Jump to content
sunny

Where is "the line" for you?

Recommended Posts

Lately I've realized that my definition of platonic and romantic is a little skewed. I'm not entirely sure what defines one or the other for me (frankly I have a hard time seeing a line at all, I don't necessarily think there is one.

Let me rephrase, because I'm having a hard time iterating it: What defines that point where a situation potentially dips into the romantic? For me I can't label it as an action specifically, while certain things (kissing, namely) dip more into the "romantic" side of things, I find the emotions behind whatever actions drastically change the context. I don't think I've ever held hands or kissed anyone that didn't see the action as inherently romantic. But it's not that I don't feel anything for the people I've done that with. Maybe moments were too emotionally charged or intense, but I've only thought about kissing people I care about. Though that care for me, doesn't dip more into the "romantic."

So I wanted to ask, to gauge where others feel that line lies for them. I think it's different for everyone, but I'm curious.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I also think what people see as romantic and what they don't see as romantic is different for everyone, even alloromantics. For example, I see the word 'date' as romantic, as well as 'boyfriend' and 'girlfriend'. These make me romance repulsed, so I prefer to use other terms such as 'partner' instead. I also really dislike pet names. 

I personally don't see kissing as a romantic thing, but more of a sexual thing outside of family, and I've seen other people like that online. Before my first kiss, I wasn't too sure if I would like kissing someone due to the fact that I am very particular in what I do and don't do, and being touch averse and demisensual makes it harder for me to figure it out. Holding hands is a definitive no for me. I just can't separate it from romance at all. 

However, I am very open to hugs and cuddling and I see it as a sensual thing I do with those closest to me, this includes close friends. I also like hanging out with people and I have never understood how people thought that was romantic, I had that a lot because a previous best friend of mine was a guy and I'm female (I'm not even straight but people didn't know that for a while). 

It's a complicated thing really. I don't know if, for me, there is a line or not. 

 

Edited by TripleA
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I, personally, don't think of romance as an action, though I do believe there are actions that may be perceived as romantic, like kissing and cuddling. 

I had a boyfriend for a year and we kissed, cuddled, and held hands. But I never really thought of him than more than a friend. So while I did 'romantic' things, I wasn't romantically interested, which was really hard for me to figure out, hence the 'year' part of that. 

I like kissing, hugging, and cuddling, but I would never want to marry anyone or be confined to a long-term relationship.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess it depends on the person. I see kissing as romantic, but I love the idea of holding hands or cuddling with someone I'm close with. 

If you mean romantic as in a situation, then there might be clues here and there that someone likes you (you can google the signs of a crush), and usually their actions might have the ulterior motive of wanting to date. I know I wouldn't be comfortable with touching someone if there was a chance that they liked me that way, not unless we're close already and I'm comfortable with it. So I guess the other people's motives might make a situation romantic?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think no action are romantic or platonic on itself. It is the intent behind it that is, the feelings. It changes the way we perceive things.

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do a lot of actions that are considered "romantic" with my friends. It might look weird, but I think culture has a lot to do with the way we perceive actions, romantic or not. There's no line for me 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, nonmerci said:

I think no action are romantic or platonic on itself. It is the intent behind it that is, the feelings. It changes the way we perceive things.

I 100% agree with this and I think that's why communication is such an important part of any relationship platonic or romantic. I think that the line between what is platonic and what is romantic is different for everyone because everyone feels emotions and perceives emotions in different ways, so because of this we have to maintain healthy communication in our relationships so that we can be on the same page with other people about what we're feeling and they can tell us their feelings and thoughts in return. I don't think there has been or ever will be a solid line that everyone can look to for what is and is not romantic because it's less about actions and more about feelings and how those feelings are perceived.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really don't know where the line is for me because I have not even thought about crossing it...if this makes sense?

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't really see a line at all, which confused me for a long time. But apparently, there is a line, because being in a romantic relationship made me super uncomfortable. Even long distance when touching (something I know makes me uncomfortable) wasn't an issue. So, I guess it's there, I just have no idea where. I suppose one specific things that bothered me was the identity of being a girlfriend, and some vague, unspoken expectations that seemed to come with that. It was a role that did not fit me. But what acts are romantic and platonic? I mean, I can make generalizations, but it really it depends on the feelings of the people involved. Example, kissing is romantic. Unless it is a parent kissing a child goodnight, that's not. Or it is a medieval knight kissing the kings hand, that's not romantic either. Or the french just hanging out. I could say lip-kissing is romantic, but that is part of some peoples regular greeting rituals as well, even if not as common. And some people kiss eachothers cheeks and hands and it is super romantic for them, it just depends on their feelings about it.

And where is the line between a platonic feeling and a romantic feeling? Hell if I know 🤷‍♀️ I mean it is there somewhere but I can't define it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its kinda a mixed bag.

Hold hands is something I have never like and still don't. I do necessarily code it as romantic but I am more adverse to it when there are romantic intentions behind it. But not everyone shares my view on hand holding. That's just a me thing I think.

