Defining exactly what love means is like trying to explain where rain comes from to a gold fish. We just don't have the right perspective to understand it entirely.
Take a minute to digest that. I'll wait.
I know the difference between romantic love and platonic love. I understand that these are different kinds of love, different ways to love and that love can shift, morph, and transform — sometimes slowly, like ice melting, or rapidly, like a flash of lightning.
The craziest part is, you can love multiple people so completely and fully but in totally unique ways. For example, my maid of honor at my future wedding is probably going to be a guy, who, for all intents and purposes, was the first love of my life. He's my best friend and has grown with me in a way only someone who has been around me since day one could. I'd be lost without him.
Then, there's my partner, who will be the groom — you know, if all goes well. I can't wait to spend my life with that person Both must be standing next to me on my wedding day. And both are the loves of my life. Here's the difference, though: One is platonic love, and one is romantic love.
Embracing Conflict Vs. Reaching Compromise
When you love someone platonically, there may be little fear of conflict. Fighting can feel lower stakes. Maybe the fight lasts a day, maybe it lasts a month, but you can always find your way back to one another because you love each other, and you spent that time apart growing.
When you love someone romantically, compromise is crucial to your relationship. It matters that you make the other person happy. In fact, you are happier making each other happy. Fighting is healthy, but all conflicts leave to open and honest communication. Otherwise, unresolved negativity can grow toxic or burdening.
“When having an actual argument, the object is to express yourselves, be heard, and to learn what needs are not being met so that you can resolve your conflict in a way where both of you feel heard and understood,” Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent couples therapist in Los Angeles, previously told Elite Daily.” When reaching a compromise with your romantic love, communication is king.
Being Honest Vs. Being Considerate
Being considerate doesn’t mean sugarcoating things or lying to your partner. When you love someone romantically, you’ll take their feelings into consideration. If you have something hard to tell them, you can really think about the best way to deliver that message, or you might tailor your message to their emotional needs or patterns.
"Talk, talk, talk with each other," Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills-based family and relationship psychotherapist, author of The Self-Aware Parent, regular expert child psychologist on The Doctors and co-star on Sex Box, previously told Elite Daily. "Taking turns listening and talking with each other is the seed that grows passion in relationships. Each one of us wants the same thing: to be seen, acknowledged, validated, loved, and accepted — flaws and all."
When you love someone platonically, however, you may feel more inclined to give it to them straight. Being extremely honest with them may outweigh sparing their emotions, and moreover, you know you'll be there for them to lean on.
Ride Or Die Vs. ‘Til Death Do Us Part
TBH, both kinds of love are everlasting, but in unique ways.
If you loved someone romantically, and they made a questionable decision, you would support them through it. However, if you love someone platonically, and they made the same decision, you would probably be their partner in crime.
"When you're with a partner who's ride or die, you know you're in good hands," certified relationship coach Rosalind Sedacca told Bustle."Partners in the ride or die mode are essential because life throws curves at us all the time. We can't always be the perfect partner we'd like to be. So it's important to have a partner who loves us for who we are — dirt, damage and all."
Of course, you never need to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. If your partner or friend’s decisions in any way impact your mental and physical health, it’s OK to take some time and space for yourself.
Your Roots Vs. Your Future
When you love someone platonically, that love sits in your life like coffee in the mornings — it's a given. You may not need to think about it, constantly tend to it or even acknowledge it. It’s reliable. Romantic love, on the other hand, is full of endless possibilities. It takes planning, creativity, options, and making decisions. You need to agree on where to go and on what you want when you get there.
"When it’s time to talk about the future with your partner, it usually won’t come as a huge surprise," Julie Spira, online dating expert, previously told Elite Daily. "If you’re good at communicating with your partner, you’ll have had several conversations about your goals for the future, and whether it includes moving in together, getting married, or having children."
One keeps you grounded, while the other lets you dream.
Durable VS. Delicate.
Romantic love can be sensitive, emotional, and tender, which are not bad things. Romance can be nuanced and special, passionate or pragmatic. You ride the ups and downs of life with your romantic partner, and that's what makes the love so satisfying and cherished.
Platonic love can be sturdy, unwavering, and unfazed. It may take a lot to shake up a platonic relationship. All the surprises in the world could pop up, but this relationship may stay the same.
“Unconditional love means that, despite difficulties, you are sufficiently devoted to one another and are committed to working this out as a team,” Dr. Brown previously told Elite Daily. “Unconditional love tends to be much stronger and more enduring than romantic love. You can certainly have both, but it is the unconditional love that endures.”
Both are beautiful, special, and meant to be treasured.
Additional reporting by Iman Hariri-Kia.
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