Platonic and alterous attraction
I experience platonic/alterous attraction. I kinda use the terms interchangeably, but I know some other people differentiate between them. To me, platonic/alterous attraction means wanting to be around someone, to talk to them, to get to know them, to be emotionally intimate with them, and to feel totally comfortable around them.
It can make me feel giddy, exited, or happy. I'm often sensually attracted to the people I'm platonically/alterously attracted to, so often I want to be physically close to them or cuddle with them without it being romantic or sexual. I like some of the same things that people often consider to be romantic gestures (holding hands, telling people how much they mean to me, etc.), but the thought of them being interpreted as romantic gestures makes me uncomfortable.
I would like to have one or more platonic partners—people I feel totally comfortable around and consider to be family. To me, the label I use to describe the relationship isn't really important. I have good friends, but I've never had something like a QPR with anybody. A combination of autism and social anxiety makes it hard for me to open up to people.
It was a really liberating feeling to learn about platonic/alterous attraction. Until I came out as aro/ace, I had always felt somewhat broken because I didn't experience sexual/romantic attraction like my peers. Realizing that there are different forms of attraction was really helpful for understanding and accepting myself, and realizing that I had options beyond a romantic, heterosexual, monogamous relationship made me a lot more hopeful for the future.
With platonic relationships I'm just excited to spend time with them and enjoying talking to them, it makes me happy whenever I see them and every platonic friendship is special in a way.
But then I have some friends where it's the same but stronger. Alterous attraction fits pretty well. I crave their attention and just want them to be a part of my life, all the time. It's borderline romantic but romantic never felt like the right term for it. I've often felt an aesthetic attraction to those friends as well, but not sexual attraction.
I'm not in a QPR rn but I would like to be. When I think about a future relationship with an SO, it looks like a QPR.
Platonic relationships become very important to me, which is why I form so few of them. For most of my life, my wants to form platonic relationships were the only aspect I was certain about. Figuring out my romantic and sexual orientation was difficult, but I never faltered when it came to the friendships and familial relationships I formed. I haven’t figured out how it relates to romance yet.
As cliche as it sounds, but for the people I grow to platonically like and even love, I feel a warm sensation for each person in my heart (it’s different with each person though). I have synesthesia, so I “feel” colors for everyone I meet and it’s like a fingerprint. Each “feeling” of color is different for each person.
I always had a feeling my platonic relationships were going to last me a long time. It’s the only type of relationship I was always certain about.