Non-Platonic VS Platonic Love: A Quick Comparison

The term is derived from the name of a Greek philosopher, Pluto, however, the term was never used by him. The definition of platonic love devised by him states the concerns that arise through the levels of closeness to wisdom as well as true beauty, the carnal attraction to the individual bodies to attraction to the souls, and eventually, union with truth. Pluto believed that this kind of love may bring people much closer to the divine ideal.

Commonly, platonic love is defined as the type of love which isn’t sexual or romantic. Platonic love is being contrasted with a sexual or romantic relationship. The modern use of platonic love is observed to be focused on the notion of people being friends. Non-platonic love is essentially just romantic love.

The relationship will not be truly platonic if the two friends have romantic feelings toward each other. When there are no sexual or romantic feelings between two friends, then the relationship can be called platonic.

Throughout the eras, platonic love was gradually classified into seven different definitions:

  • Eros: a kind of sexual or passionate love or a modern perspective of romantic love.
  • Philia: the love of friendship or goodwill. Usually, it’s met with mutual benefits, which can also be formed by companionship, dependability, and trust.
  • Storge: the love which is found between parents and children, often a unilateral love.
  • Agape: it’s called universal love, which consists of love for strangers, nature, or God.
  • Ludus: playful or uncommitted love that is solely for fun with no resulting consequences.
  • Pragma: it’s a kind of love that is found in duty and reason and one’s longer-term interests.
  • Philautia: its self-love, which can be both healthy or unhealthy; unhealthy is if one places oneself above the gods, while healthy love is used to grow self-esteem as well as confidence.

Here is a table for the differences between non-platonic and platonic love.

Non-platonic lovePlatonic love
It incorporates romantic and sexual feelingsIt incorporates feelings, like affection and fondness
It asks for a greater relationshipIt asks solely for friendship
From the seven different definitions of platonic love, it can be either Eros or LudusIt’s classified into seven different categories
Non-platonic love vs Platonic love

Keep reading to know more.

What is non-platonic interaction?

two people dancing
Non-platonic love is either romantic or sexual love.

Non-platonic means, having a relationship that includes sexual or romantic feelings. Non-platonic interaction can refer to an interaction that incorporates a sexual act.

When two friends have sexual or romantic feelings for one another, the relationship will be referred to as non-platonic. Basically, non-platonic means having romantic feelings towards a friend or co-worker. It could be anyone with whom you’ve had a platonic friendship or relationship before.

Non-platonic interactions can also be a series of sexual acts between two people who may not have romantic feelings toward one another. In short, non-platonic relationships can include sexual as well as romantic feelings towards one another.

There is a slight difference between non-platonic interaction and relationship. Non-platonic interactions solely depend on sexual acts, while non-platonic relationship depends on sexual and romantic feelings. Non-platonic interactions are often secret, while non-platonic relationships can be disclosed, which raises problems.

Can you be platonically in love?

two people hugging
Yes! People can be in love without it being derived from romantic or sexual attraction.

Yes, one can be platonically in love, however, what kind of love? because there are seven different categories of platonic love. Being platonically in love is defined as being in love that includes feelings that aren’t associated with sexual or romantic feelings. Thus, one can have platonic love for someone.

Eros is a sexual and passionate kind of love that can be called non-platonic love. Even Ludus can be called non-platonic love as it’s playful and uncommitted love that can be formed among friends.

The platonic word itself means having intimate and affectionate feelings but not sexual. Thus, if one has love that solely incorporates affectionate and intimate feelings rather than sexual feelings, then the love is characterized as platonic love.

Is platonic love different from friendship?

a group of friends hanging out
Platonic love is somewhat similar to friendship.

Platonic love isn’t as different from friendship as one would think. Platonic love may consist of closeness, honesty, acceptance, and understanding, however, you can find these in a friendship as well. Platonic love between two people is consist of care, affection, fondness, and closeness, while friendship may only consist of care.

  • Closeness: in a platonic relationship both feel close to one another and feel that both have things in common.
  • Honesty: both feel that they can be honest about what they really think and feel.
  • Acceptance: platonic relationships feel easy and comfortable. Both of them feel that they are safe and can be themselves. 
  • Understanding: People in a platonic relationship recognize and respect each other’s personal space.

Platonic relationships are often regarded as friendships, as friendships lack sexual feelings. While closeness, honesty, acceptance, and understanding can be found in a friendship as well as in a platonic relationship, in a platonic relationship these characteristics are heightened.

Basically, Platonic love is a path towards a deeper relationship, it allows us to have a meaningful and deeper yet non-sexual relationship.

Moreover, platonic love can be towards anyone as there are seven different categories of it.

What is the difference between a platonic relationship and a platonic friendship?

two people laying on the ground
Purely platonic relationships lack sexual attraction.

Platonic relationship and platonic friendship mean having feelings that aren’t sexual or romantic, as the word platonic means having affectionate feelings rather than sexual feelings. Thus, whether it’s a platonic relationship or platonic friendship both are considered the same.

If there’s a situation where one of the friends has romantic or sexual feelings, then the friendship can’t be purely platonic. However, if both of them have romantic feelings toward one another, then the relationship will be regarded as non-platonic.

If a person has a non-platonic relationship with someone and has a platonic friend, then here are some boundaries that one should keep in mind:

  • Never gossip or complain about your partners to your platonic friends.
  • Refrain from engaging in physical contact beyond casual intimacy, and avoid kissing.
  • Never ditch your partner in order to spend time with your platonic friend.
  • Don’t hide your platonic friendship from your partner.
  • Make time for your non-platonic relationship.

How can you tell apart from romantic and platonic feelings?

two people in bed
Romantic love is acutely associated with sexual attraction.

Romantic love is a feeling of a strong attraction toward someone. Romantic feelings may include sexual feelings, while platonic feelings may not. There are a number of ways to distinguish romantic feelings from platonic feelings.

When someone has romantic feelings towards you, they tend to be physical and may show their interest someday. Moreover, they are most likely to level up their relationship with you. They will also treat you differently, meaning they will make you their priority.

When someone has platonic feelings towards you, they will treat you the same as any other friend, as platonic love is a love that consists of feelings that aren’t romantic or sexual feelings.

Romantic love is acutely associated with sexual attraction. However, romantic feelings can exist without the expectation of being physical.

Here is a video that tells the differences between romantic and platonic love.

Differences Between Romantic and Platonic Love

To Conclude

  • The term is derived from Pluto, who is a Greek philosopher.
  • Platonic love is a love that isn’t sexual or romantic.
  • Platonic love is the opposite of a sexual or romantic relationship.
  • Throughout the eras, platonic love was classified into seven different definitions. These are Eros, Philia, Storge, Agape, Ludus, Pragma, and Philautia.
  • Non-platonic interactions are usually a secret.
  • The word platonic means having affectionate feelings rather than sexual feelings.
  • When someone has romantic feelings toward you, they will most likely want to level up their relationship with you.

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