My strongest experiences of platonic attraction: February 2016 Carnival of Aces submission (part 2)

This post is my second submission for this month’s Carnival of Aces. In my first post I established platonic attraction is a thing I experience, and now I’m going to try to talk about what it feels like for me, and what sorts of things cause me to feel platonically attracted to other people.

In general, my most distinct experiences of platonic attraction (i.e. that desire to be close to someone in that very special just-friends kind of a way) have come up around people that I sometimes describe as alternative versions of myself. These have been people whose brains seem to have really similar ways of taking in and processing the world, and who I think of as having some sort of fundamental, in-born personality characteristics that are very similar to my own, in a way I find hard to articulate. The differences between our lives are largely ones of differing circumstances of birth, and a cascading difference in resultant opportunities, perception of the options available, and ultimately, life choices. Often times these differences are extreme, but I can usually point to the circumstances and/or the developmental differences that caused our basic life narratives to diverge in the first place.

When I meet someone whose brain-patterns mesh with my own in this way, I feel an immediate affinity for and fascination with them. I want them to like me, and I want them to feel the same weird pull toward me that I feel toward them. I enjoy their company and find them easy to be with, usually.

It’s a weirdly singular experience, and this is why it’s the most clear conception I have of platonic attraction; it mirrors the incomprehensibly instinctive responses of other forms of attraction I experience spontaneously (i.e. romantic and aesthetic), as distinct from, for instance, actual affection, which generally develops within the context of an ongoing relationship.

As I explained in my first post about platonic attraction, my experience of these feelings doesn’t automatically mean that I will be friends with the person I am platonically attracted to – I once worked with a total bizarro world version of myself whose politics were diametrically opposed to my own. We were never going to be friends, though we did value each other as coworkers, and were able to cooperate easily and effectively, because we implicitly understood each others’ workflow and needs.

I know what I’m describing here isn’t necessarily what’s typically meant by the term platonic attraction, though it is certainly a subset of it. I’m curious whether anyone else has a similar sense of intuitive connection to others.

6 comments

  1. I can definitely relate to what you wrote here. I do find myself platonically attracted to people who remind me of myself and also to people who remind me of other people who I’ve had close friendships with. Unfortunately, like your example of your co-worker, I don’t usually end up connecting to those folks because there is something fundamentally different that keeps us from developing a friendship. But I have definitely noticed it over the years.

  2. This so perfectly describes who I’m platonically attracted to! We can have almost nothing in common yet it feels like we think the same. They’re the sorts of people you can give a look, laugh at the same time or say the same thing at the same time multiple times in one small encounter because your minds work the same way.

  3. I always have a hard time articulating to my allo friends what I mean when I say I’m platonically attracted to someone. I often feel guilty when I have to explain that friendship does not equal platonic attraction… so I’m not platonically attracted to them. This post explains perfectly how I feel about people I have a strong platonic attraction to. It’s always to people who I see pieces of myself in, but does not necessarily make or break a friendship. Thank you for this. :)

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