Real talk by the author: When I was a teenager, I had a lot of unrequited “love stories”, and I thought it only happened with me. But, boy, was I way wrong! The truth is that platonic love is a tale as old as time, and most people have experienced that - at least, that’s what a quick survey on Instagram revealed...
But, first, what is platonic love?
There are many different definitions for it. Platonic love can be a non-sexual kind of affection (that was the meaning of the term when it first came up with Plato), but it can also refer to love stories that happen mostly inside of one part’s head — that is, a non-corresponded love. And, let’s be honest, who has never been there?
Her Campus Cásper Líbero talked to four people that shared their platonic love experiences. The tellers are identified by their initials to keep their privacy. Check out the compilation of these lovely tales below!
Passion moves us
A story by A. C., 21 years old
[bf_image id="x98gqg38n5hk9mjqj4rc7j7"] “It all started in a camp I used to go to. I was 14 and had met her in that camp a few years before. She was from Rio Grande do Sul, and I was from São Paulo. Until then, I used to play a lot of video games and I wasn’t very good at socializing with other people.
In that year I spent the whole week at the camp with her, who was a very artistic person — she was a reader, a musician. I didn't have any experiences with romantic relationships, and she started to show me what it was like to be cared for, to have attention. We used to talk a lot, hug, hold hands, but it was not like we were making out or anything, because she was seeing other people. Eventually, we had a quick kiss, just once, but that stayed on my head in some sort of looping.
Then, after one week, the camp was over and we went back home. I was hoping we could keep in touch and decided to do something to call her attention, so I began to dedicate part of my day to drawing and posting it on Facebook. It was a very productive time, and I started discovering how to express myself artistically. Hopefully, she would see it and like it and we could start a conversation. I also started reading and watching cult movies, to become a slightly more interesting person.
Unfortunately, she wasn’t very present on social media and hardly ever gave my drawings the attention I was hoping for — she might have noticed it about six times in half a year. Every time I didn’t get her attention, I used to think: ‘Oh, I’m at rock bottom and that’s what adolescence is, I’ll just listen to sad music and try again tomorrow’. And that kept me going. After six months this passion cooled down and I started dating someone else.
Today I draw and paint a lot, that’s part of my life and of who I am — and it all started because I was trying to catch her attention. I guess we can say passion moves us! I still post my arts online. Ironically, now she is more present on social media and interacts with me more often. After this pandemic is over, I would love to meet her for a coffee or something — not romantically (I’m even dating someone), but as friends. Back in the camp, she made me a list of movies I should watch; I’ve seen some of them and I still have the list. We both have grown up a lot since that week at the camp and I think it would be very interesting to talk to her again.”
Learning with love
A story of G.T., 23 years old
[bf_image id="7f357kf443kcg5x36xf9jf3"] “When I was about 14 or 15 years old, in the first year of high school, I fell in love… with a teacher! He was between 30-40 years old, and everybody in the school knew him because he was handsome. Well, it was a very propitious phase for platonic love, because I had never fallen in love and didn’t know many things about love and life in general. Also, it was that time in our lives when we were searching for someone to look up to. This teacher was really easy-going, had a zen kind of life, a really positive philosophy. I admired that and wanted to be more like him.
In my school, we used to have a good relationship with the teachers. We were starting to think about our future, our professional lives, and the professors tried to help us with that, giving us pieces of advice. So I got to know more about him even before he started giving me lessons, thanks to what other teachers told me about him, and that was how I started falling in love. Then, it led to some funny moments. I remember spending the whole time of our breaks waiting for him to walk in the corridors so I could take a glance at him. Sometimes I would even take pictures, I was some sort of paparazzo. My friends always helped me with that.
Then, in the second year of high school, I started having classes with him. That was the peak of the passion. We became a little closer, and he even helped me and my group with a project for another discipline. But it wasn’t like we were flirting or anything — we only talked during classes or breaks. Deep down, I knew nothing was going to happen — I was a minor, he was my teacher, and I knew he was an ethical person and wouldn’t cross some barriers — and that made me admire him even more. But he inspired me and that felt good.
A while later, he left school and I felt a little frustrated because we didn’t keep in touch. But, as time went by, I found other inspiration sources. Also, in the senior year, I had a lot to worry about, such as college, my future, and all of that stuff. That made the passion cool down.
I’ve never talked to him again, but today I notice that I’ve incorporated some of his features into my personality. For example, after finishing high school, I decided to study abroad — this adventurous spirit was very characteristic of him. As with any other experience in my life, I think it led me to where I am now, to who I am today.”
The sound of love
A story by V. A., 20 years old
[bf_image id="psrw7tkkvmmqvvwj7fw5xj76"] “I’ve always liked music and, when I was a teenager, I discovered some smaller Brazilian bands. They weren’t so famous and were more accessible. Then I got to know this band and went to their concert — I was 15 and it was the first music show I had ever been to. I loved the drummer — he was about 27 or 28 years old and very handsome. After that concert, I joined a group chat with the fans and the band members. That’s how I got the number of that drummer.
I started texting him all the time. He was a very friendly person and answered all my messages, and it never crossed my mind that I could be bothering him. We became very close and even went out a few times, as friends. He used to treat me very nicely.
We both liked Justin Bieber, and that year he was coming to Brazil. This drummer had an extra ticket for his concert and offered it to me. I would have loved to go with him, but my parents obviously didn’t allow me. He had a group of friends and they all had tattoos, piercings, and colorful hair. I used to think that if I was more like them physically my chances would be better because I would fit the group, but my mom wouldn’t let me get a tattoo or a crazy haircut.
We kept close for about two years. He was a very helpful person, really friendly — but he wasn’t in love with me, it was just how he was. I had this fantasy that we would be together, but I never did anything to make it happen. Then time went by and I realized he was only a nice person but wasn’t into me. I also got busier with real projects, so I didn’t have time to live that fantasy anymore.”
A story by D. C., 22 years old
“I was 13 or 14 and had never dated or kissed anyone. Then I met this guy. He was cute, smart and funny, and used to sit next to me in class. I was really shy back then, so I never had the courage to start a conversation, and he never did it either. We’ve probably exchanged two or three words, but in my head, I thought I really knew him. I created a version of him and fell in love with it.
About three or four months later, he started talking a lot to a girl and I felt I was losing him — which doesn’t even make sense, because he was never mine. But I was afraid my fantasy would be ruined and decided to act. I was reading a book at the time, in which the girl sent her crush some anonymous love notes. In the story, things would turn out well for her, so I thought the same would happen to me. Of course, I ignored the fact that, in the book, the girl and her crush were close, and in real life, I and my crush were not...
So I started sending him anonymous love notes. I used to hide them in his backpack or his pencil case when there was no one looking. I was convinced that he would realize I was the one behind the notes and would fall in love with me. I did it for a month, but I didn’t receive any signs of his part that he was interested in me or even that he knew I was sending him the notes. At the same time, he was still talking to that girl and there were rumors that they were going to make out. That’s why I decided to tell him I was the one who was sending the notes.
One day, everybody left after class and he stayed behind, so I approached him and told him the truth. Immediately I realized that it had been a crazy idea. It was clear that he didn’t feel the same way I did. I started apologizing and he reassured me and promised not to tell anyone.
I was still in love with him for about a year after that, but eventually, I met someone else and forgot him. We’ve never talked, and I wonder if he still remembers what happened...”
As you saw, platonic love can happen to anyone. Like any kind of passion, it can lead us to do crazy stuff, but also help us become who we are today. It may seem like the end of the world when it happens, but after a while, it gives us great stories to tell!
The article above was edited by Helena Cardoso.
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