In this column submission, Nadia Syarifah explores the realm of platonic love through the eyes of friendships.
Words by Whiteboard Journal
I have to admit that I’m not the expert when it comes to any kind of love. Platonic love, however, is maybe the area that I have acquired some sort of self-claimed proficiency from (despite familial love, that’s a whole other thing). This might be due to the fact that I have always been a friendship-oriented person, or in other words, I just have a high, even concerning, level of FOMO. Anywhere my friends go, I will go. As long as I have the time, of course. But will I try to make the time? Yes. The answer is yes. I am not sure if this is a good or a bad thing, or maybe both or neither. That is not the point of this piece of writing, though. I wanted to talk about friendship, according to me—since this subject is, well, very subjective.
My experience regarding friendship has always been interesting. I’m not much of a loner, not much of a super-extroverted person too. I would say I am neutral, somewhere in between. Not that many friends, but not zero friends. I would be the mean if these were statistics. But I have always valued my friendships a lot. The past ones, current ones, and hopefully the future ones.
The idea of friendship intrigued me a lot, actually. It is that random and that unpredictable, yet it can be the most beautiful form of love. Beautiful AND underrated, I might add. Every time the word “love” popped up, friendship was not exactly the first thing that I thought of. The connotation of the word love itself –if we’re talking about semantics– has always headed in a more romantic direction. For me, at least.
I’ve been in multiple friendship groups for as long I can remember. I’m not that great at approaching people, but when I meet the right ones, I will treasure them, and I will try to maintain them. Not all the time, of course, because sometimes life gets in the way. But as often as I can. Now. The thing about friendship that is super interesting to me is the idea of these people, whom you love platonically, kind of just watching you grow over time. It’s almost like you can see real-time footage of human growth. In other words, you can see how your friends grow to become a whole other person, but the essence and a glimpse of their past selves are still there. And we can still see them as the person who we knew back then, knowing full well they are not the same person whatsoever. The idea of friendship does not require any commitment. The friendship form is very loose if you think about it. There is no commitment, no promises (unless if you establish them), no talking about future direction, nothing. At least that’s how it is with my friendships. But it stayed. And regardless of all aspects that I mentioned before, regardless of the lack of clarity of “what this is and where will this go” type-of-thing, you can still be vulnerable to those people. You can still be the most authentic you’ve ever been. You can still open up to them and not expect them to leave you right away because frankly, you know they got your back.
Honestly speaking, I do not know much about friendships. I am going to turn 20 this year, and I’m not sure if its the pandemic, or the fact that almost everything is online, or the fact that I’m at the point of my life where I transitioned from the so-called teenager phase to emerging adolescence, I also am not very sure about that. But it sure does feel like that my friendships are not as well-maintained? Not because I stopped being friends with those people. It’s more like– again, like I said before– life got in the way. And just like that, the friendships stopped. Or put on pause, maybe, because we’ll never know. But even in that way, even when friendships stopped, that does not necessarily mean you develop some kind of despise to your friends
Some friendships, however, are bonded even more strongly. Or just well, maybe. I may or may not have exaggerated a bit. And again, this goes back to the idea of friendships being loose-formed. It’s almost like, you can love them and paused loving them and continue loving them whenever you like?
Platonic love is flexible in that sense, I feel.
Anyway. I do not think I have enough experience to say much about friendships. I am sure that I will have new perspectives and new ideas regarding friendships as time goes by. But if there is one thing that I know for sure, loving people platonically is one of the purest forms of love. And it is rewarding. Highly.
This may or may not serves as an appreciation post to my friends, you know who you are. And thank you for proving that something so loose can be something extremely beautiful.