Why individuals are selecting platonic life companions

This relationship pattern is all about coupling up with an in depth pal – however with out the romance. And specialists are giving it the stamp of approval.

We’re continually bombarded with messaging that romantic partnerships are the epitome of relationship happiness.

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However what if an in depth relationship with a pal can provide the stability and assist you want?

Welcome to the world of platonic life companions (or PLP).

Because of social media, extra individuals are discovering this relationship choice, with the hashtag #platoniclifepartner being seen tens of millions of instances on TikTok.

What’s a platonic life associate?

A platonic life partnership is a deep, dedicated relationship during which two individuals have chosen one another as their main associate in a lot the identical means as de facto or married {couples} – however with out the romance and intercourse.

Platonic life companions might select to reside collectively, deliver up youngsters, share funds and probably even marry.

Household, relationship and intercourse therapist Lauren Bradley says sharing your life with one other might be rewarding to your psychological well being, fulfilment, checking account and your coronary heart – however that particular person doesn’t should be your associate between the sheets.

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“In the event you’re lucky sufficient to fulfill ‘the one’ and persist with them for the remainder of your life, that’s superb and good for you,” Lauren, who’s director of Love Remedy Australia, says.

“For many individuals, fairytale romance merely doesn’t occur.

“Platonic love might be simply as worthwhile as any romantic or sexual relationship, offering security, safety and luxury.”

Are conventional relationships unrealistic?

With Australia’s marriage charge declining by 23.7 per cent between 2000 and 2019, is it unrealistic to suppose one particular person can meet all of your wants till the tip of your days?

“Completely,” relationship coach Stephanie Rigg says.

“And, frankly, I consider we have to shift away from viewing our companions as need-meeting machines.

“What we needs to be aiming for is a associate who’s keen and in a position to meet our most necessary wants more often than not.

“This fallacious concept of ‘the one’ leads individuals to wrongly assume that if their associate isn’t excellent and doesn’t meet each single considered one of their wants, the connection is ‘mistaken’ or ‘doomed’. This simply isn’t true.”

Why are individuals selecting platonic life companions?

As society evolves, Lauren says we have gotten extra open to non-traditional relationship buildings, similar to open marriages, polyamory, swinging and platonic life companions.

“Discovering the best particular person to be with eternally is tough – not to mention after years of pandemic restrictions,” she says.

“And maintaining that relationship completely satisfied eternally is a lifetime problem.”

Stephanie says older individuals who could also be divorced or widowed, or just don’t wish to play the courting recreation, may additionally select a platonic associate.

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“The older individuals get, the extra they worth issues like safety, companionship and luxury in a relationship – and these wants may definitely be met by a platonic relationship somewhat than a romantic one,” she says.

How do you set boundaries?

Each relationship wants boundaries, Stephanie says, whether or not that’s romantic, platonic, work or in any other case.

“Boundaries are a non-negotiable constructing block of wholesome relationships,” she says.

Some elements to think about in platonic relationships are:

  • Residing preparations: Will you reside collectively? What are the foundations and who does what?
  • Intercourse: Is it strictly off limits and do you need to disclose intercourse companions to one another?
  • Funds: Joint property and monetary objectives or preserve all the pieces separate?
  • Dedication: What degree and is it up for reassessment?
  • Social community and neighborhood: Do you share pals and attend gatherings and household occasions collectively?
  • Jealousy: What occurs if one particular person enters right into a romantic relationship?

Lauren agrees on the necessity for boundaries.

“On the coronary heart of fine boundary setting is obvious communication, with the ability to specific your wants and interact in ongoing, wholesome dialogue on what every particular person must maintain the connection – understanding that this will change over time,” she says.

Are platonic life companions for you?

Whether or not one of these relationship is for you is determined by you.

“It’s unattainable (and unhelpful) to color a cookie-cutter image of what (a perfect relationship) ought to appear to be,” Stephanie says.

“All of us profit from having many ‘pillars’ to our life and it’s all the time a good suggestion to diversify your vitality, pursuits and time throughout pals, household, colleagues, hobbies, private objectives and so forth, somewhat than being solely targeted in your relationship and reliant in your associate to be your ‘all the pieces’.”

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Lauren says you and your associate can set no matter pointers work to maintain achievement.

“One of many nice advantages of breaking custom is you could set new relationship guidelines based mostly in your particular person wants,” she says.

Written by Andrea Beattie.