For some a queerplatonic relationship (commonly abbreviated to QPR) could look like a close friendship, for others it may outwardly appear to more closely resemble a romantic relationship. Queerplatonic relationships may involve some forms of physical affection traditionally considered exclusive to romantic or sexual relationships, such as hand-holding, cuddling, kissing, or having sex. Some queerplatonic couples will live together or get (queerplatonically) married. Queerplatonic relationships can look different for everyone, depending on what the individuals involved are comfortable with.
Queerplatonic relationships are common among a-spec individuals, however one does not have to identify as a-spec to be in a queerplatonic relationship. One also does not have to be queer to be in a queerplatonic relationship. Pursuing a queerplatonic relationship is not necessarily mutually exclusive with pursuing romantic relationships. A queerplatonic relationship can be monogamous or polyamorous- involving more than two individuals.
Individuals in queerplatonic relationships might refer to each other as their queerplatonic partner (QPP), marshmallow/mallowfriend, or as "zucchini", a term that was originally a joke in the a-spec community about lacking a word to properly describe the term, so they could just use any word they want, like zucchini. A queerplatonic crush is most commonly called a squish (the same as a platonic crush), and is less commonly called a plush, squash, or crish.
Queerplatonic attraction is a form of tertiary attraction experienced mainly, but not exclusively, by a-spec individuals. It is defined as the desire to be in a queerplatonic relationship with someone in particular. Queerplatonic attraction can be very similar to platonic attraction and alterous attraction. For some individuals these types of attraction greatly overlap. Not all individuals make a distinction between them. For others they may feel like there is a clear distinction between these feelings. Among those who do feel a distinction, queerplatonic attraction is often described as being stronger and more intimate than purely platonic attraction. Alterous attraction is the desire for intimacy that is neither platonic nor romantic, queerplatonic can be considered an extension of platonic attraction.
Someone who does not experience queerplatonic attraction and/or does not desire queerplatonic relationships may call themself aqueerplatonic. Queerplatonic attraction is not a requirement for a having or wanting a QPR. Some aqueerplatonic individuals may still want or have queerplatonic relationship, they just do not get squishes. Others who are aqueerplatonic might not desire a queerplatonic relationship. They may also identify as nonamorous.
The first apparent usage of the term queerplatonic was on December 25, 2010 in a thread called Kaz's Scribblings. The term was made out of a desire to describe an aromantic form of relationships, outside the strict categories of romance and friendship.
On January 22, 2011 the phrase queerplatonic was posted on Tumblr by Meloukhia, also known as S. E. Smith, where it quickly gained popularity. In May 2014 the term quasiplatonic relationships was coined for aromantics who were uncomfortable with using the term queer.
On March 30th, 2021, goldstargloww (known at the time as GoldenStars14) along with Fandom user Brambleybee came up with the terms "mallowfriend" and "marshmallow" to describe queerplatonic partners with a term something other than the terms QPP and zucchini. Later, on April 9, 2021, goldstargloww posted about this on the LGBTA fandom wiki and waited for the other fandom users to respond, most of which who did so positively, before putting the term onto this page.
At least four different flag designs have been proposed for queerplatonic. Most of these flags use the colors yellow and pink. Yellow is commonly used to symbolize platonic relationships. Pink is possibly used because it is a light form of red, which is commonly used to represent romantic attraction, showing that queerplatonic relationships can sometimes resemble romantic relationships but that they are different nonetheless.