A queerplatonic relationship lies somewhere between friendship and love.
In today’s world, society is constantly evolving and so is the definition of relationships. Our modern relationships do not fit the regular boxes of romance, friendship and platonic. Relationships have become more complex than ever and every type almost overlaps the other.
The term queerplatonic relationship (QPR) is a relatively new term in the vast glossary of modern relationships. There is a lot of ambiguity among people related to the dynamics of this kind of relationship.
In this think-piece, we have compiled all information for you to help answer all questions related to Queerplatonic relationship or QPR.
What is a Queerplatonic Relationship?
Queerplatonic relationship or QPR is like the union between a platonic relationship and friendship. This model of relationships is fluid and free from the norms of traditional relationships.
Relationship experts define QPR as committed intimate relationships which are not romantic in nature. They may differ from close friendships and have a more explicit commitment, validation, status, structure, and norms, similar to a conventional romantic relationship.
A QPR does not follow the rules of traditional heteronormative relationships and can be between two or more people of any gender. These relationships involve a little more commitment than friendships but are not as committed as we find in traditional romantic or sexual relationships.
QPRs bend the rules of heteronormative relationships and are deep emotional connections, but mostly devoid of romantic or sexual feelings among the partners involved.
What is a queerplatonic relationship like?
QPRs are self-defined “Adventureland” for people who crave conversation more than kissing and connection more than romance.
QPRs are generally described as relationships that include deeper commitment than simple friendship but which don’t feel romantic or sexual to those involved.
These relationships offer a framework that allows for expressions of fidelity, co-parenting/cohabitating, and long-term commitment but don’t need to include physical intimacy, exclusivity, or romantic love.
Queerplatonic relationships might involve some forms of physical affection, which are normally considered exclusive to romantic or sexual relationships, such as hand-holding, cuddling, kissing, or sex. Some QPR couples live together and even get married “platonically.”
Queerplatonic Relationship History
QPRs are like “old wine in a new bottle”. Even though it is a relatively new term, the type of relationship has been a part of our modern society for quite some time now.
The cornerstone for the QPRs was laid by an arrangement called the Boston Marriage. Boston marriages emerged in the early 1900s when some educated women wanted an alternative to restrictive heterosexual marriages.
They believed that a traditional marriage would rob them of their independence, limit their creativity and put an end to their careers.
Initially, Boston marriages were limited to women only who wanted companionship and support. These relationships were considered to be a part of aromantic and asexual communities only.
Later on, as the LGBTQ movement gained momentum, more and more diverse relationships emerged other than the traditional heteronormative ones. The term QPR was coined on December 25, 2010, in a thread called Kaz’s Scribblings.
This new terminology was used to describe an aromantic form of relationship outside the strict categories of romance and friendship (though it totally depends upon the partners how they want to set the boundaries).
Only this time, it was not restricted to women. This new term QPR now meant mostly asexual and aromantic relationships between two or more individuals of any gender.
Queerplatonic Relationships vs Romantic Relationships
Romantic relationships are exclusive to the partners involved in them and are characterized by specific expressions of affection and intimacy. QPRs relationship is a healthy mix of platonic relationships and romantic relationships.
A romantic relationship is a passionate interpersonal relationship that involves an intense level of emotional closeness and/or physical closeness too. Romantic relationships are exclusive and have some level of commitment, and monogamy (romantic and sexual exclusivity, wherein members don’t have this type of relationship with anyone else).
In contrast to the above type, QPRs tend to be very fluid in nature. They break down the narratives of relationships and have no set rules. Partners involved in QPRs usually go with whatever suits them. The involved partners define the relationship with boundaries that they are comfortable with.
In comparison to a romantic relationship, QPRs may or may not be exclusive in nature. It means that partners involved might get romantically involved with someone else outside their QPR.
Queerplatonic Relationships vs Friendship
Friendships are bonds between two or more people who want to engage with one another while QPRs are deep emotional connections that go a little beyond friendships but are aromantic in nature.
