Love is Simple…Or is it?
We know what you’re thinking: you know what love is and when you have the butterflies. You’ve lived vicariously through Rachel and have plenty of experience with romance at this point.
However, you have to admit, even Rachel was a bit confused there (with Ross) until she wasn’t.
So, why is this whole love thing more complicated than just two lovebirds falling head over heels for each other and working for their happily ever after? The answer, my dear girlfriends, is a very simple one.
While we would love to live in a fairytale, the “real” in reality gets us every time. Love can get a bit confusing with real people and real emotions, especially when it comes to people we adore and care about.
You may feel that you are in love, when in reality, you may just be in love with the idea of love. Or you may not be in love with your partner the way you think you are.
Maybe, during your relationship, all the excitement, the anticipation, the hunger for intimacy just fizzled out…and you never noticed.
Signs That Show Your Relationship Is Platonic, Not Romantic
Here are ten signs that can confirm your relationship is platonic, not romantic:
1. An aversion to being cheesy
Yes, we all have our different love languages, and some of us are just allergic to cheese. However, this doesn’t mean that there is no romance in the relationship at all. Romance does exist, but it is found less in the blatant PDA and more in the shared looks and kisses.
If you find yourself at a place where you and your partner don’t seem to like being romantic at all, the issue might be at the root of your relationship.
In order to qualify as a romantic relationship, yours needs to have certain romantic gestures. And by all means, you are free to mold these according to your personality. However, the big idea is the intention behind these romantic gestures.
Whether it’s candlelight dinners or heartfelt poetry, romance has a place in every non-platonic relationship. So, if you find yourself unable to call each other by endearments like “love,” “baby,” or “darling” because you find them uncomfortable, then there might not be any romantic foundation in your relationship.
It’s important to note that being affectionate in public and being carefree in your expression of love isn’t a condition for relationships but is surely a sign of a healthy romance. So, if you never feel the need to display your emotions publicly, then there could be trouble in paradise.
2. Nothing feels high stakes
We all strive to be in a place in our relationship where everything is just smooth sailing – no hiccups or setbacks, just secure and confident love. However, if things have felt or have started to feel very casual, maybe something is off.
Being in love comes with its thrills. You feel electrified, desired, and like you’re playing a high-stakes game – a feeling that doesn’t lessen over time. You do become comfortable with this feeling, but the awareness of having that special person in your life doesn’t lessen.
In a platonic relationship, however, the lows are low, and the highs are also low, meaning there are no high stakes, no problems, and no feelings of possessive jealousy – everything is casual.
A casual feel is a huge sign that your relationship is a platonic one. If somewhere deep in your heart you don’t have a small fear of losing your love, then that love might just not be there.
Don’t get us wrong. Platonic love is still love and has its importance. But romantic love, especially in a relationship, should weigh on your heart differently.
With a platonic partner, the consequences just don’t feel that severe. A deep romance, on the other hand, keeps you grounded. You don’t want to lose your partner, and that realization keeps you on your toes and committed to doing anything you can to keep your man.
3. Not a jealous bone in your body
We love a secure man and aim to be that “Zen” ourselves. However, when you truly love each other, there’s always some level of jealousy present – you may think that the saleslady was looking into his eyes for too long, or your guy may think the bartender was hitting on you.
This feeling is harmless and can even be the source of a few jokes. It is natural to be protective and possessive of your love when you truly feel connected with them. They are yours; you are theirs, and this feels right!
If you just don’t feel that way about your current partner, then you might not be that into them. And if being jealous is not something you’ve ever experienced, then chances are that you’re both simply great friends.
4. No room for romance
We get it. You have been together for a while now. You have your set routines and there’s no specific need for you to go out of your way to be romantic. All of that is cool, but think about it: would you call your relationship a romance?
A huge difference between a platonic relationship and a romantic one is, simply, the romance. Romance is the desire to create a space for you and your partner’s love – a space that exists only for you two. If your relationship doesn’t have any moments that are dedicated to just your love, then this basic platform of love is missing.
Platonic relationships can feel very secure, especially those that are being mistaken as romantic ones. However, if that lack of romance is not even being noticed or complained about, then it might be time to acknowledge the relationship for what it is.
5. No future plans
Living in the moment and for the moment is the new thing. But those of us who have been in love know that instinct of dreaming about the white picket fence. Okay, maybe that’s a bit far (or old school) for you, but the key point here is planning for the future.
