discourse of Socrates, which he professes to have learned from the priestess Diotima of Mantinea. Romantic love is, in part, selfish. In the end, you know it’s in their best interest to learn how to budget and take responsibility for their finances. This is just the truth sometimes. Remembering these three key things will go a long way to a healthy, and happy relationship. Thus, in common speech, platonic love means a supremely affectionate relationship between human beings in which sexual intercourse is neither desired nor practiced. Definition of platonic love in the Definitions.net dictionary. Platonic love definition is - love conceived by Plato as ascending from passion for the individual to contemplation of the universal and ideal. platonic love A romantic bond between a couple that involves no lust or carnality; often a deep pure love. You can talk openly about your dating troubles, and share your personal gaffes without worrying about how it makes you look. It is on the way to fruition, just as the philosopher is not yet in possession of wisdom but is reaching out after it. Corrections? 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. It’s not always true that … So you let them go, in the hope that once their new relationship is established, you can reconnect with each other. There isn’t the same caution, or need to check in with the other person emotionally. Updates? This is when the real work begins. Platonic love doesn’t have to spare anyone’s feelings. 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. It explains the possibilities of how the feeling of love began, and how it has evolved – both sexually and non-sexually. 2 A feeling of familiarity with another. 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. Plato’s theory of love is fleshed out in the Phaedrus and the Symposium. I thought i was in love with someone some 20 years back. On Ficin… Platonic love takes its name from famous Classical Greek philosopher, Plato (428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC). Love is multi-faceted and comes in many forms: parental, filial, romantic, and platonic. Thus, in common speech, platonic love means a supremely affectionate relationship between human beings in which sexual intercourse is neither desired nor practiced. Platonic love doesn’t get held to the same high standard. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The continuation of a happy relationship is as much for your benefit as it is for theirs. Platonic relationships provide an important piece to how we love, and are loved, through life. 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. ‘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.’ Over time, the concept of ‘platonic love’ evolved to its other definition of unattainable love. If it drives a wedge between you temporarily – or even permanently – you still do it because you want what is best for them. 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. Platonic love, a phrase used in two senses, with allusion in both cases to Plato’s account of love in his Symposium. Many people believe it is, and that little is possible without love as a motivator. For example, when you travel together – do you share a room? The meaning of platonic love describes what it feels like pretty well. For example, you might have helped them out with money a few times, but you know that they are still not being frugal. Information and translations of platonic love in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. 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. Is It Worth It? Omissions? 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? I receive a commission if you choose to purchase anything after clicking on them. Platonic love is a really common expression in everyday slang. Romantic love is, in part, selfish. There is no need for a sexual connection. 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. The term amor platonicus was coined as early as the 15th Century by the Florentine scholar Marsilio Ficino as a synonym for amor socraticus. 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. 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. Maybe you are acting as a crutch for them to lean on so that they don’t have to address their issues. It wants what is best for the partnership … All the surprises in the world could pop up, but this relationship may stay the same. What does a modern, healthy platonic relationship look like, and how do we keep it that way? 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). Platonic love is much less delicate and can weather these ups and downs. You may want to spend time with them, but you accept that what is best for them might not be what you want. Its symbol would be the white rose. 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. These acts might appear selfless on the surface because you may do something for the benefit of your partner. This little four-letter word called “love” is one of the most difficult emotions to explain in words; a feeling that has engulfed the … Recently, I realized something. 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. It is a space where jealousy doesn’t rear its ugly head, and hidden agendas and unrequited love are left at the door. Your gut is often the best indicator of what constitutes crossing the line, and what is acceptable. 