I Love You


Photographs courtesy of Giang Nguyen

I often say that I love many people: to family and also to friends, but often times people find it strange that I tell my friends that I love them. Many people have even asked me how I could tell a friend that I love them when I do not know them romantically. Truth be told, I have dated some of these friends in the past, but I do not tell them that I love them because I still hold feelings for them. Rather, because I love them in a different way.

    Often times people confuse platonic love as being “friend-zoned” or just having confused feelings for someone, but I have to disagree. Loving someone platonically can just be as intense as loving someone romantically and is just as valid. Although one loves their family platonically, it is a different love that I extend to the friends I love platonically. I do not seek them out to be romantic with them nor do I have any intention of dating them, but should the need arise I would gladly marry them or even live with them. Of course, one can assume that in itself is romantic love, but I do not expect any ‘romance’ from them in return–simply their friendship. But why is this type of love so strange? Is it the way our American culture perceives love? Do we need to know someone for years and years romantically before we can tell them that we love them? I do not need to kiss my friend to know that I love him or her. There is no confusion between the love I feel for friends versus the love I feel for a crush.

     We need platonic love. Not only towards our family, but toward our friends. We cannot always rely on the love from our romantic interest and be confined to telling all our secrets to our lover. Of course doing that could be ideal for some, but sometimes one must branch out and seek other people to love and care for. I am not advocating for open relationships, rather to understand the more platonic side of love.  A friend could be cared and loved for as much as family and would watch over you as if they were family themselves. It is not simply a ‘best friend’ or a ‘best friend forever’ but someone different: a person that you love as you love a person in your family.