PLPs: The platonic partnerships that pair up friends for existence

Deena Lilygren, a mother in her 40s, has been dwelling with her ideal mate Maggie Brown for a long time in Kentucky, US. For the duration of the time they’ve been co-habiting, Brown met her long run partner. He moved in with the pair of very best friends, proposed to Brown, they obtained married and eventually, all a few of them purchased a house collectively.

When he moved in with them – and once again when he proposed – Brown instructed him she and Deena “were a package deal deal”, suggests Lilygren. “She preferred to be absolutely sure he didn’t have the expectation that so several folks appear to be to have – that marriage is the time when you enable go of your good friends.”

Brown and Lilygren have a connection that goes over and above most friendships. Lilygren considers them “platonic everyday living partners”, that means they are each and every other’s primary partners – the way persons typically relate to spouses or passionate associates, only romance and sexual intercourse don’t factor into their romantic relationship.

Scarcely uttered in the previous, the phrase ‘platonic existence partners’ has been popularised currently by two females in their 20s from Singapore, April Lee and Renee Wong. The pair talk about their platonic lifestyle partnership (PLP) on TikTok, where Lee has much more than 51,000 followers. They cemented their friendship as a PLP when Wong moved from Singapore to Los Angeles to live with Lee in September 2021. As Lee set it in a piece about their partnership for Refinery29, they have been not just finest buddies but “supportive economical partners”, aided each individual other arrive at their daily life targets a lot more correctly and desired to be alongside one another not just quickly as roommates, but for the lengthy haul.

The reputation of their story elicited a string of coverage on this sort of fully commited friendship, which include amid guys. But relationships like these are not wholesale new – in some scenarios, they have roots back again to the 18th Century. Whilst some of these were certainly queer interactions in disguise, it’s pretty doable several were being just like Lee and Wong – the time period ‘PLP’ just wasn’t around to explain them. 

For some who are now in PLPs, like Lilygren, the phrase is an vital way to not just outline their dwelling cases, but also anxiety the worth of non-intimate partnerships. “As a culture, we genuinely devalue friendship when in comparison to associations like marriage – we’re envisioned to have transient, secondary friendships that grow to be marginalised when one particular friend will get married,” says Lilygren, “and there seriously is just not a word for a pal who is a spouse in existence.” ‘PLP’ fills that void.