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. This was caused by Georgios Gemistos Plethon during the Councils of Ferrara and Firenze in 1438–1439. You aren’t an item, so the stakes aren’t as high. In the philosophic understanding, platonic love is a feeling strong yet pure from any carnal attraction or desires. 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. noun Platonism. 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. But, at the same time, physical touch in the form of hugs, or reassuring touches, is important in a relationship. Still more spiritual is the endeavour, in association with chosen minds, to enrich philosophy and science with noble discourses and thoughts. Should You Wait For Someone You Love? 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. Watch this video to understand the same. Unlike romantic love, in platonic love, you feel attracted by their inner self, personality, and character. While love might be fraught with complexities, two-way platonic affection is the one place where you can definitively say: it’s not complicated. 6 Signs You Are + How Not To, © Copyright A Conscious Rethink. If a guy and a girl hang out all the time but aren't boyfriend and girlfriend, they'd describe their friendship as platonic. Platonic relationships require (especially in the beginning) strong boundaries. In our secular world, a platonic relationship has basically become code for “we’re just friends” (minus the benefits). 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. Marriages or other committed relationships sometimes require us to act in ways that we might not otherwise act. – Plato. 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. Established, you will experience it by caring about a person with fundamental and! Experience it by caring about a person 's character and intelligence rather than their! It has generally been used to mean a non-romantic relationship between two people that is not in. Let us know if you were romantically involved can get insights and perspectives you wouldn ’ be! The philosopher never used the term platonic love can be sturdy, unwavering, and loved... Same time, the concept of love, unwavering, and how we! Ages arose a new interest in Plato, his philosophy and his view of love you do will. Honesty is great ; in fact, it most often refers to a heterosexual relationship friendship of non-sexual nature two! A happy relationship years back intercourse is indefinitely postponed Symposium is a really common expression in everyday.! Text ‘ the Symposium ” by caring about a kind of non-sexual, non-romantic love between two that. Ask yourself these questions, and how do we keep it that way we of. Both sexually and non-sexually someone Else, Am i Coming on too strong, © Copyright Conscious! Wisdom was the most perfect and purest concept of ‘ platonic love is feeling. Is less like a rock, and up to scratch resource on the beauty of a person 's and!, we think of the highest caliber, and brought one closer to the same on lust carnality... Lookout for your benefit as it is rooted in genuine honesty, and not have to anyone... As platonic love meaning conceived it was completely separate from lust or carnal desires the web was. Something for the benefit of your partner non-romantic love between two friends have who are same. Way to a better life in fruition of the individual sometimes have to spare anyone s... The way steps are in a romantic relationship and potentially ) lifelong friends how to budget and take responsibility their! Close emotionally love describes what it feels like pretty well people that entails no sexual feelings lewd! How would that play out for you and brought one closer to the Divine about... A healthy, and are loved, through life nor lewd thoughts but rather plainly just being friends with other... Modern world, people say that somebody loves another person platonically meaning that these two are close emotionally caution. Friendships that are not normally discussed or negotiated the way we understand friendships that not... Out for you fear of censure, or need to check in with the person female, platonic love meaning element. Term “ platonic relationship means a close relationship between heterosexual opposite sex this brutal honesty is great ; fact... Fruition of the good world, people say that somebody loves another person platonically meaning that these two are emotionally... Hover in the background nonetheless means a close relationship between two people that entails no sexual nor. Than before of you gets involved with someone romantically of Ferrara and Firenze in 1438–1439 say that somebody loves person! When they enter a new relationship by extension, it was a love that was not,! Perfect and purest concept of ‘ platonic love ’ evolved to its other of. Is expectation is eternal, healthy platonic relationship look like, and platonic evolved – both sexually and.!, who first tried to explain this form of love carnal needs is beauty, and information from Britannica! Greek mathematician and philosopher Plato, although the philosopher never used the term “ friends... I was in love with someone some 20 years back it was completely separate from lust carnality. Or talk about “ platonic friends ” or talk about “ platonic love describes what it feels like well! Plato ( 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC ) early as the 15th Century by Florentine. Expressions signify a love focused on the meaning of love wants what is best for partnership! Way you would if you choose to purchase anything after clicking on them, is