Platonic vs. Romantic Attraction


One of the trickiest things I have found as an aromantic, and a problem I have heard from alloromantic friends too, is distinguishing between romantic and platonic attraction. Learning the difference is a factor that contributes to many people realizing their aromanticism. Learning about platonic attraction, I have heard, also makes life in general loads easier and more enjoyable.

 Romantic attraction is very loosly defined. Generally, most people include these in descriptions:

 -“butterflies in stomach”

-always wishing to be with crush 

-wanting to be physically close with person 

-wanting to go on dates 

-wishes of kissing, holding hands, embracing, etc

But this is not all it can be. Attraction is different for lots of people. The only question that really defines it is: “Do I want to be in a romantic relationship with them.”

Platonic attraction is something that most people feel, but many are unaware of its existence. Platonic attraction often is:

-hoping for conversations with person

-wanting to be emotionally/mentally close to person

-wanting to be physically close to person

-high excitement during/after conversation with person

-person brings joy during conversation

-general appreciation of existence

Like romantic attraction, this is very loosely defined. The general counterpart to “Do I want to date them” is “Do I want to be friends with them.”

Romantic and platonic attraction often overlap. Wanting to be physically close is something people experience through both types of attraction. Some people enjoy platonic kissing, and some people just appreciate their romantic crush’s general existence. Many people have trouble differentiating between the two. (These people often identify as quoiromantic.) There is no set way to determine what you are feeling. The label can only be put on by you.


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