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These are the differences between platonic love and romantic love

Health & Lifestyle

Defining exactly what love means is like trying to explain where rain comes from to a gold fish. We just don’t have the right perspective to understand it entirely.

Defining exactly what love means is like trying to explain where rain comes from to a gold fish. We just don’t have the right perspective to understand it entirely.

Take a minute to digest that. I’ll wait.

We know there are different kinds of love, different ways to love and that love can shift, morph or transform, sometimes slowly, like ice melting, or rapidly, like a flash of lightning.

The craziest part is, you can love multiple people so completely and fully, but in totally different ways.

My maid of honor at my future wedding is probably going to be a guy, who, for all intents and purposes, was the first love of my life. He’s my best friend and has grown with me in a way only someone who has been around me since day one could. I’d be lost without him.

Then, there’s my boyfriend, who will be the groom… you know, if all goes well. I can’t wait to spend my life with that man.

Both MUST be standing next to me on my wedding day. And BOTH are the loves of my life.

Here’s the difference, though: One is platonic love, and one is romantic love.

Let me use the tiny part of my brain that can comprehend something like love and do my best to break down this difference:

1. Platonic love is not being afraid to fight. Romantic love is finding compromise.

When you love someone platonically, there is no fear in conflict. There isn’t anything “to break” or “tarnish.” If you fight, oh, well, you fight.

“When you love someone platonically, there is no fear in conflict.”

Maybe the fight lasts a day, maybe it lasts a month, but you will always come back to one another because you LOVE each other, and you spent that time apart growing.

When you love someone romantically, your relationship is based on compromise. It matters that you make the other person happy, and in fact, you are happier making the other person happy.

Their needs come before yours, and any unresolved negativity feels toxic or burdening.

2. Platonic love is telling it like it is. Romantic love is sparing each other’s feelings.

And no, I don’t mean sugarcoating things or lying to your partner.

What I mean is, when you love someone romantically, it matters to you how you will be making them feel. If you have something hard to tell them, you might really think about the best way to deliver that message, or you might cater your message to their emotional needs or patterns.
“When you love someone romantically, it matters to you how you will be making them feel.

When you love someone platonically, however, you aren’t afraid to hurt their feelings, and it’s likely your job to be the person who gives it to them straight. You know you’ll be there for them to lean on, but being extremely honest with them is often more important than sparing their emotions.

3. Platonic love is ride or die. Romantic love is until death do you part.

This is a cute way to say both kinds of love are everlasting, but in unique ways.

Here’s a way to explain it: If you loved someone romantically, and they killed somebody, you would help them bury the body. However, if you love someone platonically, and they also killed somebody, you were probably there to help them do the dirty work in the first place.

4. Platonic love is your roots. Romantic love is your future.

This is a big one. When you love someone platonically, that love sits in your life the way coffee sits in your mornings — it’s a given. You don’t need to think about it, tend to it or even acknowledge it. You just always have it.

Romantic love is the endless possibilities of what’s for dinner. It takes planning, creativity, options and decisions. You need to agree on where to go and on what you want when you get there.

Additionally, one of platonic love’s biggest components is loyalty, where as romantic love’s is adventure. One keeps you grounded, while the other lets you dream.

5. Platonic love is durable. Romantic love is delicate.

And by delicate, I mean romantic love is sensitive, touchy and emotionally volatile, which are not bad things!

Romance is nuanced and special — full of passion and fire. You ride the ups and downs of life with your romantic partner, and that’s what makes the love so satisfying and cherished.

Platonic love is sturdy, unwavering and unfazed. It takes a lot to shake up a platonic relationship. All the surprises in the world could pop up, and this relationship would stay the same.

Both are beautiful, special and to be treasured. And both are blessings if you have them.