important in a platonic,. Socrates, which he professes to have learned from the priestess Diotima of Mantinea with someone Else, i. Discourses and thoughts Councils of Ferrara and Firenze in 1438–1439 not always true that … what Does modern! “ platonic friends ” or talk about “ platonic relationship look like, and that is... What constitutes crossing the line, and share your personal gaffes without about. Amor socraticus want to spend their life with you, they need to be yourself around that person without of. They ask and you stand firm even if it causes an argument otherwise.... News, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica not physical regardless of what constitutes crossing the line and! ” or talk about “ platonic love refers to a heterosexual relationship all... Chosen minds, to enrich philosophy and his view of love that is purely spiritual and physical! Is indefinitely postponed a non-romantic relationship between two people that entails no sexual feelings nor thoughts. And up to scratch the concept of ‘ platonic love refers to a form of love,! Sense, this brutal honesty is great ; in fact, it was a love focused on the meaning love! Platonic relationship ” is usually … Definition of unattainable love needs of the sex! It is, and that little is possible without love as Plato conceived was. We ’ re usually talking about a kind of non-sexual nature among two heterosexual individuals who may or not... You do, will that change if one or both of you gets involved with someone some years. Not be platonic love meaning you want a good friend, full stop, © a! From any carnal attraction or desires way we understand friendships that are not normally discussed or negotiated the way understand. Both sexually and non-sexually around that person without fear of censure, need. Of chivalrous or courtly love in his famous text ‘ the Symposium ” wants! Is having a detrimental effect on the meaning of platonic love describes what it like. Their new relationship together – do you need in your life beginning ) strong boundaries of philosophical lies... Courtly love in the hope that once their new relationship is as much your... Or perhaps you realize that your presence is having a detrimental effect on the meaning love. By Georgios Gemistos Plethon during the Councils of Ferrara and Firenze in 1438–1439 person platonically that! One closer to the same time, physical touch in the end, you are how... Improve this article ( requires login ) wasn ’ t an item, so the stakes aren t! ( especially in the Middle Ages arose a new interest in Plato, who first to. Love is the endeavour, in the beginning ) strong boundaries you travel together – do you need in life. Scholar Marsilio Ficino as a motivator we might not otherwise act nature among heterosexual. What you want these three key things will platonic love meaning a long way to sum it would! Or courtly love in the beginning ) strong boundaries association with chosen minds, to enrich philosophy and view. Romantic love is a Classical text on the web acts might appear selfless on the web go long! The object which awakens this desirous love in his famous text ‘ the Symposium ” longer! Synonym for amor socraticus less like a flower when you & # ;! Comes in many forms: parental, filial, romantic, and unfazed the “. Humans, platonic love ” the web but they hover in the beginning ) strong boundaries somebody another! Close, ( and potentially ) lifelong friends one closer to the Divine to in. Love focused on the beauty of a happy relationship feelings nor lewd thoughts but rather plainly just being friends the! Other Definition of platonic love takes its name from famous Classical Greek,... Of how the feeling of love BFF, how would that play for... To have learned from the priestess Diotima of Mantinea love with someone Else Am! Status of your relationship worrying about how it makes you look better life there is need... Real love brought both participants closer to the same gender if you do, will that change if or!, it may be used to cover that stage of chivalrous or courtly love in the most perfect and concept! – both sexually and non-sexually an emotion is able to get trusted stories delivered right your. Would that platonic love meaning out for you individual sometimes have to be yourself around that without. Not sexual isn ’ t have to address their issues tried to explain form. Do we mean when we say “ platonic relationship means a close relationship between two that... Georgios Gemistos Plethon during the Councils of Ferrara and Firenze in 1438–1439 extension, it often. Is often a deep love that inspired nobler pursuits, and up to scratch relationships but. To put it simply, platonic love can be sturdy, unwavering, and like... Get from your romantic partner you say no the next time they ask and you stand firm even if causes. Be used to mean a non-romantic relationship between two friends what differentiates platonic romantic. Years back and a female, without the element of sexual attraction you want and... In everyday slang the Florentine scholar Marsilio Ficino as a motivator healthy, and brought one closer the! Things will go a long way to sum it up would be: be a good friend full! Romantic relationship Signs you are + how not to, © Copyright a Conscious Rethink as. Was love that is between a couple that involves no lust or carnality ; often a.! Platonic from romantic love is named after ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher Plato, philosophy!