According to Britannica, friendship is “a state of enduring affection, esteem, intimacy, and trust between two people. Friendships are relationships that involve two very critical dimensions – interdependence and voluntary participation.
QPRs are friendships that follow the pattern of a romantic relationship or a marriage (like raising children, living together, and sharing beds) with or without any romantic or sexual interest among the partners. In other words, QPRs involve best friends living like a family.
Queerplatonic Relationships vs Friend Crushes
A friend crush is someone you would want to get to know better but still have yet to find a way to make it happen. It does not include any romantic inclination. QPRs are a lot like friend crushes but are way more intimate.
A friend crush on someone is very common. You feel a strong desire to know someone better and get intellectually and emotionally close to that person. When you experience a friend crush on someone, you do not engage romantically with them but feel a more platonic connection.
QPRs are friend crushes that moved to the next level. They are each unique depending on the people involved in them, but they often involve some level of commitment or intimacy. QPRs might or might not be romantic and sexual in nature.
It all depends on the partners and how they want to shape their relationship. Each QPR is different from the other on the basis of the boundaries that define the nature of the relationship.
Signs of Queerplatonic Relationship
QPRs are deep, intellectual and emotional connections between two or more people of any gender. They do not fit any box and are very fluid in nature. Though it is more of a blend between platonic relationships and friendships, the lines are very blurry.
Do you think you might be in a QPR? Let’s have a look at these 25 tell-tale signs that are unique to a QPR.
1. You both just can’t get enough of each other
If you and your friend are so into each other that even after long conversations on the phone you just feel it is not enough.
You both feel the urge to meet every day and think that it would be better if you guys moved in together, even if you might feel romantic attraction towards other people.
2. You can read each other’s mind
It’s like you both complete each other’s sentences. You read each other’s body language so well that you can tell what the other person is thinking just by reading facial expressions.
If you are among a group of people, you can even communicate with your eyes without uttering a single word.
3. There is a hint of jealousy
You feel jealous if they interact too much with another friend or talk too highly of someone else other than you. It’s like you want to be their exclusive BFF!
4. You try to impress them
Just like in any romantic relationship, you want to look good, dress up nicely and all to make them feel good about you. You try to strike up interesting conversations with them to woo their mind too.
5. Get butterflies in your stomach
You feel weak in the knees when you are around them, just like you would feel when you are around your romantic crush. Even if you do not want to engage in romance or sexual intimacy, you still feel an intense unexplainable attraction towards them.
6. You feel protective about each other
You feel the need to protect them because they mean the whole world to you. You can’t bear to see them hurt, and do not pull back to fight with anyone who hurts them. You always watch out for them and guard their feelings well.
7. Your equation confuses people
You have such an intense connection between yourselves that people often think that you must be dating each other or must be romantically involved with each other.
From holding hands to cuddling and kissing – everything confuses people. But you are the only ones who know what your connection actually is like!
8. You share anything and everything with each other
If you have something to share, they are the first person you would share the news with. For example, you got a new job, you broke up with your partner, you got to know about this amazing café somewhere – you just can’t wait to share everything with them.
9. They are your first priority
Not even your family, not even your partner, your QPR partner is your first priority always. You would not think twice before you cancel plans with others to be with your QPR partner. You always feel that you should be there for them if they need you no matter what situation you are in.
10. You know each other’s needs better than yourselves
You know each other so well that you can actually sense what the other person needs without the need to say it out loud. You can read their moods and act accordingly.
For example, you had a bad day at work and your QPR partner made your favourite hot chocolate. Now wouldn’t that lift your spirits? The connection that you share with each other is unmatchable.
11. You feel comfortable around them
There is no need to pretend when you are around each other. You both understand each other so well that you feel at ease around each other. You know they like you no matter what and vice versa. You can be yourself around them without the fear of being judged or mocked.
12. You never feel the need to explain yourself
With your QPR partner, you never need to explain your actions or what you feel. It is almost as if they can see through you. They will always try to make sense of what you do and why you do it. They are never critical of your actions, instead, they will help you work your way through difficult emotions.
