Platitudes of Friendship (are best avoided)

plat·i·tude
ˈpladəˌt(y)o͞od/
noun
-a remark or statement, especially one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful; a cliché

In a lot of ways the idea of friendship has been over romanticized the same way romance has. When I think of the “ideal” friendship the first thing that comes to mind is the scene from the Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King. As Sam carries Frodo up the mountain rewatchers of the film probably mouth the words, “But I can carry you!” For the second runner up I think of the preview for Captain America: Civil War. Steve, Captain America, asks his best friend, Bucky Barns, (after barns has been brain washed for 70 years) if Bucky remembers him. Bucky replies, “Your mother’s name was Sarah,” which in bestfriend speak is “I remember ur mom“; A line only a “true” friend can get away with obviously.

I mention friendship first because I don’t see platonic attraction as the same thing exactly. I definitely feel platonic attraction towards my friends, but that pull isn’t the same thing as friendship. To say platonic attraction is the same thing as friendship is like saying that romantic attraction is the same thing as romance. They’re connected, but not the same. I blame Hollywood for manipulating my view of platonic attraction the same way it paints unrealistic romantic situations. Hollywood’s biggest mistake is suggesting that platonic attraction is inferior to romantic and sexual attraction or that platonic attraction is one step on the way to a possible romance; Both views are just simply not true.

For me when I feel platonic attraction I feel like I want to let that person into my bubble. I’m an introvert and the bubble should be respected at all times, but for some people I’m willing to make an exception. I want to invite them into my special circle of people. Friendship isn’t necessarily the end goal. I like them and I feel something for them so I care about them. I care about how their day is going. I’m curious how their wives and families are doing. They make my day better by proximity so I want to do a little something in return. They’re not going to be the Sam to my Frodo or Steve to my Bucky; That’s not realistic at all.

It’s quite possible that because I’m aromantic I feel platonic attraction more strongly and thus notice it. To the naysayers that might suggest I “don’t know what I’m talking about” because I’ve “never been in love” because I “haven’t met the right one” I must point out that feelings are subjective. I know what I feel because it’s the way I feel. It just so happens that I feel that a preexisting label is suitable to describe what I’m feeling. Beyond that feelings aren’t inherently indescribable. Poets, writers, and scientist may try, but there are no perfect words to describe feelings so we just have to make due. So, when it comes to platonic attraction, I think platitudes of Friendship are best avoided.

(Submission for February 2016 Carnival of Aces: Prompt- Platonic Attraction hosted by It’s An Ace Thing)

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