A Personal Reflection on Platonic Life Partnerships

The Thinking Aro

My aunt is in a long-term, emotionally exclusive, committed platonic partnership. She’s a heterosexual woman. Her platonic partner is a heterosexual man. They’ve been living together for over 10 years. They have never engaged in sexual activity.

Their relationship is a radical one for several reasons: it’s an example of cross-sex friendship that did not start in sexuality or include it later on, it’s an example of two sexual people in a primary nonsexual and nonromantic relationship, it’s an example of a platonic partnership that has enjoyed emotional exclusivity despite the fact both people in it are romantic and yet not romantically involved with each other (for all intents and purposes), it’s an example of a heterosexual man finding happiness in a nonsexual partnership (in general and with a woman), etc.

My aunt and her partner are now in their early 50s; they met in their early 40s. Thus, they’d…

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