platonic + romantic =no?

so the other day in my shakespeare class, we were talking about platonic love versus romantic love, and how in the days of shakespeare, it was vital to keep them separate. and my brilliant professor, who loves his social statistics, mentioned that the majority of women would rather go to their female friend with their problems than their husbands/significant other. which is interesting, considering that in this day and age, one typically looks for someone they feel both platonic and romantic love for when they’re looking for a husband/wife. in response to this, my professor posited that perhaps that’s why more than half of marriages end in divorce, because we’re with someone that we expect to be everything to us, both friend and lover, and it’s just unrealistic and too great of a weight for a single person to carry.

i find the balance between platonic and romantic love to be very delicate; you want to be besties with your significant other, but the passion/sexual attraction has to be there in order to qualify as something beyond just friends; but if you’re all about the romantic passion, you have a relationship with no substance. i’m sure it’s strange for some people to imagine spouses in other cultures who aren’t confidants, and who are together simply for economic or reproductive purposes, but i have to wonder if those people are the ones who have it right, and we’re the ones who are so arrogant to think that we can blend the lines between friendship and sex and be sure that’s the best and right way to do it.

i’ve been asking my friends who have significant others what their relationship consists more of, platonic or romantic love, and most of them say that it’s primarily platonic. for the most part, they just hang out with their significant other and talk to them like they would with a friend. it seems like platonic love in same-sex friendships is generally really strong (“bros before hos,” etc), and sometimes strong in male-female friendships, depending on the people, i guess. but i wonder if a male-female relationship that is really platonically strong is enhanced or hindered by adding sex into the mix. on the one hand, sex can be a really intense physical bond between two people, a plus; but on the other hand, sex is fairly accessible outside the relationship if the relationship were to go sour, a negative. i don’t know if the former argument holds up against the latter in terms of incentive to stay in a relationship, so maybe it is best to keep platonic and romantic love separate and it’s “bros before hos,” indeed.


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