Jump to content

Definitions of Aplatonic


Coyote
 Share

Recommended Posts

Old thread I created for a different topic veered into this one and got locked, so I got permission to create a new thread.

Some ways that people have used this word (aplatonic) before:

The earliest of these uses is from 2012, where it's proposed by a homoromantic user on AVEN. I'm not actually sure where the uses of it started shifting in the direction of attraction or partnership, but that seems to have started around 2014 at the latest.

Are there any other uses/definitions you know of that aren't listed here?

Related reading:

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bad if those two meanings get confused:

3 hours ago, Coyote said:

does not experience "squishes" or does not desire a queerplatonic relationship

3 hours ago, Coyote said:

does not experience platonic attraction or form platonic bonds

That word is a minefield.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I personally feel it makes more sense to use aplatonic for someone who does not experience platonic attraction. Cause I don't really see a point of having a word for not having squishes. I've never had any and "aro" works fine for me. Maybe it would make more sense to have some term for aros who desire a qpr.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Holmbo said:

I personally feel it makes more sense to use aplatonic for someone who does not experience platonic attraction. Cause I don't really see a point of having a word for not having squishes.

Wait, "platonic attraction" and "squish" are different things? I thought it was synonymous.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, nonmerci said:

Wait, "platonic attraction" and "squish" are different things? I thought it was synonymous.

I thought that

"platonic attraction" : "squish" ~ "romantic attraction" : "crush".

"the attraction" : "a strong but temporary peak of this attraction"

I guess few people have a crush on their spouse of ten years, but romantic attraction sure.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@DeltaV ok, I never thought about that before. That makes sense.

@Coyote I opened the link, and I thought it was a bit weird how some people include in their definition who can use or not use the term. I saw several times that it is a word that should only be used by aromantic... which is ironic considering that the person who created it was not aromantic. I get why they come to that conclusion : the fact that platonic attraction and lack of platonic attraction is a lot more important in aromantic circles, considering how platonic bonds are valued here. But I don't get why it should exclud people to use it (though I would not consider a hypothetic alloromantic allosexual aplatonic person LGBT, which seems to be the reason why people want to prevents them from using this term... anyway, that's another debate).

 

I think the difficulty here is that there is no fixed definition, and that it is difficult to have one considering how people who are using the term now could feel excluded if their definition is erased. But from what I see, there is different things.

First, there are two kind of kind of definitions : some that define the term about attraction, some that define it about relationship. But most of all, it is used to talk about platonic AND queerplatonic relationship. Which are not the same for me. I think it shows something : as we didn't have any term to speak about lack of interest in QPR, we use a term that already exist, aplatonic, that was a bout platonic relationship. I think that this ambiguity in the word "squish", that is about "platonic attraction" but seems also link to the concept of QPR. I'm not saying we should not use aplatonic that way (to be honest, I do identify to the term because of that, though I guess now that "nonamory" fits more... in terms of platonic attraction only, I guess I'm in the grey area, I don't really know, nor really care I think).

Anyway that's interesting to see how the definition evolved.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, DeltaV said:

Bad if those two meanings get confused:

Looked more like, at least, six...

19 hours ago, DeltaV said:

That word is a minefield.

It's far from the only such word.
 

11 hours ago, Holmbo said:

I personally feel it makes more sense to use aplatonic for someone who does not experience platonic attraction. Cause I don't really see a point of having a word for not having squishes. I've never had any and "aro" works fine for me. Maybe it would make more sense to have some term for aros who desire a qpr.

Maybe different words for "experiences platonic attraction", "has squishes" and "desires a QPR".
All of these being different things.

7 hours ago, nonmerci said:

Wait, "platonic attraction" and "squish" are different things? I thought it was synonymous.

If "squish" is an analogy with "crush" then there's an implied "intense" adjective.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, nonmerci said:

First, there are two kind of kind of definitions : some that define the term about attraction, some that define it about relationship. But most of all, it is used to talk about platonic AND queerplatonic relationship. Which are not the same for me. I think it shows something : as we didn't have any term to speak about lack of interest in QPR, we use a term that already exist, aplatonic, that was a bout platonic relationship.

To add to this mess the term "queerplatonic attractioon" may also be used.
It's odd that there should be a need for a term to describe "lack of interest in QPR" rather than "interest in QPR". Similarly for "squish"

1 hour ago, nonmerci said:

'm not saying we should not use aplatonic that way (to be honest, I do identify to the term because of that, though I guess now that "nonamory" fits more... in terms of platonic attraction only, I guess I'm in the grey area,

The definition of "nonamory" is also rather troublesome.
This part "a lifestyle choice or relationship style that does not include intimate, long-term partnerships, whether romantic or platonic." contains the false dichotomy of "romantic or platonic".
Consider that terms like "lifestyle (choice)" have in the past been used to erase LGBTQ+ orientations.
The next sentence "A nonamorous person does not need or want a boyfriend, girlfriend or partner. They do not need or want a queerplatonic partner, or platonic life-partner, either." implies that this may not involve any "choice" at all. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/4/2020 at 2:39 PM, nonmerci said:

Wait, "platonic attraction" and "squish" are different things? I thought it was synonymous.

