What Is Platonic Love And What Are Its Characteristics? - Nutrition And Mac (2023)

All of us throughout our lives, at least once, we have fallen in love with someone impossible. A person with whom we have minimal possibilities, but we can not help but feel an overwhelming lump of emotions when we are close.

“Platonist”is an adjective originating from the name of the philosopher and mathematician of Ancient Greece, Plato. It is given this name becausePlato considered in his writings that love is not maintained in something physical,but goes from a contemplation where a magnificent effort has been constituted to be able to know the spiritual plane.

To highlight:In 1936 the term became popular with Sir William Davenant’s publication entitledThe Platonic Lovers, where he shared his vision with that of Plato. From what is considered a normalization of what love is, the concept is transformed into what we know today as a love that is so impossible, that it is not going to materialize.

Here we present what platonic love really is, its characteristics and the phases that usually constitute this feeling. Without leaving aside the psychological vision of this type of love.


What is platonic love?

Platonic love for Jonathan Rúa in his Psychology and Social Sciences article entitled“What is platonic love? The passage from the chemistry of love to philosophical eros”is characterized completely disagreeing with the correspondence of this name(1).

He infers that the nature of what Plato considers love has nothing to do with the meaning the term has for us.

Platonic love in our daily livesrefers to an unattainable love that due to external circumstances cannot materialize.It is idealistic, imaginary and where no real relationship is established.

Also,this type of love is usually perceived in a noble, disinterested and artistic way,taking care that the idealization we have of someone does not become an obsession and does not compromise our social interaction.

Characteristics of platonic love

To better recognize and understand what a platonic love really means, we will now present the most important characteristics of this feeling.

It refers to a love that transcends

transcending,we refer to the ability to love a person from what points to the soul,since there is no physical contact that generates links, but rather a conception that sometimes even transcends borders of beauty and clings to the most ineffable.

Philosophicallythey use the same term to refer then tothe willingness to make the impossible possiblegetting closer above our differences.He is capable of circumventing the boundaries of matter and overcoming banal conceptualizations.

It constitutes the purest form of love

Plato in his workThe Banquetexposes how pure and devoid of passions is the love that he conceives.The passions are considered him: blind, material, ephemeral and false(2)

Note:Platonic love does not materialize any kind of physical bond or passions, so the whole concept is linked to this nature.It is based on virtues and is based on that external recognition.

It is based on idealization and fantasy

This characteristic is born fromthe absence of recognizingor, however,the ability to ignore the errors that the personin question may make or the defects that he may have.

To highlight:We let ourselves be carried away a perfectionist idea full of expectations that moves away from reality and keeps us floating within that bubble.

It is one of the elements that is consistent with Plato’s vision and leads to a conceptualization that elevates us in enchanting sensations that we sometimes refuse to abandon.

The object of love is the perfect being

It is precisely through the idealization, which we previously described, that we absolve the person almost of being an ordinary human being.

Thanks to the romanticism that characterizes people who tend to develop platonic love,the ability to create fantasies and build totally idealized personifications rises,even at their own convenience.

Does not involve sexual desire

The historian of Science from theUniversity of Manchester,Jay Kennedy, defended in an article where he spoke aboutPlato’s codes,the position that the Greek philosopher never expressed with total certainty the absence of sexual desire and that it was exclusively a spiritual love( 3)

We understand that philosophy always has many paths open to interpretation and there are hundreds of variations and disputes.In fact,we cannot ensure that a platonic love does not have sexual fantasiesincluded in the individual’s repertoire of expectations.

can never be reached

Through the characterization of platoniclove an impossible love is conceptualized.Even when you only want to say improbable, but it should be noted that platonic lovealso encompasses the spaces of loving fantasies with famous and unattainable people.

Drive to improve to try to have it

There may be a motivating and stimulating factor in platonic love for the pursuit of goals.

Note:Many times loves of this type are usually considered unattainable economic, social, temporal, etc. factors and the opportunities for rapprochement will always be in adaptation and overcoming of oneself.