I love hugging people. I like to initiate the hug and make sure I have permission before I hug people. I have been told I am a good hugger and I see it as a way to make people feel better or comfort them. Hugging, from me at least, is platonic and I receive it as such unless given evidence to the contrary. Hugs for everyone for who wants them! Yay!

Kissing is more complicated and it depends on where the kiss is placed. I see kisses placed on the foreheads, cheeks, and hands can go either way as signs of greeting, platonic affection, familial affection or as romantic affection, or coded as sexual/ sensual. It depends on context really. From family member to family member, friend to friend, or acquaintance to acquaintance in some cultures are not romantic. Kissing on the lips, neck, other intimate places, etc. those can be coded as romantic or sensual/sexual. Could be one, the other, or both. Again, it depends on context. Sometimes is a cultural thing, but from my experience it is usually coded as romantic, sensual/ sexual, or both.

For the most part it is heavily dependent on context and intentions. The line is different for everyone and its kinda blurry until its crossed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It crosses into unwanted romanticness when there’s a sense of walking on eggshells around someone else’s feelings.  When I can tell they are blinded to my faults and their limits by infatuation.  When they try to be a caregiver to me or expect caregiving in return.  When they start to behave altruistically towards me.  The altruism is my cue to run away fast before bad things happen.

I draw a heavy line at Cute Date Things.  I may be a capital-R Romantic in the artistic/philosophical sense of valuing extreme emotions and poesis, breaking into song about the vastness of space and the glories of ages past etc., but that is not to be mistaken for a Cute Date Thing.  I like movies.  I like art.  I like fancy pretty things and tropical scented candles and decadent interior decoration.  The difference between this and a Cute Date Thing is that I am more interested in the thing itself.  It is not a prop in the two-man production of Date Night starring me as Mr. Boyfriend.  I go to El Fanci Ristorante for their chicken parm, their dimly lit brooding atmosphere and an excuse to wear a velvet waistcoat, not for the “romantic dinner”.  It is so awkward when my interest in such things is mistaken for attempting a Cute Date Thing and it spoils the fun entirely, so now I have to be very cautious who I invite to my favorite trotterias or dress up around.  (Depressing really, how I can’t be fashionable without people assuming it’s to seduce them.) Cute Date Things, or allowing my interests to be mistaken for Cute Date Things, is a no-no.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hanging out with someone and talking to them, etc., is platonic to me.

 

Holding hands, kissing, flirting, etc., are all seen as romantic to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Personally, this is also kind of a weird thing for me, because a lot of it depends on the other person. I'm fine with say, holding hands or linking arms with someone, because to me that's more of a show of support than anything romantic, and hugging falling with that as well. Flirting isn't really romantic all the time; I've been flirted at and while I've never returned it, I don't see it as romance, I see it as a show of interest.

Things like a kiss or cuddling, are romantic to me. Anything further than that is also romantic. Being very, very close together for extended periods of time, I count as romantic, because that just bugs me so much.

If I was with a friend, and was sitting near them, if I were to put my head on their shoulder or they were to do that to me, which has happened before, I don't see that as romantic, because I know they're not attracted to me like that. For me, it's always been a show of friendship.

 

I think the difference between romance and just being friendly is different for everyone. I draw the line kind of wobbly because it depends on who I'm with. If I'm with someone I don't know well, I'm probably not going to grab their hand or hug them in greeting or farewell, unless, in the case of the former, there's a chance of getting lost in a crowd or something similar. If I start to worry about if they're say, hitting on me, I try and take a mental step back and evaluate who they are, our situation, and our relationship. I've come to realize that me being uncomfortable in those situations is more a fear of them thinking I like-like them. If that makes any sense.

 

I don't really see the word 'date' as romantic. Me and a friend went to a movie on a 'date' and we actually spoke about the use of the term (this was before I accepted being aro-ace-flux and when the two of us were kind of experimenting with emotions). She agreed that it wasn't exactly romantic, and worded it very well. It was more of a 'We're going out together to do something to further our relationship, no matter if it's platonic or otherwise' but that's just how I've always seen it, and she managed to verbalize it in a really great way.

Edited by Flurkin
Additional Information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, there is no line, because having a line would mean that I would have to define both side of the lines and that definition cannot be changed arbitrarily. From platonic to romantic is what you as an independent person think it fulfills that definition. It is what you want it to be, you can say that cuddles and kissing is romantic and hand holding is platonic, but that would change from person to person. At the core of what you are asking is to categorize an action, and an action is just what you want it to be. I am with you that emotions behind actions is what makes them what they are. From my experiences, people misjudge me and do not know the reasoning behind my actions because I do not follow what most people think is the norm.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 4/26/2020 at 3:23 PM, sunny said:

Lately I've realized that my definition of platonic and romantic is a little skewed. I'm not entirely sure what defines one or the other for me (frankly I have a hard time seeing a line at all, I don't necessarily think there is one.

I think the notion of a "line" is an application of a false dichotomy.
Things can be both "platonic", "romantic", both or neither.
 