13. They are your first point of contact
If you are ever in an emergency situation, they will be the first person who will come to your mind. It is like your mind is on auto-pilot mode to always think of them first.
14. There is never a dull moment
More than anything else QPR partners are intellectually attracted towards each other. So they always have interesting conversations and try out new things to keep their minds engaged with each other. It is always fun for them to be with each other.
15. They are like the missing piece of a jigsaw
QPR partners fit with each other like a missing piece of a puzzle. One of them substitutes for what the other lacks. It is like you find the connection that you always wanted in your life to make you feel complete!
16. You sneak away from your romance to be with them
You might be so involved with your QPR partner that you wouldn’t think twice before you actually ditch your date to spend quality time with each other. Bromance and girl crushes feel like a better option than actual romance.
17. You tend to dress alike
When you are in a QPR you tend to match your looks subconsciously. It is like your minds want you to look similar to each other.
For example, if you prefer denim and a t-shirt and your QPR partner is more drawn to dresses, you too would feel dresses might look better on you than denims and t-shirts. You tend to adopt each other’s styles with time.
18. You give each other weird nicknames
Nicknames tell you apart from the crowd and give you the feeling of togetherness. Whether it is a silly nickname like “fuzzy-wuzzy” or a more sophisticated nickname, it makes you feel like you belong to each other.
It is an interesting thing to note that when the QPR emerged, the partners started calling them each other’s “Zucchini”, “marshmallow” and “Squish” as a joke. But those terms have just stuck around and are used to describe a QPR partner like the word girlfriend or boyfriend is used to describe the status of a person in a romantic relationship.
19. You might have been intimate with each other
Yes, it might happen too. QPR partners might get sexually intimate too. It just depends on how the partners decide to define their relationship.
Whether they want to keep it asexual or aromantic or they want to be intimate with each other alongside their own romantic relationships with other people, it is completely up to them.
The beauty of a QPR is that it is so fluid, that you can make your own rules and set boundaries that suit your comfort level.
20. Make plans with them
You love to make new plans with them. You both carefully choose what suits your interests together and look forward to each plan you make.
For example, say, you both like adventure sports. So, you make plans to travel to some place and experience new sporty activities together.
21. Develop similar mannerisms
People involved in a QPR tend to adopt each other’s habits and behave in a similar way. They talk alike, they walk alike and they behave alike. Their brains subconsciously make them do these to make them feel like they are two peas in a pod.
22. You plan your life around them
Partners in a QPR will feel their relationship is so strong, they don’t wish to be separated and usually plan their lives in a way that their partner can still be with them.
It means that even if you get married to someone else, you will make sure that your husband or wife understands the dynamics of your QPR and support you to plan major life activities around it.
23. Your QPR is all you need
The chemistry between you and your QPR partner is so intense that even if you do not need anything else to survive.
We are social animals and need to be around people to satisfy all our needs – emotional, intellectual, physical and sexual. But with QPR you get everything you need. It is specially crafted for you to satisfy your individual needs.
24. Your significant other feels jealous
The bond and connection that you share with your QPR partner are stronger and more intense than what you may have with your husband/ wife or “life partners”.
It might make them feel jealous of your QPR or even feel a little competitive towards your QPR partner.
25. You feel intense joy
QPRs are meaningful relationships formed on the basis of your emotional connections. Needless to say, you are the happiest person when you are with your “Zucchini”.
Nothing fills your heart with joy or gives you enough pleasure like the times when you hang out with your QPR partner.
Queerplatonic Relationship Rules
QPRs do not fit the boxes of traditional relationships. Each QPR is different from the other because each of them meets specific needs of the partners involved.
The beauty of QPR lies in the fact that it can be anything you want it to be!
It can be completely platonic, and it can also involve some romance and sexual intimacy if the partners are comfortable with it. The rules of any QPR are set by the involved partners themselves.
There is no set of rules when it comes to queerplatonic relationships. For some, it involves physical aspects for others, it does not. It all depends on what people find fits them best and makes them happy.
