At Bumble, we (obviously) love a good romance story. Meet-cutes, friends to lovers, second chances—we love them all. But romance is a small part of our human ecosystem, and we need all types of love to survive and thrive.
Let’s talk about what platonic love is, why it’s essential for your well-being, and how to make the most of those special, platonic relationships.
A (very short) history lesson
For those of us who like detail, here’s the background on the meaning of platonic love.
Platonic love was defined by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato (surprise!), although he never used the term himself. He wrote about a higher type of friendship that helps us grow in wisdom, see more beauty in the world, and get closer to philosophical truth. Basically: find your friends, find yourself. So now, we talk about our closest friendships as ‘platonic love.’
What platonic love isn’t
One key thing to remember is that platonic bonds mean strong feelings of affection, but not desire. Feeling like you want to take this relationship to the next step? Yeah, that’s romantic love. Platonic love is a type of love that is not romantic. It's a deep and meaningful friendship, but it doesn't move into sex and intimacy.
It’s also not a light or lesser form of romantic love. It doesn’t pass the time or fill a gap before romantic love comes along. Your closest friends, the lives you build together, and the communities you form are deeply important—in many ways, more important than romantic love. The power of friendship to keep us healthy and balanced is huge.
Signs of platonic love
So now we know the difference between romantic and platonic love, let’s talk about how to recognize platonic relationships. If you’ve never thought about it before, you likely already have platonic relationships in your life. Here are our tips for identifying it.
How to know if your friendship is platonic love
Platonic love is a deep and genuine connection between two people. It's built on mutual trust and understanding. Only you know what platonic love means to you, but here are some things to look out for:
- You feel comfortable around them
- You can share your thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment
- You enjoy doing almost anything together
- You don't feel the need to fill the silence
Platonic relationships and your birth chart
The stars can guide your platonic compatibility and your potential to build close, lasting friendships.
You can find a clue to platonic compatibility in your sun sign patterns. Your sun sign pattern is where your sun sign falls in relation to someone else’s on the zodiac wheel.
You will likely find a strong platonic relationship growing with a friend who shares a 3-11 sun sign pattern, so 3 or 11 spaces apart on the zodiac wheel. For example, Aries-Gemini, Aries-Aquarius, Libra-Leo, Libra-Sagittarius, and so on. You might discover shared values or find communication and trust come more easily when you share a 3-11 sun sign pattern.
Why platonic love is good for you
Platonic relationships can help you face life’s challenges, support you when things are tough, and make fun situations even better.
Why platonic friendships can be better than romantic love
Platonic friendship is a little less complicated than romantic love. You don’t need to figure out how to pay bills together, where to live, or who will fold laundry. Instead, platonic relationships are about having fun together, exploring hobbies and interests, and helping each other grow. It’s also flexible—you could see each other daily or just a few times a year, and your relationship stays close.
Of course, platonic relationships are also about supporting each other through tough times. Crucially, your platonic friends have different perspectives to romantic partners and can usually add valuable new thoughts to help your mindset.
Developing deep platonic love with your friends helps you figure out who you are and who you want to be. Friends can introduce us to new attitudes, cultures, and customs, help us curate a life we love, and empower us to drop things that don’t serve us.
Challenges of platonic friendships
Okay, we’ve explored why having platonic love relationships is a beautiful and necessary thing for our mental and physical health. Let’s talk about when platonic relationships are confusing or making life harder and what we can do to make it fun again.
We think of jealousy as a romantic issue, but it’s totally something to watch out for in platonic relationships too. Feeling jealous or possessive of your closest friends is normal—they’re the best, and you want to be their priority.
So how do we banish jealousy? Being authentic is essential. If you’re feeling jealous, sometimes telling your friend and laughing about it is the perfect way to shake it off. Or do some inward thinking and see if this jealousy has a deeper root. Are you feeling like you’re not spending enough time together? Try organizing something to do, just the two of you.
Does it seem like your friend is socializing more with someone else? Remember, it’s quality over quantity when developing deep friendships. Plus, if you’re judging by social media, don’t trust the feed. It might look like they’re together all the time, but social media always exaggerates.
Can platonic love turn into romantic love?
The trickiest problem of platonic love is when different feelings creep in. What starts as a platonic friendship might cross into romantic love—which is great! Platonic love can be a beautiful basis for a romantic partnership filled with shared interests, mutual respect, and deep devotion. However, the shift needs to be mutual. Few things are worse in love and dating than hearing our crush talk about how they like someone else.
If you start sensing romantic desire, take a minute to explore those feelings. Think about why you love that person as a friend, and then consider whether they’re what you’re looking for in a romantic partner. Are those romantic feelings persisting? It’s up to you how you handle them—but they may feel the same way.
We believe platonic love is essential for a strong personal community and better mental health. Friends are as important as—sometimes more important than—romantic partners, and making space in your life to grow close friendships is key.
Now you’re all clued up on the meaning of platonic love and signs of platonic love, we hope you’re ready to make it happen.