“Maybe we could be each other’s soulmates. And then we could let men be just these great nice guys to have fun with.” said Sex And The City’s Charlotte – if only it was that easy!
Longtime fans of the show will know of the special connection between the four lead women – and undeniably it is one to be envied. In a world where romantic relationships often take the spotlight, one type of connection often goes unnoticed and unappreciated—the bond between platonic soulmates.
However, is it really possible to feel a platonic intimacy strong enough to make romance feel like an afterthought? And how can love – ever-demanding, survive with not being number one?
“When we met I felt an instant connection.” said 22 year-old law student, Stilyana Petkova, when talking about her best friend of 8 years.
“I felt a relationship forming which would last for a long time. In a while I realised it’s something for life – after all, we are all constantly looking for that one person who is so similar to us.
“Eventually it hit me – this shit is special, it’s something between us – more than a friendship, a connection. I didn’t feel the need for a partner, since I had my partner in crime”
Romance is not everyone’s cup of tea – in fact some of us aren’t into tea at all. However, you can’t help but feel lonely in the hours of night, when you are by yourself, trying to fill a double bed.
Stilyana admits that during her time with friends, she barely wished for a relationship, until her group took separate paths after college and isolation hit her.
“I felt all alone and like my time had come, a bit like an old maid. When you are torn from your circle, without someone around you 24/7, you feel like you need something more.
“I was vulnerable – me against the world, without the safety net of my friendship, which I never realised I even had.”
It’s in these moments of isolation that the Tinder icon feels like the Holy Grail. It’s normal to make ourselves feel better through our relationships with others. If they are a substitute for inner joy, things can get tough.
Let’s face it – we’ve all had impossible standards when it comes to dating – either deriving from books, films, or previous experience. A handsome young CEO, the sexy vampire who wants to spend eternity with you… the tropes are endless.
Anyhow, once you have felt the pang of a platonic connection that was just meant to be, these standards don’t seem as high anymore. After all, you already have someone for life, how much is it to ask for one more?
“Sometimes I feel like it’s made me not want to work for a relationship.” said Stilyana
“It took me more time to open up to people romantically because I didn’t feel an inner urge.
“Eventually, you reach a point where you realise the person next to you will need a long time to understand you, the way you are already used to being understood by your platonic soulmate.”
Patience can be tricky, however, and we are all, more or less, quick to lose our cool amidst the heat of romance. Stilyana argues that we can be more compromising with friends, because of the expectations we project on our romantic partners.
“With romantic partners, it’s easy to set impossible standards, see them as Ken dolls. Maybe I’m just a psychopath?” she laughs.
“When you throw in feelings, you get something which is not as gratifying as the platonic connection. It’s not that almost familial relationship you get with friends, I feel very alert, guarding my feelings.
“You feel wary because you give more of yourself, but don’t necessarily receive more. It’s a bit of a power play. “
There is a sense of ease in the concept of platonic soulmates. The comfort that you have someone to share your life and grow old with – without any of the stress that you’ll find them banging your sister when you come home from work early.
And if it’s in the stars for you, maybe you have found a connection, which is beyond space and time:
“We are still best friends, and with time I realised it’s something that can transcend distance, which definitely helped me.” said Stilyana
“I’m not sure I’m looking for a soulmate, since I have one – just a special relationship. It’s hard to imagine I will find a kindred spirit in a man.
“That sounds kinda girlboss!” she flips her hair promptly.
In the end, we should all treasure our friends – soulmates or not, they are the ones to text when you need to get out of a bad date, the ones to watch your favourite series with when you’re down, the ones to hold your hair up while you puke after a night out…
And as Carrie summarised it at the end of the same Sex And The City episode – they make the bumpy ride to romance all the more enjoyable:
“Having three soulmates already nailed down made it a lot easier to spot those great nice guys to have fun with.”
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Next read: Jealousy: Surviving the Green Eyed Monster
Edited by Ramona Gabriela Toderascu