It manifests itself intellectually and spiritually

It remains on a spiritual plane.With the passage of time and the expansion of the concept of platonic love, the essence of its spiritual and soul conceptualization should not be forgotten.

It is precisely this manifestation that makes it look impossible and identifies with the way of seeing platonic and unattainable loves.Normally it is bet only on the physical and sexual.

It goes beyond the material and physical

It is understood then that from his spirituality and his non-existence of nexus or link, he is exonerated from physical contact and detaches himself from interests.It is an ephemeral love that is fostered even from detachment.

It usually appears in youth

In childhood and adolescence is when there is greater vulnerability due to the need for affection.

Dr. Vanessa Nahoul in her research entitled“Falling in love and platonic love in adolescence”, exposes with her analysis the intensity with which this type of love is witnessed in youth,helps emotional development and allows them to recognize its existenceand not dismiss the present(4)

phases of platonic love

For theRoyal Spanish Academy (RAE)love is defined as an intense feeling of the human being, whoneeds and seeks the encounter with another being.

Platonic love is no less complex at all, and also conforms to certain phases or stages that are presented below.

body love

Initially, physical attraction is awakened, where it develops from the interest in external beauty and its characteristics.It is initially based on an image that we create of the person and many times it can stay there, just considering it attractive.

soul love

The word soul, is sometimes made from the imperative and romantic need to get a half.Subsequent to the physical compatibility that exists in the initial attraction,an understanding of their thoughts and aspirations develops.

Love of wisdom

It could be understood even for Plato, asthe need to know more.It is from curiosity, from knowledge.It has already been distinguished that both external and internal beauty is identified, andnow it aspires to know the beauty that is essential.

Supreme Love

It is considered a supreme love for the circumstances in which it unfolds.It is loving a person even when you are not in constant contact with them, itis something quite pure and selfless.It is born of the kind, while it does not become obsessive.

To highlight:Plato explains his perspective in the following way:“The love of beauty itself, which is the supreme level of love and which is revealed to us suddenly, when we have correctly traveled the previous paths in all their stages.”

Platonic love in psychology

Platonic lovecan develop certain types of frustrations that delve into the psychological part,since itis also a love based on the idealization of a personand does not correspond to the reality that we must establish in our lives.

Then we mention what are the risk factors that comprise this type of love.

Originates from introversion and insecurity

In the Blog of Maria Rosa Sifuentes, journalist and Mental Health researcher, she explains thatbehind a platonic love there is always low self-esteem and fear of rejection.

We understand that there is a high level of exposure and sensitivity, but it is usually characteristic of introverted people since a secure relationship is maintained within the imagination.

Important:These types of relationships do not fail, they do not argue, they do not disappoint, and that is why the limit between the healthy and the obsessive must always be taken care of.

Causes the release of dopamine

In general, love is a trigger for happiness,That, biochemically, is produced reactions in our body.Dopamine is released causing high energy levels and euphoriawhen we are in love.

To highlight:It happens that, with platonic love, the release of dopamine is preserved since disappointments and triggers that influence the psychological effect that the person’s thought has on us are minimized.

In an article published inBlue Healthcare, they expose howdopamine is precisely that chemical component that is releasedstrictly related to pleasure and desire(5)

It can become an obsession

Here is the delicate margin.It is such a thin border that there is a risk of easily crossing it towards, as Plato would expose the haunting delusion.

Neurochemically, the disorder exists from the frustration of not consolidating it,not materializing it.It is healthy as long as it strengthens our tastes and allows us to move forward with the various circumstances of our lives, butwhen it causes insomnia, worry and limits us, we must study reasons and sometimes let it go.

It can cause frustration and sadness.

As we previously mentioned, authentic platonic love and the frustration that it can trigger depending on the intensity with which it is lived,has the possibility of installing us in a depression or anxiety that further distances us from our reality.

