Earlier today I was thinking about all the warm fuzzy feelings I have about romantic-but-not-sexual relationships in fiction. I’m not sure why I have them, but I do. My concern about how to draw the line between close friendship and romance has been replaced with so much warmth and happiness and squeeing and “who cares, it’s all wonderful!” about things that sit near that line. (Recent examples: Code Name Verity, this fic)
This might be because I have fond memories of when my relationship with Sparkly was like that, of falling in love with em that way long before I ever considered having sex.
It also just feels safe to me. I think that’s the best word. Knowing that there’s something you could very easily do, but you’ve chosen to stay away from it for the moment, and knowing the other person doesn’t want to go there either– it feels safe. Knowing there are certain boundaries you aren’t going to cross makes it easier to feel safe, and be open and vulnerable about other things.