Romantic Love isn’t all that’s Out there
“A fairy tale where a child is cursed and the spell can only be broken with true love’s kiss. Their mother then gently kisses them on the forehead and the spell is broken. After all, love isn’t just romantic.” –Tumblr (via washingtondlc)
Our society is run rampant with the goal of settling down, finding your one true love, and filling your life with romance at every stitch. Nearly every movie, every show and book, all focus around romance. And perhaps, they don’t all focus wholeheartedly around romance, but they always subtly (or not so subtly) focus the importance on romantic love. Maybe there’s a reason why so many movies end with the ‘hero getting the girl’.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with romance. There’s nothing wrong with being married or in a relationship, and there’s nothing wrong with being single either. Being happily independent in today’s romance obsessed world is definitely a feat, and being content with being single should be more accepted; however, there’s a lot of talk about ‘I don’t have to be in love! I like being single!’ and not so much conversation about the different kinds of love.
When did our culture become so incredibly focused on romantic love? It’s not new. Not by a long shot, but the almost absence of recognition of other types of love is dwindling. It’s not a conscious effort, but it’s happening nonetheless.
Romantic love is wonderful and amazing. It lights you heart on fire and your nerve endings are alive and you can feel the energy of the air around you. But who’s to say that platonic love is not the same? Is not as good?
I came across the quote I’ve included above several months ago, and it has stuck with me since. Some of the most meaningful love I’ve ever experienced has been from my mother and my brother. The endless love and support they each show me every day is astounding and if I think about it too much, it can leave me breathless. It’s this love that makes me teary eyed when of the lyrics my mom sings to me or texts me when we’re apart. It’s this love that encourages me to be the best person I can be, to challenge myself, to grow, to be the best support for my brother and my mom.
When my best friend hugs me and makes me laugh so hard my ribs hurt, I can’t help but feel loved. When we finish each other’s sentences and soon our conversations turn silent as we communicate without needing words, how are we not two halves? How can just the presence of my best friend be enough to elevate my mood and make me feel peace, and yet to call her my soul mate is to only convey romantic connotations?
Platonic love is extremely important. It’s what keeps us human. It’s what anchors us. 90% of our closest relationship will be of platonic nature, and many platonic loves will outlast those of the romantic kind. Platonic love builds families and communities just as much, if not more than romantic love. The bond of friendship, the love that binds us, is the essence of humanity. It fosters empathy, forgiveness, kindness, but also promotes growth, and challenges us to be better. We learn from platonic love since we’ve been brought into this world. We’ve had sandbox playmates and sleepover pals since we could perform the most basic of human communication. Over the years, we’ve grown as individuals to learn from our friends, our family, to better understand not only those immediately around us but to understand people as a whole.
Look at some of the most important relationships in your life. The ones that changed you as a person for the better. The ones that taught you about yourself. The ones that helped formed the path you’re walking on today and the ones that are there by your side as you continue your journey. I guarantee all of these relationships will be examples of love, some romantic and some many will undoubtedly be platonic. Love is a catalyst for evolution and it comes in many different forms, and none are less important than another. After all, love isn’t just romantic.