Can I say 'unholy' trinity without inciting fear and rage? Well, that's what we are, though not for the reasons you might think.
The fact that I chose the picture above out of ALL the pictures I could have selected for the main picture of this article speaks volumes about us. We were at a Great Gatsby inspired party that was in D.C. Dana made the dress I'm wearing and found hers in a perfectly themed shop. I'm not sure where Chele got her hot ass suspenders ensemble but it doesn't matter. This is who we are in a nutshell.
Or is it?
While this nerdy, dressing-up in a somewhat cosplay style, is definitely a huge part of who we are, there's so much more. I actually began writing this for the Inside Jokes challenge but it passed so quickly that I missed the deadline. We were getting ready for our vacation anyway and just got back so there's been no time to write. (Never mind that the three of us took our computers with us to Orlando with the excited plan of writing each night after we finished at the parks. That was such an "us" dream, honestly lol) I had a huge list of all our inside jokes that I wanted to touch on, each more ridiculous than the last. The list still exists, of course, though I'm not sure what to do with it now.
If a picture can speak a thousand words, then ours can speak a million.
Not all of those words are exactly coherent, of course.
I might have missed the opportunity to share our MANY inside jokes but I am now determined to share just how much these two girls mean to me instead. **WARNING: This article will focus on a relationship that is quite outside the norm. Proceed with kindness and no judgment, please.**
Queerplatonic relationship, also called a quasiplatonic relationship, quirkyplatonic relationship, or qplatonic relationship (abbreviated QPR), is a term for a relationship that bends the rules for telling apart romantic relationships from non-romantic relationships. It typically goes beyond what is considered normal or socially acceptable for a platonic relationship but is not romantic in nature or does not fully fit the traditional idea of a romantic relationship. ** See full article here
I rather like the term "quirkyplatonic". Yes, I think I'll use that one. Seems fitting for us. Almost as fitting as The Unholy Trinity, which is a reference to the television show Glee rather than anything nefarious you might be thinking.
In modern western societies, hard lines are drawn between appropriate behavior for a romantic relationship compared to a friendship. For example, cultural norms say that romantic partners are more physically affectionate and more emotionally close than friends are, as well as being more likely to partner in major life activities such as buying a house or raising a child together. When those lines are blurred, that relationship can be called queerplatonic. QPRs are often characterized by having a level of emotional closeness and dedication comparable to that found in a romantic relationship, which results in many individuals viewing their queerplatonic relationships as entirely/mostly separate from being platonic.
This may seem weird to some but to us it's totally normal. We are more than just best friends. We are partners. We are trying to tackle this thing called life together and rely on each other for a variety of things. Emotional support, life hacks, advice, companionship, support in general, what have you. We have discussed purchasing a house for the three of us to live in together and have (mostly jokingly) even mentioned eventually creating some sort of compound where we can live on the same land together yet have separate family structures and other people there also.
Yes, we have put a lot of thought into this and don't care if you think it's weird.
Here you will find Dana and I looking goofy, me slightly crazed even, while Chele looks sexy AF and cool as a cucumber. Funny to think she's also the most awkward and ridiculous of the three of us. Not that we're not all weird or awkward or ridiculous in some way or other. Isn't that the beauty of true friendship, though? Complimenting each other's weirdness with your own and balancing where they lack with your own strengths?
People in QPRs have a deep (a SUPER deep) commitment to each other in the sense that they want to plan their lives together and around one another. This is generally each person’s primary attachment adult relationship. They don’t have to live in the same house, but there’s a continual steadiness that keeps them grounded and devoted in their relationship. There’s also a commitment to life-planning that involves each other in non-traditional ways. In a QPR, you can be each other’s emergency contacts, move to the other side of the world for your partner, and see you spending your lives together in whatever way works best for you! ** See full article here
Move to the other side of the world, you say? Well, only from New Jersey down to Virginia but it still counts right?
I like to joke and say that they moved here for me even though Dana's sister had moved down to the D.C./Maryland area for college and never looked back so she is more likely the reason Dana came down. I may be a Gryffindor but I in no way think I am enough to cause two people to uproot themselves just to be closer to me. However, I can feel them both glaring at me and hear them threatening to smack me for saying I'm not enough even as I type this so. Here we are.
The truth is, I met them online years ago. Yep, you read that correctly. ONLINE. Those role-playing games I talk about in this article? Yeah, that's how I met these two beautiful souls who are now such an intrinsic part of my life that I can't imagine it without them in it. Terrifying, right? I'm tearing up as I write that but it's the truth. I don't know where I would be without them and frankly hope I don't do anything to make it so I'd have to find out.
Anyway! I digress from my original point of heralding all these two do for me. Apologies. On with the show!
Despite just recently returning from a vacation, during which we spent 10 days with each other without work or family to break up our time together, the irritation and general frustration you'd think we'd feel with each other is noticeably absent. Unlike other friends I've gone on vacation with, I didn't have the intense urge to get back home and not have to see them again for a few weeks. Never mind that we live together already, the point remains. Our time in Orlando only served to remind me of all the reasons why they are my people, honestly.
