Queerplatonic Relationships: 6 Signs It’s Right for You

Queerplatonic relationships offer a unique alternative to heteronormative couplings. Learn more about the practice and the signs that it's right for you.

Published June 27, 2024
Young gay couple being romantic indoors.

Has conventional dating always felt like you’re trying to squish into a pair of jeans that don't fit? Queerplatonic relationships might better suit your needs. For both queer and heterosexual people, queerplatonic relationships are the norm-breaking partnerships that fill the void outside of heteronormative ones.

Curious whether queerplatonic relationships are right for you, but not sure what exactly they entail? Let us walk you through what they look like and how they work. 

What Is a Queerplatonic Relationship?

Ask many people in the queer community to define a queerplatonic relationship, and they’ll probably tell you they know it when they see it. Queerplatonic relationships — also known as queerplatonic partnerships — join other queer experiences like the gender spectrum in being extremely expansive and inclusive.

Because these relationships defy the regular conventions of typical romantic relationships, and the bounds of each one are individualized to the people in the platonic unit, they’re hard to pin down to a single definition. Yet, at the heart of queerplatonic relationships is a shared commitment to one or more partners.

@fluentlyaspec #arotok #aromantic #acetok #asexual #queerplatonic #lgbtqia #lgbtqiaplus Homestead - John Smith
Fast Fact

Queerplatonic relationships aren't as new as you think. "Boston Marriages" described a 19th-century trend of women living together to attain financial independence outside of heterosexual marriage. 

Who Can Be Involved in a Queerplatonic Relationship?

Anyone can enter a queerplatonic relationship, though people on the Asexual and/or Aromantic spectrum often gravitate towards these convention-bending partnerships.

How Do Queerplatonic Relationships Differ From Friends With Benefits?

If you’re not in the queer community, you might confuse queerplatonic relationships with friends-with-benefits arrangements because of the potential sexual element. However, queerplatonic relationships aren’t driven by sexual encounters but rather by the bond and shared commitment created between two or more people.

Similarly, sex isn’t a prerequisite to queerplatonic relationships. Some partners may engage in varying degrees of sexual acts, while others might keep physical contact to a minimum.

Is Romance Present in Queerplatonic Relationships?

One of the beautiful aspects of queerplatonic relationships is that it includes so many partnership expressions. Of course, the name might make you think queerplatonic relationships are strictly devoid of romantic overtures. However, that’s not actually true.

People in queerplatonic partnerships discuss and decide upon the level of romance (just like the degree of sexual contact). Small romantic gestures, such as having a standing date night or buying flowers for someone, or large romantic gestures by one partner only are possible. The limit on what configuration you create doesn’t exist.

Related: What to Say When Someone Comes Out to You & 4 Things to Avoid

6 Signs a Queerplatonic Relationship Might Be Perfect for You

Sexuality is a fluid thing. It's something that can change and grow narrower or broader as you evolve. Considering a queerplatonic relationship? These are a few signs that it might be the right fit for you.

You Find Heteronormative Romantic Expectations Stifling

If you’ve tried on romantic relationships in the past, and they always seem to be a bit too loose or tight for your taste, a queerplatonic relationship might be a better fit. In queerplatonic relationships, you get to decide what roles you play and what expectations you have.

Cheerful couple embracing each other outdoors.

There are no social morays pushing you to move in together, legally bind your finances, or send customary good morning and good night texts. Instead, you can advocate for the freedom, affection, and commitment that looks best to you.

You Identify as Asexual and/or Aromatic

Being on the asexual and aromatic spectrum means you can experience varying levels of sexual and romantic attraction. Because typical heterosexual relationships are defined by the conjunction of mutual sexual and romantic attraction, people who don’t match those heteronormative levels may find the most comfort in an inclusive framework like a queerplatonic relationship.

You Dream About Sharing a Life With Your Close Friends

All Golden Girls jokes aside, there’s something telling if your visions of the future involve spending your time and sharing your space with one or more of your closest friends. Queer friendships often skirt the lines between friendship and relationship anyways, so it’s a natural progression for many people to solidify a stronger commitment.

You Haven’t Been Interested in Dating for Awhile

If you spend all your time with friends and companions and the thought of dating hasn’t crossed your mind, you may be in the perfect spot to try a queerplatonic relationship. Of course, it’s totally normal to not want a relationship of any kind with someone else. Solo adult lifestyles are valid.

However, if you crave companionship but aren’t interested in the back-and-forth of dating’s getting-to-know-you phase, maybe it’s time to try something else.

You’re Not Interested in the Nuclear Family Model

Queerplatonic relationships can include family planning and building and are well-suited for some people who don’t vibe with the nuclear family model. Traditional relationships are pushed toward this family model, so you might avoid entering one for fear you’ll be pushed in that direction.

Happy gender fluid trio of young friends

While you can choose a different path with a traditional relationship, a queerplatonic one might better fit your needs.

You’re Curious About Other Relationship Styles

There’s a lot of truth to the “you won’t know if you like it until you try it” theory, and a great hint that something outside of the norm may be in your future is if you’re curious about it. Do you read testimonies of other queerplatonic relationships? Does it occupy a lot of your thoughts during the day? These are indications that you’ve got queerplatonic relationships on the brain.

You Get to Define Your Queerplatonic Relationship

Queerplatonic relationships are difficult to define because they’re uniquely tailored to each individual partnership. They can include as much or as little of anything as you and your partner[s] want. And that’s the beauty of these boundary-breaking relationships. You get to be at the helm.

Queerplatonic Relationships: 6 Signs It’s Right for You