I think we need to normalize the idea of marrying friends. I don’t mean in a “the best romantic relationships come from the best friendships” type way, though I do believe that’s true. I mean in a “I have zero romantic feelings for you, but I would totally spend the rest of my life committed to a future where you are my primary partner and maybe even raise a family together” type way.
Like, I don’t think it should be an aromantic-exclusive option, or a plan B when you and your best friend are still single at 40 and want to take yourselves out of the dating market.
I’ve heard it mostly as that backup plan, that “if I don’t find anyone, I’ll just marry Trish haha”, and I don’t think that’s even what I’m talking about normalizing. That’s a secondary outcome, seen as “giving up” on finding “real love”, and even if a pair of friends go for it, it’s plagued with this general feeling of “sub par”.
What I mean is that marrying a best friend (or having a committed intimate or emotional platonic relationship) should be seen as just as worth doing as marrying someone you’re in love with. It should be normal for teenagers to try as many committed friendships as they do romantic relationships. It should be normal for someone to say “this is my best friend and if everything works out, maybe we’ll move in together later” or “Trish and I have been roommates for two years now. We’re considering adopting soon, or Trish might carry a child!”
And as an aromantic person, it shouldn’t be strange for me to say “I prefer friendship to romance”. People should hear that and nod their heads like “that’s understandable. John feels the same.”
Hell, I see so many people expressing that they prefer their friends’ company to their romantic partner’s. “My friends understand me better and I think treat me better” and they’re expected to go home to this person, to marry and have kids with this person. It’s bizarre to me. Your platonic feelings for your friend aren’t inferior to your romantic feelings for your boyfriend, and if one of them treats you better than the other, I think you should probably rethink which one is your primary partner.
I also find it strange that it’s not more common in poly spaces for a friend to be considered a legitimate “partner”. In a world where friendships were just as likely to bloom into life partnerships as romantic relationships, I think polyamory would be much more commonplace. “I committed to Josephine about a year ago and now we own a home, but I fell in love with Joe about six months ago and we’re all trying to make it work.” Josephine shouldn’t have to worry about her partner leaving her for Joe just because their bond is romantic and therefore the “sensible” relationship to choose over the other.
I’m just ranting at this point, but I reiterate: committed friendships should not be seen as strange and “sad”, but as a legitimate option for a lifetime commitment. Not just for aromantics like myself, but for everyone. It should just be normal.
And not to be presumptuous, but I don’t think I’m alone in this thinking.