Generally, people in QPRs have a deep commitment to one another. For example, many even consider themselves to be exclusive partners. They are devoted to their connection and show commitment to life-planning, which is different from traditional ways of a romantic relationship.
Queerplatonic Relationship Boundaries
Queerplatonic, also known as quasiplatonic relationships, have no boundaries or restrictions. Partners can be as exclusive and intimate as well as be completely aromantic and asexual.
QPRs are very dynamic when it comes to boundaries. Both partners determine boundaries that work best for them. Each QPR is DIY-ed according to the partners needs and expectations from the relationship.
If you are in a QPR, it will be wise to talk with your partner and set clear expectations right from the beginning. Some of the basic questions you should consider while you set your boundaries in your QPR can be like this…
- Do you wish to have romantic relations outside your QPR?
- Do you want it to be completely aromantic and asexual?
- Do you wish to live together?
- If you plan to live together, how would you share the resources like childcare, finances and house rent if any?
- Do you wish to be each other’s “plus one” for all events and parties?
- What are the things that might look like a relationship violation in this QPR?
- How would you tell if it’s time to move on or end the QPR?
How do you know if a queerplatonic relationship is right for you?
QPRs are the go-to choice for mostly asexual and aromantic people. But anyone can be involved in a QPR if they are looking for a commitment-oriented deep emotional connection.
If you are someone who wants an exclusive relationship which has no rules and boundaries like that of a traditional romantic relationship, QPR is your thing. You can be with someone who has wants and expectations similar to yours.
A QPR gives you the freedom to be exclusively committed to someone on an intellectual and emotional level and enjoy romantic relationships outside of this QPR. If you are on the lookout for something polyamorous, QPR is the right deal for you.
How to approach someone about starting a queerplatonic relationship?
It will always be a bit tricky to approach someone to be your QPR partner. The best way would be to make sure what you want from a QPR and then explain the same to the person to see if they are up for it.
“Will you be my queerplatonic partner?” is a very vague thing to ask because a “queerplatonic partner” can be so many different things. Also, the person you feel the connection with might not be acquainted with the terminology yet.
So, the first step would be to find out what you personally want from relationships in your life, and then when you find someone you think might be able to fulfill that relationship need, explain what you have in mind.
If they are up for it well and good; if not it is best that you know what they feel before you get too attached to them and make them feel uncomfortable.
If everything goes well and they agree to be your queerplatonic partner, be specific about what your boundaries and needs are, understand what theirs are, and figure out whether they and you are a good fit. If you both think you are a perfect match for each other, go for it!
How common are queerplatonic relationships?
Since 2010, QPR has gained a lot of popularity among asexual and aromantic people. But because it is such a fluid concept of relationship, it is fairly prevalent among heteronormative too.
Queerplatonic relationships are a little under the radar mostly and most people do not even realize that they are in a QPR subconsciously. QPRs can be your usual bromances or girl crushes you feel towards your BFFs.
It is very common but unrecognized because people barely know much about it. For some a QPR could look like a close friendship, for others it may outwardly appear to more closely resemble the romantic norms of a traditional relationship.
Queerplatonic relationships are common among a-spec individuals, however one does not have to identify as a-spec to be in a queerplatonic relationship. One also does not have to be queer to be in a queerplatonic relationship.
To sum it up, QPRs are gaining popularity among people who look for deep emotional and intellectual connections in a relationship.
Popular misconceptions about Queerplatonic relationships
QPR is a relatively new concept. So, people are not much informed about how it works… which has of course, led to a few misconceptions, including…
1. QPRs are not actual relationships
There is a popular belief that friendships and platonic relationships are training grounds for the “real deal”. QPRs lie somewhere between romance and friendships. So, there are deep intellectual and emotional connections between partners.
Partners can have romantic and sexual relationships outside QPR. But that does not mean this relationship is lacking somewhere. It is just how the partners choose to interact. A QPR fulfills those needs that other relationships do not cater to.
2. It is just a friendship
Contrary to popular misconception, a QPR is not just friendship. It is a bit more exclusive than just a friendship. Partners share intense emotional connections with each other and there is a level of loyalty involved in a QPR.
