Why Platonic Connections Matter Just As Much As Romantic Relationships (Especially in Your 20s)


My best friend visited me last weekend, and I once again was in awe of what that girl could do to my mental health, my motivation, and my general level of happiness to simply be alive. Therefore, I want to take this moment to talk about platonic relationships and soulmates, and how crucially they can affect the development of your 20s.

When we enter our 20s, the expectations about your life rise – and they rise fast. It is all about money, status, and about climbing the ladder. But next to this center stage of career aspirations, we still have a private life, thankfully, yet society often urges us to focus exclusively on finding a boyfriend or girlfriend. However,  there also exists a very underrated love that we should prioritize just as much: platonic connections.

Unlike the unpredictability of romantic relationships, platonic connections can provide a stable and authentic safe haven amid the chaos of growing up. While boyfriends and girlfriends may come and go, a platonic soulmate can remain a constant presence, offering loyalty as well as very much appreciated advice and shared understanding about life’s diverse challenges. 

But what makes these interhuman connections positively different from romantic relationships? When I was spending time with my best friend, I realized that our relationship provided both of us with a unique kind of freedom, something that traditional romantic relationships lack. With platonic soulmates, there is no need to conform to societal norms. No one expects anything from your friendship, no one asks “when are you getting married?” or  “how many children do you want?” Instead, there is this freeing sense of simple acceptance and mutual respect, free from any expectations. Different from romantic love interests, there also is no fear of rejection, at least based on romantic compatibility. 

And in life, we will fear a lot. It is just in our nature as humans to worry and to stress. “When will I get a job? When will I meet my husband or wife? When will I finally be financially independent?”

We can worry and stress as much as we want, but all these things will happen eventually. And when they do, platonic relationships can help to navigate this upcoming chaotic and stressful entrance into actual adulthood with a little less worry and stress. It is incredibly refreshing to share your experiences with someone else because so much is happening, especially in your 20s, and it is comforting to know that you are not alone in this. 

“But what about intimacy?”, you may say now. “What about belonging?” Of course, romantic relationships are seen as the highest level of connection two humans can have for a reason: a chemistry that we call love. It differentiates us from casual acquaintances, but I believe that platonic connections can offer a different kind of chemistry, that we should also call love. It is a fulfillment rooted in companionship, mutual support, and unwavering friendship. A fulfillment that is not at all like romantic fulfillment, it is not better or worse, it is enriching and underrated on a different level.

Therefore, I want to clarify that I am not saying that your 20s are for pursuing platonic relationships only instead of a romantic love interest, I am simply stating that we should not underestimate the happiness that platonic relationships, and soulmates, can bring into our lives. Since growing up is hard enough as it is, why not find someone to hold your hand along the way? Shared pain is half the pain, and shared happiness is double the happiness. As cheesy as it sounds, it is true. 

Featured image by: New York Times

Amelie Garnies
Amelie Garnies
I am Amelie, I am 20 years old and was born in the city of Munich in Germany. When I was 17 years old I moved to London to earn my International Baccalaureate. I am very passionate about History, Philosophy, and Politics, wherefore I am studying International Relations in Madrid right now. In the future, I wish to speak as many languages as possible, as I believe communication, whether written or oral, is the key to making the world a better place.

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