The indefinite prolongation of this fixation can cause a slowdown inemotional maturity,even when at first it seems like a healthy escape from reality.Perpetuating it can bring us psychological consequences, impacting our physical and mental health.

Key takeaways

  • Platonic love refers to an unattainable love that due to external circumstances cannot materialize.It is idealistic, imaginary and where no real relationship is established.It is usually perceived as noble, disinterested and artistic.
  • It is characterized being a love that transcends, considers the willingness to make the impossible possible;aswell as their passions are considered blind, material, ephemeral and false.We let ourselves be carried away a perfectionist idea full of expectations.It also covers the spaces of loving fantasies with famous and unattainable people.
  • In its phases is the love of physical attraction, then the love of the soul that refers to the knowledge of their thoughts and aspirations;followed the love of wisdom, he aspires to know what distinguishes him, after that internal and external beauty already known.Finally the supreme love, which is pure and disinterested.
  • Platonic love can generate obsessions, frustrations and sadness if it is not channeled well.To avoid this we must bear in mind that when it produces insomnia, worry and limits us, we must study reasons and sometimes let it go.


What are the characteristics of platonic love? ›

Characteristics of platonic love include a sense of appreciation for the other person, the ability to be honest and candid with the other person, the ability to be yourself around the person, and mutual fondness. These traits are part of why purely platonic love has an essential place in our lives.

What is platonic love? ›

A platonic relationship is one with no romantic or sexual features, but it means more than “just friends.” According to the ancient philosopher Plato, for whom the concept is named, this bond is a type of love experienced when we identify positive qualities we feel complete us, within another person.

What are the characteristics of platonic? ›

Platonic relationships are built on communication, trust, and respect, not romantic feelings or sexual attraction, so they don't fit into the traditional dating categories of friends with benefits or casual sex.

What is an example of platonic love? ›

Platonic Love vs.

If you say your connection to someone is platonic, it most often means that no romantic or sexual feelings are there. For example, if you're with your best friend and someone asks, “Are you two together?”, you might respond with, “No, we're platonic,” or, “No, we're just friends.”

Why is it called platonic love? ›

Platonic relationships are those characterized by friendship and lacking romantic or sexual aspects, in contrast with romantic relationships. They are named after Plato and reference his writings on different types of love.

Why is platonic love important? ›

Tying back into romantic love, studies suggest platonic love can help us develop healthy romantic relationships. Platonic friendships can teach communication, compromising and boundaries, all important aspects of a romantic relationship. Not to mention the common stories of people marrying their best friends.

Can platonic love be one sided? ›

While we are mostly talking about romantic relationships here, it's totally possible for a platonic relationship to also be one-sided. Whether the relationship is romantic or platonic, the signs of a one-sided relationship will be pretty similar, and one person will feel unappreciated and undervalued.

What's the difference between platonic love and friendship? ›

Platonic means "without sexual or romantic feelings." A platonic friendship is a friendship that does not include those types of feelings. A sexual or "friends with benefits" friendship may include sexual attraction or activity. A "romantic friendship" might include love or romantic dynamics.

What are the five elements platonic? ›

Platonic solids were studied by the ancient greek who also call these solids cosmic solids and are of 5 types. It is believed that the five platonic solids that exist in nature represent the five elements i.e. earth, air, fire, water, and the universe.

What are the 5 platonic? ›

Platonic solid, any of the five geometric solids whose faces are all identical, regular polygons meeting at the same three-dimensional angles. Also known as the five regular polyhedra, they consist of the tetrahedron (or pyramid), cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, and icosahedron.

Can platonic love be physical? ›

Yes, platonic friends – just friends with no romantic or sexual attraction – can experience physical intimacy like cuddling. You might also hug or hold hands.

What are the 4 types of love platonic? ›

Storge: the love found between parents and children, often a unilateral love. Agape: the universal love, consisting of love for strangers, nature, or God. Ludus: playful and uncommitted love, intended for fun with no resulting consequences. Pragma: love founded on duty and reason, and one's longer-term interests.