Without being an overly attached girlfriend, there are certain daydreams we all have when our relationship feels just right. This feeling leads to the creation of various plans in the near or distant future – trips, vacations, or possibly that dream wedding down the road.
If making any kind of plan is a no-no in your relationship, take a step back and ask what the problem is, for if you are in a secure, loving, and reliable relationship, what could be causing this problem?
Platonic relationships can feel very stable, but they tend to cling to the present, which makes the idea of any future planning very daunting.
6. No compromises
Love is just another name for compromise. You make it not with a heavy heart but with the contentment that your sacrifice will make your partner feel happier or relieved.
Often, confusing relationships have some of the feelings of a romantic relationship but fail to compromise.
Being romantically involved opens different sides to your personality, all of which come into conflict with your partner’s personality traits. This might not be happening for you and your partner if what you truly have between you is platonic love.
You both may be too objective when it comes to each other, and while that is not a bad thing at all, love is more about feelings and sacrifice.
7. Communication is not the key
Any strong relationship requires communication; in fact, people need to communicate freely and adequately for their relationship to stay afloat.
In a purely platonic relationship, this need for communication is dialed down. Both partners are so secure with each other and the set routines that they might not feel that strong need for communication.
Partners in platonic relationships can survive long periods of time apart with no calls or messages and it’s not a deal-breaker. However, in romantic relationships, not calling or texting for more than a day can seem like jilting.
So, real romantic relationships require communication because love cannot survive without it. Thus, having a relationship where communication is not a requirement might not be a romantic relationship after all.
8. Keeping the options open
A huge red flag in a relationship is either or both members wanting to keep their dating options open. Unless you have a nontraditional idea of a relationship, exclusivity is kind of a given.
Unless you have an open relationship, a relationship without mutual loyalty and exclusivity isn’t stable. If you haven’t agreed on having multiple partners, then exclusivity is expected. In these exclusive relationships, boundaries need to be respected.
If you both adhere to the monogamous lifestyle and you find yourself or your partner regularly thinking of better options and even future potentials, then something is amiss. Being open to the idea of something different is not normal for romantic lovers.
This also refers to the gaps present in your current relationship. If you or your partner are having casual thoughts about possible contenders or future qualifiers, then there must be something missing in what you two have right now – either intimacy or romance.
9. You’re not evolving
Being connected to another soul is a very humbling experience. We have all heard the tales of people finding new passions and feeling enlightened due to their powerful romantic experiences.
Friends, on the other hand, can make you feel validated and comfortable in your skin. This, again, is not a bad thing at all, but not having any growth in yourself or your relationship could be another indication that your relationship has turned platonic.
The ups and downs of a true romantic relationship are bound to make you grow as a person. You learn a lot and work on yourself and your relationship. Even the relationships that do not fare so well end up transforming you.
A platonic relationship, however, might just hold you back from self-exploration. There’s nothing wrong with creating a safe and secure space with your partner. However, look back and see where you stand. Surely, there must be things that you learned and ways you have matured. Sometimes, too much comfort without the adequate intricacy of a romantic relationship can halt your evolution. Being stuck in your comfort zone, feeling accepted, and even rightly cherished could be a major red flag.
10. Intimacy doesn’t feel intimate
Intimacy, especially in the current era, is truly yours to define. Nobody else can set the boundaries of what is right or wrong regarding your romantic expression.
Thus, romantic relationships do not strictly have to be sexual or physical; however, there is a clear difference when it comes to a lover’s touch and a sweet hug from your friend.
If cuddling, holding hands, or sweetly kissing worries away feels forced and your physical relationship is treated as an add-on to your routine, then you could be sharing space with a very good friend instead of a lover.
The love is there, but the kind of love and its expression is different from that of romantic love.
We all need close friends and having people around us that we genuinely care about is truly a blessing. However, being stuck in grey areas is never fun, especially in love and romantic relationships.
Sometimes things are not as clear as they are in the movies. Confusing platonic love for romantic love is definitely a thing, but you need to be aware of the signs when they are there.
Life is so much easier when we have clear ideas of who we are and what we like in a romantic partner. This is so important for maintaining a healthy perspective and clear boundaries while getting you one step closer to figuring out what this love thing is all about.