Friend-love is love enough for me

Love is love after all

Everyone feels love differently. Some want or need that extra level of love that is romantic or sexual. Others want, or need a calmer more platonic love, like friendship. It’s all about what nurtures your soul. 

Romantic love is nice. It can feel warm, cozy and fulfilling. But, like most things, it’s not for everyone. For those who may be somewhere on the Ace-spectrum, romantic love isn’t always so warm and cozy. In fact, it may feel better left on screen or in a novel. 

Romantic love, for some, feels like “that thing” everyone expects from us. Pressure gets placed on the shoulders of people who really don’t need anything more than a few great friends.

If it doesn’t resonate with your soul, why should you need anything more than friend-love?

Exploring love

There are many kinds of love in this world, including classic romantic love. There’s also parental love, patriotic love, admiration, infatuation, obsession and friendship.

Usually, when talking about friendship, one might assume only personalities click, that friends merely get along, chat, laugh and enjoy themselves.

It can be more than that. 

It is more than that. 

Friend-love, in my opinion, is much more subtle than romantic love. It doesn’t creep up on you and make your heart melt. Rather, if the friendship is strong and steady, it builds up to create a different love that lasts. 

Fulfillment through love looks different to everyone. That said, almost everyone has at least one great friend that they would do pretty much anything for (or with).

Getting friendly with friend-love

So, what does it mean to say, “Friend-love is enough for me”?

It means just that. Friend love can feel the same as finding your soulmate, just platonically.

And you don’t have to choose a single soulmate. We’re all complex and are fulfilled differently. From big, existential action to small, mundane expressions. 

Personally, friend-love is the thing I’ve had the hardest time finding. To me, friend-love is about finding that person — or people — with whom your soul resonates. Each friend that a person makes resonates differently because each person is unique. We bring our own soul and love to our friendships. 

Finding a friend — or friends — that keep a soul nurtured and buzzing is harder for some than others. That’s why, for some, friend-love is plenty. For others, friend-love leads because they’re not particularly inclined towards romance. It just doesn’t do it for them. 

To get a better understanding of how people view friend-love, I recently asked my friends, “What does friend-love mean to you?”

One friend told me friend-love was knowing there were people they could count on. To some this might be the way to describe romantic love. This is because love has many different forms, but at its root, all love is love.

Love is love

For me, loving a person creates an inexplicable bond expressed through joy, laughter, pain, experience and conversation. Some love transcends boundaries, moving from friendship to romance and back.

Interestingly, after talking with my friends, we concluded that sometimes the yearning for love isn’t always for romance. Loneliness might feel like a yearning for romantic love but remain unfulfilled by a romantic partner. It took this talk with friends for me to decide: coveting a friendship is just as much an indication of loneliness as is coveting romance. 

Building up friend-love is like picking a family in the “choose your own adventure” of life. For some, it just might be the first step in finding platonic or romantic soulmates. For others, that platonic soulmate is all they need to feel like they’re on cloud nine. 

The saying, “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the blood of the womb,” always comes to mind when talking about friend-love. 

Maybe not all friendships transcend the depths of time, nor do all romantic relationships. But through friend-love people can pick those that nurture their soul. 

Love is like finding the right pair of shoes. You might have to try on a hundred pairs and walk around the shop until you find the right fit. And maybe, that right-fitting pair of shoes is friend-love. Maybe more. Either way, it’s love.

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Veena Erasmus