I've never used the term platonic attraction so I don't know. But what else would you call being interested in making friends with someone? I feel like it should be able to encompass attraction of different levels. From an intense squish to just a general interest in befriending someone, or interest for an existent friend.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Holmbo said:

I've never used the term platonic attraction so I don't know. But what else would you call being interested in making friends with someone? I feel like it should be able to encompass attraction of different levels. From an intense squish to just a general interest in befriending someone, or interest for an existent friend.

So, squish would technically be platonic attraction, yes.  People also use squish for queerplatonic attraction, though technically there's other specific words for that, most people just use squish.  I think it makes more sense when looking at parallels with other types of attraction? So like, for me, there's an extent to which I want to have friends, and I will look at people around me for qualities that make someone seem like good friend potential and decide to pursue that because I want to have friends, but I don't really feel a pull towards befriending specific people and it kinda reminds me of before I knew I was aro, when theoretically evaluating who would be a good person to have a crush on in a logical way, except the difference is I do actually want to pursue making friends.  I sometimes rarely experience squishes after I already feel very close to someone, and then I want to be even closer to them and want to spend time with them specifically, as opposed to wanting to spend time with someone and they happen to be the most likely person to spend time with.  So, there's a difference between wanting to have friends and do platonic things, vs wanting to be friends with someone specifically when experiencing platonic attraction towards them.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Guest

I don't quite understand what the use is in all this... essentialisation of concepts like "the ability or frequency of experiencing a specific type of attraction". It seems like, not only has attraction become basically the only cornerstone of identity, but there is a need for specific identities for every little feeling we have. Why do people feel the need to specify a word or multiple words for the specific, nuanced way in which they tend to experience a thing? It really seems to me to be essentialising a person into a subset of their experiences, that may not even be that constant. I have to wonder, why not just say, "I don't really feel this draw towards specific people that others seem to, and that's fine", or, "I don't particularly want to be in a queerplatonic relationship", versus "part of my essential identity is my inability to feel this specific need that some others seem to". Dunno, it just isn't a very useful framing for me, and especially with queerplatonic relationships which can, well, look like pretty much anything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Guest Guest said:

I have to wonder, why not just say, "I don't really feel this draw towards specific people that others seem to, and that's fine", or, "I don't particularly want to be in a queerplatonic relationship", versus "part of my essential identity is my inability to feel this specific need that some others seem to".

I can see different reasons.

1) Having a word for that is quicker to express the feeling

2) Not wanting to be in sort of relationship can have various reasons. For comparison, if you say you don't want to be in a romantic relationship, people will think that you still feel attraction for other people and that you don't want to be in a romantic relationship because you are shy, scared of commitment, traumtized by past experiences, or whatever, which is not the case. Also, not feeling attraction implies other things than just don't want to be in a relationship, like alienation when people speak about crushes as an universal experience. That can be the same with squishes and queerplatonic relationship, I guess.

3) A feeling of legitimity. The ability to put a word  on what they feel is important for some people. And even more when words already exist to describe the opposite, and that's the opposite is valued by others.

4) Having researches more easy when we search articles about that, or people to talk with about this subject. I remember how I googled in the past things about never having a boyfriend before, and things like that, and never finds something that talk about aromanticism. I'm pretty sure the same thing can happen about aplatonicism. In particular in scientific researches, though I don't know if some already exist about aplatonicism (probably not).

5) For some people, it is important for their identity, and there is nothing wrong with that.

 

3 hours ago, Guest Guest said:

especially with queerplatonic relationships which can, well, look like pretty much anything.

I won't say "anything". Though it can be a lot of things indeed, it is supposed to be a strong partnership, different from friendship and romance. And some people, like me, don't look for that type of relationship.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Guest Guest said:

Why do people feel the need to specify a word or multiple words for the specific, nuanced way in which they tend to experience a thing?

People might make the same argument against people using aromantic as a term.  And like, not everyone has to label everything they experience, but some people do find it useful.  Microlabels are useful and validating, and having any sort of word describing an experience makes it easier to find other people who also feel that thing.

