I think we need to normalize the idea of marrying friends. I don’t mean in a “the best romantic relationships come from the best friendships” type way, though I do believe that’s true. I mean in a “I have zero romantic feelings for you, but I would totally spend the rest of my life committed to a future where you are my primary partner and maybe even raise a family together” type way.

Like, I don’t think it should be an aromantic-exclusive option, or a plan B when you and your best friend are still single at 40 and want to take yourselves out of the dating market.

I’ve heard it mostly as that backup plan, that “if I don’t find anyone, I’ll just marry Trish haha”, and I don’t think that’s even what I’m talking about normalizing. That’s a secondary outcome, seen as “giving up” on finding “real love”, and even if a pair of friends go for it, it’s plagued with this general feeling of “sub par”.

What I mean is that marrying a best friend (or having a committed intimate or emotional platonic relationship) should be seen as just as worth doing as marrying someone you’re in love with. It should be normal for teenagers to try as many committed friendships as they do romantic relationships. It should be normal for someone to say “this is my best friend and if everything works out, maybe we’ll move in together later” or “Trish and I have been roommates for two years now. We’re considering adopting soon, or Trish might carry a child!”

And as an aromantic person, it shouldn’t be strange for me to say “I prefer friendship to romance”. People should hear that and nod their heads like “that’s understandable. John feels the same.”

Hell, I see so many people expressing that they prefer their friends’ company to their romantic partner’s. “My friends understand me better and I think treat me better” and they’re expected to go home to this person, to marry and have kids with this person. It’s bizarre to me. Your platonic feelings for your friend aren’t inferior to your romantic feelings for your boyfriend, and if one of them treats you better than the other, I think you should probably rethink which one is your primary partner.

I also find it strange that it’s not more common in poly spaces for a friend to be considered a legitimate “partner”. In a world where friendships were just as likely to bloom into life partnerships as romantic relationships, I think polyamory would be much more commonplace. “I committed to Josephine about a year ago and now we own a home, but I fell in love with Joe about six months ago and we’re all trying to make it work.” Josephine shouldn’t have to worry about her partner leaving her for Joe just because their bond is romantic and therefore the “sensible” relationship to choose over the other.

I’m just ranting at this point, but I reiterate: committed friendships should not be seen as strange and “sad”, but as a legitimate option for a lifetime commitment. Not just for aromantics like myself, but for everyone. It should just be normal.

And not to be presumptuous, but I don’t think I’m alone in this thinking

Every time a post on queerplatonic relationships makes its way around tumblr, the comments are inevitably filled with a flood of “IT’S CALLED FRIENDSHIP” or “WHY DO YOU NEED A WORD FOR THIS.”

Do you honestly think society regards friendship as an acceptable substitute for romance and marriage?  The thing is, most aros would LOVE if it could just be called friendship.

Because that would mean a world where:

  • Friendships are considered equal to or sometimes *SHOCK HORROR* more important than romantic relationships.  This is not an exceptional occurrence.
  • Romantic partners know that they might not be their datemate’s Most Important Person and are not bothered by this.
  • People commonly plan major life events around their friends up to and including housing, finances, employment, ect.
  • It is common for people to be in their 30s, 40s, 50s, hell even old age having lived with friends that entire time and no one has ever asked them why they’re not married.
  • It is common for people to have a committed lifelong partnership with their friend and no one bats an eye.
  • Having a life friend is considered something that can be regarded as equally close to marriage.  It is also taken just as seriously.

Until the day that those are true, friendship is unfortunately not an accurate word to convey the types of relationships we’re talking about. 

  • me: i want a significant other
  • person: but you're aromantic!
  • me: by significant other i mean a person i care about deeply and who i can trust with my life and watch movies with and live in a nice apartment one day with cute cat decorations on the shelves and get hugs from if i need them and go shopping with a significant other doesn't need to be inherently romantic

Being a good friend is always important, and one of the most crucial things we can learn as a human being, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of your own wellbeing. Being friends with someone shouldn’t drain you. You’re allowed to cut unhealthy relationships from your life. You need it to grow