To sum up everything that makes them so amazing would take a lifetime to write. Maybe I will one day. For now, I will try and focus on the big things.
Like driving an hour to my house when my boyfriend of 6+ years randomly decided to leave one day out of the blue and then staying for an entire week despite living and working over an hour away at the time because they knew that I was beyond devastated, not to mention lost. Chele facetimed in, offering to come down from Jersey too (this offer was declined, I'm not that selfish) Or hopping on a bus to race up to be with someone when their mother passed. Or even heading on an hour drive close to 10pm at night because one was blindsided by the sudden passing of a beloved pet. Or sitting in an ER until past midnight the night before a girl's weekend trip to Hershey Park because someone tripped on a hill and broke their foot.
Now that we live together, those big moments are kind of rolled into smaller ones. Helping each other budget, taking care of the "kids" together (cats, everyone, cats), deciding when to take out loans or when to try and buckle down and just eat ramen so we can get what we want. The nuances of our friendship go beyond what society says is acceptable....and that's okay. Just like with people, relationships don't always fit into neat little boxes. It's messy and weird and entirely us.
Life is not all fun and games, of course. We all suffer from various mental health issues (anxiety and depression being the predominant ones) and are constantly trying to work on ourselves while helping each other. "Did you take your meds?" has become as common a question as "Are these cats lying or did you forget to feed them?" Usually this happens when someone (or all three of us if it's a really bad day) is a bit snappier than is normal. There is no sugar-coating, no shying away from difficult conversations (no matter how hard I try to avoid them). We are honest and open and still provide that safe space where all of us know that the others aren't going anywhere. Not ever.
Unfortunately for them, thanks to an emotionally abusive and narcissistic ex, getting me to understand that fact is far from easy. (There's a reason my psychiatrist recommended trauma therapy but we won't get into that now)
I don't know how they haven't run for the hills, honestly. Half the time I feel like I'm not really pulling my own weight and they constantly have to reassure me of a variety of things but once again I can hear them yelling at me for saying these things so I'll just move on.
The above picture was taken at one of the MANY concerts we've attended together. It's kind of our thing. This one, however, came right after the ex I mentioned before and I broke up. Never in my life have I needed these girls more and they didn't hesitate (despite it being near Chele's birthday)
I have never felt more safe, more protected, and more loved with anyone else. Ever. Say what you want about our relationship but even the person I was planning to marry and have a "happily ever after" with never made me feel this accepted and loved. Sad but true. It's a different sort of love than the traditional romantic love and even if I (or any of us) eventually find people to marry that won't change what we are to each other I hope.
My parents have always been my grounding point, my rocks, the one thing in my life I knew would always be there. Despite the anxiety telling me I wasn't good enough, they have always been there to make me feel loved. I found myself searching for that no-questions-asked acceptance in every romantic relationship I found for myself but never could let my guard down and fully accept the people I was with weren't going away. That feeling increased tenfold after the breakup and I wasn't sure I was ever going to feel okay again. Feel good enough again.
These two changed all that.
I feel like I am finally myself, my true self, for the first time in maybe forever. More than that, I feel like I finally know what I want and can be in a relationship without compromising myself or my values. I feel like I can stand on my own two feet, despite how much I might feel like I need these two and my parents to survive.
If that's not true love, I don't know what is. And as Frozen taught us, true love doesn't always have to be traditional or romantic.
True love is taking a 'once in a lifetime' trip to Disney in California only to have all those excitedly made plans crumble when the person you've gifted this amazing opportunity and experience to is essentially bleeding to death. It's waiting in line for hours for an electric wheelchair because she isn't able to stand for more than five seconds without incident. It's stopping at every bathroom along the way through the park so she can try desperately to prevent further embarrassing accidents. It's constantly reassuring her (even years later) that it's okay, that they got you no matter what.
It's telling your professors and bosses later on when this same friend is in the emergency room awaiting a blood transfusion that you might have to leave without notice if something goes awry or she needs you.
It's doing all this from miles and hours away, even when the person she's living with and supposed to spend her life with can barely be bothered to stay in the hospital with her for more than an hour.
True love, true friendship, is all of this and the everyday little things that pop up when you finally all live in one place.
Society tells us a lot about friendship and relationships and how different they're supposed to look. They tell us what's "weird" and what isn't, they tell us what we should be looking for and what we shouldn't. I'm no expert but I've found after all these years that it really just boils down to each person and what they need. There's no 'one size fits all' for life and that's okay. Do what you need to do for your own mental health and everything else will fall into place.
For me, what I need is these two. Acceptance, honesty, growth, and support. Everything else I now feel like I can find and take on without the issues I've had in the past.
"All you need is love."
This quote didn't come with any caveats. It didn't specify what type of love or how that love would look. Family who are meant to love you could be the most toxic and abusive people you'll ever meet. You can pick your own family, you can make your own life.
I'm lucky to have these two and the most wonderful parents anyone could ever imagine. I didn't understand that before but our friendship has taught me that. And no matter how many times they have to remind me, I just hope they stick around to let me pay them back for all they've given me.