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08th Apr 2022

Platonic life partnerships are on the rise – and we’re so here for it

Katy Brennan

Is your best friend your soulmate?

Society has always told us that monogamous relationships and marriage are one of the most essential parts of life.

But do lifelong committed relationships always have to be romantic and sexual? Hell no.

In reality, more people than ever before are choosing to ditch marriage and all comes with it – or at least putting it on the long finger. Figures from the Central Statistics Office show most people are now waiting until their mid to late thirties to tie the knot.

Along with these changing attitudes to the ‘norm’ comes platonic life partnerships (PLPs). PLPs are basically friends who’ve taken their relationship to a new level and made a commitment to each other.

They’ve essentially made their friendship official. While there’s no romantic aspects to their relationship – and they’re free to date whoever they want – they might split finances, buy a house together and even get legally married.

They’re challenging the whole idea of love and the marriage system while showing that life can revolve around friendships rather than the pursuit of romance.

The whole concept is nothing new, it actually dates back as far as the 1700s. While some of the PLPs in the past were likely hiding then-illegal lesbian or gay relationships, in many cases, historians think a lot of them are great examples of pure platonic love.

Women, who had no romantic interest in one another, would partner up so they could continue to pursue other endeavours without being held down by a man. Inspiring.

Two female best friends have fascinated viewers on TikTok by sharing their day-to-day life in a PLP.

April Lee and Renee Wong have been best friends since they were kids and always felt they had a “special” connection.

“We’ve romanticised the notion that one person could be our everything: our roommate, our financial and emotional support, our co-parenting partner, our best friend – and on top of all of this, they have to also be our lifelong lover. It just doesn’t seem realistic,” April told Refinery 29.

@psychottie Don’t mind me just romanticising my #platoniclifepartnership ? @hotmilkwong #platoniclifepartner #bostonmarriage #tiktoksg?? #tiktoksg ♬ Home – Edith Whiskers

Having a life partnership without spending time worrying about keeping a “romantic connection alive,” she says, is a huge “relief”.

In one TikTok video, they spoke about some of the questions they’re frequently asked, including if they’re lesbians  (they said no) and if they date other people (they said yes).

But what does happen when one person in the partnership meets someone and falls in love?

April and Renee say that’s a risk in any kind of relationship. In fact, April currently has a male partner and she’s found that her situation actually has been really beneficial for her as he doesn’t have to be her “everything”.

Sounds like a love story that would give any romcom a run for its money if you ask us.

Sick of endlessly chasing romance and getting your heart broken? Maybe partnering up with your best friend ain’t such a bad idea.