What is real vs platonic love? ›

A romantic relationship is a close relationship to another person that involves deep friendship as well as physical intimacy and sex, and maybe even love. A platonic relationship is a relationship between friends, and while these relationships can be loving, they are not physically intimate.

What is the highest form of platonic love? ›

In the Symposium, Plato presents the love of wisdom as the highest form of love and philosophy as a refinement of our sexual urges that leads us to desire wisdom over sex.

Do platonic relationships last? ›

The bottom line

Platonic friendships really can work, even though it might get exhausting to keep saying, “Yes, we're just friends.” Just remember, good boundaries and open communication are key to the health and success of your friendship — and any other relationship, really.

Can platonic soulmates fall in love? ›

Although, from time to time, feelings of attraction may occur, a true platonic soulmate remains linked in a way that goes beyond romantic relationships. It is an effortless connection where you feel attracted to each other, but it never turns toward romance.

Can platonic friends cuddle? ›

Platonic cuddling can take place between friends or family members, while romantic cuddling is between romantic partners. There may be some crossover between the two activities, but for the most part, they're separate activities.

What are some platonic relationships list? ›

Platonic quite literally means the absence of romance. You may have a platonic relationship with your best friend, a coworker, a cousin, a workout buddy, or any person you value in your life.

How many sides does a Platonic have? ›

The Platonic solids

Cube, or Hexahedron, has 6 sides, and is made of squares. It is a kind of prism.

How many sides does Platonic have? ›

The ordered number of faces for the Platonic solids are 4, 6, 8, 12, 20 (OEIS A053016; in the order tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, icosahedron), which is also the ordered number of vertices (in the order tetrahedron, octahedron, cube, icosahedron, dodecahedron).

Why are there only 5 platonic? ›

In a nutshell: it is impossible to have more than 5 platonic solids, because any other possibility violates simple rules about the number of edges, corners and faces we can have together.

What is a real life example of a Platonic solid? ›

Occurrence of Platonic Solids in Nature

Common table salt is an example of how two different elements, sodium and chloride, can bond together and form a Platonic Solid geometry - the hexahedron. The outer protein shell of many viruses form regular polyhedral eg. HIV is enclosed in a regular icosahedron.

What is the golden ratio of a Platonic solid? ›

The various angles associated with the Platonic solids are tabulated below. The numerical values of the solid angles are given in steradians. The constant φ = 1 + √5/2 is the golden ratio.

Is platonic love the purest form of love? ›

A love that is so pure and has no romantic undertone to it. The love what we have for parents, siblings, friends is platonic, and you selflessly love them, and the bond is comfort and belonging. For the first time in my life, I too experienced platonic love.

What is deeper than platonic love? ›

Platonic love is friendship without romance or sex, whereas romantic love leans heavily toward physical intimacy (sexual or otherwise). Though romantic love can begin as a platonic friendship, it can also start with sexual attraction and intimacy and, over time, develop into something deeper.

Is platonic love healthy? ›

Platonic Relationships are healthy for your general wellbeing. They provide us with love and care, lower stress, and increase resilience. Research shows that platonic relationships benefit both parties involved by assisting each other with the stresses and challenges of life.

What are platonic forms of affection? ›

Platonic intimacy may include touching, although not sexual. Embracing, hugging, and giving kisses on the cheek are a few examples. Some people may feel that physical contact improves the level of platonic intimacy in a relationship since it can create feelings of trust, safety, compassion, or all three.

What does platonic affection feel like? ›

In addition to the lack of a sexual aspect, a platonic relationship also tends to be marked by: Closeness: Both people in the relationship feel a closeness to each other and feel that they share things in common. Honesty: Both individuals feel that they can share what they really think and feel with the other person.

Can you cuddle in a platonic relationship? ›

You might be wondering, can cuddling be platonic? Absolutely. Platonic cuddling is a type of close contact between two adults where no romance or sexual activities take place. You can involve lower bodies if you want or just hug each other with the help of the upper body.


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