What Does “Platonic Love” Mean and Where Did the Term For Unconsummated Love Come From?

The Greek philosopher Plato observed his teacher Socrates’ great but non-sexual love for young men, and concluded that the purest form of love exists only within the mind.

Ideal love’s perfection is spiritual, and that perfection is often destroyed by a sexual act.

Eventually, Plato’s philosophy on love was expanded to include women.

“Platonic love” entered popular use in English around 1630.