The Truth About Romantic and Platonic Love

The Truth About Romantic and Platonic Love

Love comes in many different forms, and none are less important than another.

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.

Cover Image Credit: Sasha Foley

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Dear Mom, Now That I'm Older

A letter to the woman who made me the woman I am today.

Dear Mom,

Now that I'm older, I definitely appreciate you a lot more than I did as a kid. I appreciate the little things, from the random text messages to constantly tagging me on Facebook in your "funny" photos and sending me pins of stuff I like on Pinterest. Now that I'm older, I can look back and realize that everything I am is all because of you. You've made me strong but realize it's okay to cry. You've shown me how a mother gives everything to her children to give them a better life than she had, even when she's left with nothing. And, most importantly you've taught me to never give up and without this, I would not be where I am today.

Mom, now that I'm older, I realize that you're the best friend I'm ever going to have. You cheer me on when I try new things and support me in deciding to be whatever person I want to be. Thank you for never telling me I can't do something and helping me figure out ways to be the best woman I can be. Your love for me is unconditional. They say true, unconditional love can only come from God, but mom, I think you're a pretty close second.

SEE ALSO: An Open Letter To The Cool Mom

Now that I'm older, I don't get to see you as much. But not seeing you as much just makes the times I do get to see you the absolute best, and I look forward to it every time. Now that I'm older, I'm not going to live at home. But, I promise to always come back because I know the door is always open. Your house is always going to be my home, and no other place is going to be the same.

Now that I'm older, I realize how much I miss you taking care of me. I miss you making me dinner, making sure I was doing well in school, and taking me to endless appointments. I miss you waking me up for school and then waking me up again because I didn't listen the first time.

But, Mom, now that I'm older, I can see all that you've done for me. I can look back and see how big of a brat I was but you still loved me (and let me live) anyways. I can understand why you did certain things and frankly, you're one bada** of a woman.

To have you as my mom and my best friend has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. So, Mom, now that I'm older, thank you, for everything.


Your Daughter

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This Is What Being Away From Home Taught Me About My Home

... It's ok to make plans with people besides your mom.


My home, for as long as I can remember, has been my safe haven. No matter how many arguments my family and I got into, I always knew my home to be a place where I could feel safe, at peace, grounded, and most importantly, comfortable.

This is why, when I decided to embark on a journey to Israel, 6,000 miles away felt like I was traveling into space. I felt as if I couldn't move forward without my mom by my side, reminding me everything is going to be okay. The relationship that my mom and I have is a special one, and knowing that I was not in close proximity to her created much-unwanted anxiety for us both. Knowing that while she may have only been a phone call away, that she wouldn't be able to come hold me if I needed her to, was something I really struggled with.

While I was away, I had hoped that my excitement for the trip and the adventures that were to come would keep me grounded and sane. Unfortunately, as the days went on, I became more and more homesick. However, I was able to learn some really important lessons in terms of the importance of my home, and sometimes the need to escape it.

The new friendships I made showed me that sometimes it's okay to make plans with people besides your mom (only partially joking).

The new foods I tried showed me that there are so many different types of foods that my chef of a mother hasn't even heard of.

The new experiences showed me just how important it is to step out of my comfort zone, even if doing so means I have to be 6,000 miles away from the comfort of my mom's arms.

There are hundreds of thousands of things that this trip has taught me, but it especially taught me that life exists away from your home as well. While it is natural to want to stay close to the things that bring you comfort, it is also essential that you allow yourself to grow.

I couldn't be luckier to have had such an incredible experience abroad, but I also couldn't be luckier to have been able to come home to a mom that was waiting with open arms and open ears.

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