 

18 hours ago, Guest Guest said:

It seems like, not only has attraction become basically the only cornerstone of identity,

This is an interesting point to me; on one hand, describing things in the context of attraction is simplest, it is parallel to other identities, and it ties into the idea of it being what you inherently feel rather than what you do.  This can likely be traced to kindof the "born this way" narrative, describing things as being an innate thing about yourself that cannot be changed, bc otherwise people would argue even more that you should just change.  However, platonic attraction is such a vague thing, it's not something mainstream populations notice as a thing that is felt, and while some people do actively feel it, due to the vagueness it is even harder to identify that you don't feel it.  I think for aplatonic, dual definitions is perhaps more helpful, one based in attraction and one not.  Though tbh I kinda grow weary of attempting to argue definitions for it in general and tend to avoid concretely defining it these days, and instead tend to talk about my experiences with the term bc while I feel I understand it and the meaning, I feel like I can't adequately explain it and my attempts to do so would only be met with criticism.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/4/2020 at 9:54 AM, Holmbo said:

I personally feel it makes more sense to use aplatonic for someone who does not experience platonic attraction. Cause I don't really see a point of having a word for not having squishes. I've never had any and "aro" works fine for me. Maybe it would make more sense to have some term for aros who desire a qpr.

From a practical point of view a word to qualify those who do not desire a close relationship at all would be very helpful.

I find microlabels useful but problems arise when these labels recycle words that already exist and have other meanings.

IMHO the word platonic itself is a minefield. When looking at Merriam Webster there is an obvious confusion between the lack of romance and the lack of sex in the relationship. Before I discovered aromanticism in this forum I was confusing platonic love and asexual love, also in my own language. Most people do. This makes my conversations with 'uninformed' people irl very awkward.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/6/2020 at 1:02 PM, nonmerci said:

1) Having a word for that is quicker to express the feeling

"Return of investment" is tricky. You save effort by communicating faster but everyone involved has to invest into learning the vocabulary first.

If you're not in aro circles and want to talk a lot about feelings, it's like learning Emacs for writing a birthday letter to your Mom.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Ch0c0 said:

IMHO the word platonic itself is a minefield. When looking at Merriam Webster there is an obvious confusion between the lack of romance and the lack of sex in the relationship. 

Merriam Webster is the only definition which mentions absence of romance.
Oxford says not sexual.
Cambridge is much the same.
Urban dictionary ditto.
vocabulary.com says not sexual or physical.
 

19 hours ago, Ch0c0 said:

Before I discovered aromanticism in this forum I was confusing platonic love and asexual love, also in my own language. 

Even in  the US that is the regular definition. With using it to primarily mean "not romantic" appearing to originate from the ace community.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/7/2020 at 9:14 PM, Ch0c0 said:

IMHO the word platonic itself is a minefield. When looking at Merriam Webster there is an obvious confusion between the lack of romance and the lack of sex in the relationship. Before I discovered aromanticism in this forum I was confusing platonic love and asexual love, also in my own language. Most people do. This makes my conversations with 'uninformed' people irl very awkward.

Yes. It only has a standard aro-community meaning, which doesn't conform to the general use. The general use tends more in the direction of "non-physical" and comes from a distortion of Plato's Symposium and Phaedrus (he does not exclude sexuality absolutely, especially not in Phaedrus).

What word should we use then?

The Greek and Latin root words for "friend" are occupied and overused: Amic* and phil*. Perhaps we go with Hebrew as the third classical language (well, Georg Cantor did that for set theory ℵ !!).

Friend is chaver in Hebrew... reminds me too much of "chav"!

Ok, Sanskrit then! That would be sakhi. Sakhiatic attraction?

I'm giving up.

Any ideas?

6 hours ago, Mark said:
On 7/7/2020 at 9:14 PM, Ch0c0 said:

 

Merriam Webster is the only definition which mentions absence of romance.
Oxford says not sexual.
Cambridge is much the same.
Urban dictionary ditto.
vocabulary.com says not sexual or physical.

Ok, aplatonic is such a minefield that "I'm aplatonic, ..." could be the intro of some risqué joke.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, DeltaV said:

Yes. It only has a standard aro-community meaning, which doesn't conform to the general use

I'm not sure it's that much of a standard. There's also the issue that a lot of aro jargon originates from the ace community.and thus tends to assume a lack of sexual attraction. 

20 hours ago, DeltaV said:

The general use tends more in the direction of "non-physical" and comes from a distortion of Plato's Symposium and Phaedrus (he does not exclude sexuality absolutely, especially not in Phaedrus).

This definition appears to be from the Renaissance

 

20 hours ago, DeltaV said:

What word should we use then?

The Greek and Latin root words for "friend" are occupied and overused: Amic* and phil*. Perhaps we go with Hebrew as the third classical language (well, Georg Cantor did that for set theory ℵ !!).

Friend is chaver in Hebrew... reminds me too much of "chav"!

Conflation with friendship also appears to be misunderstanding of Plato.
It also makes a nonsense of the term "platonic friend".

Link to comment
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.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...