On 4/26/2020 at 3:23 PM, sunny said:

Let me rephrase, because I'm having a hard time iterating it: What defines that point where a situation potentially dips into the romantic? For me I can't label it as an action specifically, while certain things (kissing, namely) dip more into the "romantic" side of things, I find the emotions behind whatever actions drastically change the context. I don't think I've ever held hands or kissed anyone that didn't see the action as inherently romantic. But it's not that I don't feel anything for the people I've done that with. Maybe moments were too emotionally charged or intense, but I've only thought about kissing people I care about. Though that care for me, doesn't dip more into the "romantic."

Romance is purely abstract concept.
Where things can get confusing is that many activities are "romantic coded". That is there is a social expectation that they happen only within a "romantic relationship". 

The term "platonic" is a huge mess.
It's usual definition is as an antonym to either "sexual" or "physical".
Within the asexual community it it was also used as an antonym for "romantic". Where it sort of makes sense given that sex is romantically coded. However this meaning being carried over into the aromantic community leads to such oxymoronic terms as "platonic sex".
As a final twist the term derives from the works of Plato. Which include the "soulmate" meme now associated with romantic relationships.

There's also the term "alterous" which ma mean "neither platonic nor romantic", "platonic and romantic" or "between platonic and romantic". The latter looking like middle ground fallacy 

Edited by Mark
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I agree that what is romantic varies from person to person. I'm in the US~  I have also noticed that certain behaviors that are often considered romantic in the USA are not viewed the same way in other cultures. I have been greeted with kisses from Latin American friends which is not unusual. Other women who considered me a close friend would sometimes hold my hand as we were walking. It was clear these actions were not romantic in nature to them either regardless of orientation.  I enjoy holding hands and kissing my friends' cheeks or foreheads if they are okay with this sort of contact. I have been told by some American alloromantics that these things are 100% romantic. Full stop. This is not the case!

My friends know I am not attempting to  court them or start a romantic relationship when I do these actions or others that are often associated with romance such as one-on-one meals, pet names, tons of cheesy but sincere compliments,  gifts just because etc. A great deal of the affection in all of my friendships is or could be considered [??] romantic-coded and yet everyone around me has understood my actions were not romantic...even before the word 'aromantic' came into our lives.

My personal definition of romance is hard to put into words. A piece of it involves a higher level of exclusivity within one's social network...? Um there seems to be a structured multi-step hierarchy of sorts more often than not in alloromantic people's lives. All of my relationships outside of my family are friendships. Other people to me are usually referred to as acquaintances/strangers. My allorom buds do notice that my actions look like ones they do in romantic relationships; however because I perform them for all of my friends, they do not question my lack of romantic intent. This is part of why they understand me anyway.  My definition is a work in progress, haha.

3 hours ago, Mark said:

Within the asexual community it it was also sued as an antonym for "romantic". Where it sort of makes sense given that sex is romantically coded. However this meaning being carried over into the aromantic community leads to such oxymoronic terms as "platonic sex".

Ultimately it appears to come down to personal intent and communication between all parties involved. I also realized while reading this thread that I tend to think of my actions in terms of romantic or not-romantic rather than platonic.  I have had a tough time using the word platonic like in this example here!

Edited by rabbitastic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't give any insight on the romantic aspect, but I relate to having 'skewed' perception of a platonic relation. It might be because I'm demi-platonic and need a lot of time to grow towards someone, but I need a deeper emotional connection to truly call someone a friend. This requirement to most people would probably seem ludicrous and already threading past platonic territory. So... I guess at the point where I would consider someone a friend, is where other people would already consider them romantic, queerplatonic, or alterous interests. I don't know lmao. But there is no line for me past that, because I don't feel/want romance. Once I have feelings for someone they'll always be and remain platonic and emotional, sensual and queerplatonic could be added to the bunch as well. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm aroallo, so I feel, do, and want a lot of things that can be interpreted as romantic. The way I differentiate it is by identifying the motivation behind those things. 

I like kissing (rarely, but I do), physical touch, sex, etc. Pretty much all ties down to physical/sexual attraction, and the desire to be physical/intimate with someone!

I like giving people gifts, helping them out, spending time with people I like. All boils down to platonic attraction, and the desire to be close friends!

Sometimes I get confused, and I ask myself-- am I doing/feeling/wanting this because I want a romantic relationship? The answer is always no. I like being good friends with people, being close with them, I like being intimate with people (or the idea of it, anyway, lmfao)-- but I don't want a romantic relationship with them. 

Edited by Queasy_Attention
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Romance is a vague kinda concept and apparently it's a new-ish one that didn't really exist a couple hundred years ago. Romance as an emotion definitely exists, but is hard to define in a way that is "one size fits all".

I consider myself to be in love with a friend of mine, romantically, but I don't necessarily dream of kissing her, cuddling her, etc.....more I just want emotional intimacy and to know everything about her and to share everything with her and to be around her constantly. I'm fine with doing physical stuff with her like kissing and hand holding, but my desires in regards to her are primarily emotional. I've never felt this way for anyone else. So I define my feelings for her as romantic because of the level of closeness I desire--if she were just a friend to me, I would not agonize over her not telling me things.
Maybe my romantic attraction to her falls under the alterous category to some degree, but I personally don't define it in that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...