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What Is Alterous Attraction? What Are Squishes and Meshes?

·357 words·2 mins
Advice Friend

Hi Page, I’m in love with one of my friends, but I’m not sure if it’s a friendly love or a romantic love. It feels somewhere in between. Is that messed up? Have you ever heard of this before?


Hey there. I have indeed heard of this. You’re not the only person who has ever experienced this. In fact, there’s a term that might help you to know called alterous attraction.

What is Alterous Attraction?

Alterous attraction is a kind of emotional closeness that isn’t either platonic or romantic and instead somewhere in between.

I’ve certainly experienced this uncanny valley of sorts — and it’s been maddening in the past trying to decide which it is… platonic or romantic. I’ve felt pressured to categorize it as one or the other, lost until I do.

In reality, there’s a gray space here.

Similarly, people can have alterous relationships which function in the same way — not quite romantic, not quite platonic. Relationships that exist somewhere in between.

What Is a Squish?

Another helpful term when talking about all forms of attraction — platonic, romantic, or alterous is squish. What’s a squish? In the most basic terms, it’s the nonromantic version of a crush. When you have a crush on someone, you strongly want to start a romantic relationship with them. When you have a squish on someone, you strongly want a nonromantic relationship with them.

Cool, huh?

A Mesh Is Something Between Crush and Squish

Okay, soo… if there are romantic crushes and platonic squishes — and there’s a form of attraction somewhere between romantic and platonic, then… is there a crush/squish term for an alterous attraction?

You betcha. The word is mesh. When you have a mesh on someone, you want an alterous relationship with them.


Hope that helps! Not sure that having new language to talk about it makes things any simpler, I’m afraid.

Look, the reality is that feelings and relationships can be quite a bit complicated and so can the terminology describing it all.

But no, you’re not the only one. A bunch of people have felt that way.


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