Not all marriages are between people who are madly in love. Plenty of people have a platonic marriage. Here’s why they may have chosen that route.
Marriage is an interesting institution. You’re basically vowing to spend your entire life with someone and are bound by law. Usually, this is when two people love each other and want to spend forever together. But what about platonic marriage? Do people really get married as just friends?
Well, yes. This type of marriage exists. The thing about getting married is that it’s a choice by two people. The law doesn’t care if you are truly in love or not. If you say you want to get married, you can get married.
Shouldn’t you marry your best friend, anyway?
You’ve probably heard this time and time again. “Make sure you marry your best friend.” So what’s the difference with a platonic marriage? In truth, this advice is solid. The person you marry should be your best friend, but that’s usually said while assuming you’re in love with someone, too.
The difference is that platonic marriage is between people who are ONLY friends. There’s no romance in the equation. This can be confusing because why would someone choose to get married to a person they’re not in love with? [Read: 20 signs you should definitely marry your best friend]
Why people decide to be in a platonic marriage
If this concept is confusing, or even intriguing, you’ll want to know why it is people want to live like this. Here are a few reasons people go ahead and get married even though they’re not completely in love with each other.
#1 They want a family now. Unfortunately, there is an expiration date on having children yourself – for women, at least. People who end up in a platonic marriage might very well just want to start a family and they haven’t found someone they’ve fallen in love with yet.
#2 They made a deal. You know when you hear about two people vowing to marry each other if they’re both still single by the time they’re 35 or something? Well, those deal really exist. They’re not just confined to a couple romantic comedies.
This is usually in relation to both people wanting a family. They decide to get married if they don’t find people they’re in love with by a certain age. So long as they’re still friends, it’s a platonic marriage.
#3 It’s time to settle down. There are a lot of people who feel pressured to get married. They think by the time they hit thirty they should settle down and find a partner. If two people feel this way, they might agree to get married to each other and start the process of slowing down and settling into their lives as a married couple. [Read: 12 signs your partner is ready to settle down but you’re not]
#4 They’re both aromantic. If you’re not sure what aromanticism is, it’s when someone doesn’t feel romance. They have no desire for a romantic relationship so instead, they end up marrying their friend.
This is often between two aromantic people simply because it’s better understood and there isn’t one person wanting romance when another doesn’t. You’ll also find this with two asexual people, as well. Sex isn’t in the equation, and so it’s a platonic marriage. [Read: 16 myths and truths about what it’s like as an aromantic]
#5 Covers for being homosexual. This isn’t really all that common today as it was many years ago. Back in the day, when gay marriage or being gay at all wasn’t really tolerated, people would get married so they didn’t draw attention to themselves.
There are even cases when a lesbian woman and a gay man would end up getting married for the sake of appearing to be a heterosexual couple. However, these people are only friends – even if they do end up having children together.
#6 They just want to marry their best friend. Some people get married platonically but then have relationships outside of their marriage. They want children and they’d rather raise those kids with their best friend, someone they care about and admire, than with someone else.
This is usually the case when two people want kids and a family but just haven’t found that special person. To them, their best friend is better than anyone else and they’d rather have them be their children’s parents. Or they just want to spend forever with their best friend instead of some fleeting lover. [Read: What to do when you’re in love with your best friend]
#7 It fades into a platonic marriage. Sometimes your marriage can start out being full of love. You were truly in love with your spouse and then over time, that love faded. Not all loving marriages end up staying that way.
Some people who are with their spouse for decades end up in a platonic relationship instead of a romantic one. But they stay together because they still love each other, just not in the same way they did when they first got married.
#8 They still love each other. Some people want to bind themselves for life with someone they truly love, even if they’re not in love with them. They feel like the difference is immense. Being in love with someone can change over time, loving someone platonically isn’t likely to.
#9 Making it work for the family. The thing about divorce is that everyone assumes you hate your ex. But those who end their marriage can often stay friends. Just like those who decide to stay married can also just be friends.
Their romantic relationship has come to a close but they still like each other and want to remain a family. The only difference is that they don’t have the romantic aspect even if they’re working together to raise a family.
#10 They did it for tax and insurance purposes. This is just the truth sometimes. It’s not always true that people get married for the love. Sometimes, the tax and insurance benefits are just too alluring.
This could also happen if someone is in need of much better insurance than they have. If you’re struggling with a chronic condition and your insurance decides to drop you, marrying a friend with great insurance can be worth it. This type of marriage would be platonic and only serve a couple specific purposes.