Friends offer each other guidance and support, and they are not exclusively like one another. But in QPRs the partners share a more intense bond along with deeper emotional and intellectual connections.
3. QPR partners are immature
Society questions the validity of everything that does not fit into a designated box. A relationship cannot be a relationship unless it is a romantic or a sexual one. As for QPR, people believe it is a childish approach to relationships and lacks emotional maturity.
For all that matters, QPR partners are mature enough; that is how they can handle such a fluid dynamic relationship compared to a traditional romantic relationship confined by rules.
A queerplatonic relationship is a type of relationship that isn’t sexual or romantic, but signifies a more intense level of commitment, companionship, and/or affection than a platonic friendship.
The lines are so blurry, people often get confused to think they are romantic partners. So, here are a few commonly asked questions, answered to clear all the doubts.
As already mentioned, QPRs are very fluid in nature. You get to decide if you want to be intimate with each other or not. Initially, QPRs started out to be an aromantic and asexual relationship but with time has evolved to be very inclusive.
Each QPR has a different flavor. It is like you can mix and match whatever you want from a relationship – romance / no romance, sexual intimacy/ no sexual intimacy – it is all upto your partner and you.
There are many QPR partners who are strictly aromantic and asexual towards each other, while there are others, who are very good friends but with a few more benefits! They mostly experience platonic love for each other.
Some people may prefer the label to help them better understand what kind of relationship they share with each other. There are others who choose to shed all labels and honor the relationship as for what it is, and not restrict it to any label.
It completely depends upon the partners to be honest. If they feel that a label might help them understand the boundaries and set correct expectations, that is totally fine. On the other hand, if the partners feel that they need no label to define their relationship – it is the connection that matters most for them, it is equally justified if they do label their relationship.
Yes, it is completely normal and acceptable if you want to be romantically involved with someone while you are still in a QPR. There are many people who even marry outside the QPR. It all just depends on how the QPR partners define the boundaries and set expectations for each other.
It might also happen that your partner and you decide to be exclusive to each other and not get involved with anyone else outside the QPR. That is normal too! In that case, you would be living together, may or may not adopt children, and share all expenses.
QPR partners usually address each other as Zucchini, squish, or marshmallows. These terms are similar to terms like girlfriend and boyfriend or husband and wife that are prevalent in heteronormative relationships.
Zucchini: This term was originally a joke in the a-spec community because they lacked a word to properly describe the term. So, they would just use any word they want, like zucchini and it just stuck around. QPR partners usually refer to each other as Zucchinis.
Squish, Plush, Squash, Crish: These terms are used to describe a QPR crush.
Queerplatonic Relationships (QPRs) are those relationships that are not romantic in nature but they involve very close emotional connections that are often deeper or more intense than what is traditionally considered a friendship.
But the romantic orientation of partners does not influence a QPR. They can be romantically inclined to different genders while still experiencing a connection towards each other. For example, a gay person can be in a QPR with a straight man. Also, two straight people of the same gender can be in a QPR.
It is a deep emotional connection which do not require partners to have same romantic and sexual orientation.
A word from ThePleasantRelationship
Call it Queerplatonic, quirkyplatonic, or qplatonic – all represent the same kind of relationship. They can be wonderful relationships that can meet your needs without restrictions to make yourself fit into the traditional relationship guidelines.
Just make sure to place communication at the foreground of the relationship in order to avoid any unintended heartache for you or your potential partners.
If you have always wondered if you could raise a baby with a friend who you share a deep connection with; or buy a property with your lifelong bestie – be rest assured that it is absolutely normal!
It is 2022, after all. 😉
Surabhi wakes up every day with a drive to craft words that can create a soulful impact. Creatively adventurous, she is always seeking to learn new skills and acquire new experiences. With a hidden soft corner for languages (especially Urdu), she writes poetry occasionally, binges on romantic shows, and LOVES to talk. A hustler, admirer, chaser, Surabhi is just another-someone who refused to give up on her dreams. She says, she is just somebody who’s trying to make herself a writer and for now, she’s just writing...