The recent popularity of the Barbie movie has created a revolution on social media around the concept of girlhood, friendship, and play. While I don't think girlhood is really gender specific, it has made me nostalgic about the most enduring relationship of my lifetime.
I met my soulmate Hallie when I was 12 years old.
Yep, you read that right. I don't consider my husband my soul mate. He is my romantic partner that I hope to grow old with. He's my nesting partner, my parenting partner, my sexual partner. But there is an inherent understanding of another person that comes from the kind of soul bond I feel with Hallie, and if you get lucky like me, it was formed in childhood.
We read books together.
We shared our favorite music.
We danced, and ate junk, and played games.
Our bond was forged from play, and trust, and shared interest.
And as an adult, counseling other adults, those concepts feel so far removed from what it means to form friendships now.
I hear weekly, It's so hard to find friends as an adult.
How it is that we're all lonely but have no idea how to create the relationships that came so easily as children?
One theory of mine: our society devalues the concept of platonic relationships, as if they are only necessary when our romantic relationships don't measure up.
How we often dive into our friendships, only to disappear when we date someone new.
How we feel that we have to choose our romantic partner above any and all other relationships.
How the concept of enduring love is only presented in the context of romantic relationships.
Let me tell you, my friends have seen me at equal or greater levels of vulnerability than my husband. Not just Hallie- but Katie, and Heather, and Shae too. The sister bonds we created have stuck around through poverty, health crises, mental health crises, cross country moves, grief, and straight up maturity changes.
Not because they like my body, or have kids with me, or benefit from sharing finances, or share my blood.
They stick through all of my flaws simply because they love me.
That is why I believe that platonic love is the purest kind of love; because every day they wake up and choose to love you without strings attached.