Powering Platonic Love: Keeping Someone to Count On

Adult ISH host Nyge Turner and his best friend, Josiah Percia, talk about how they work to keep their relationship healthy during a global loneliness epidemic.

05.16.24
Powering Platonic Love: Keeping Someone to Count On

We are living in a loneliness epidemic, according to the U.S. Surgeon General. And, it’s a global problem. A recent international Gallup survey showed nearly one in four people report feeling lonely - with young adults reporting the highest percentage of loneliness. So, we wanted to help by focusing on important relationships in your life, like platonic love. 

Host Nyge Turner brings his best friend, Josiah Percia, to Adult ISH to talk about the work they put into maintaining a long-lasting friendship. We also feature YR Stars Nubia, Jalen, and Ny’annah, who share how they show and receive love with their friends.  

Adult ISH is produced by YR Media and brought to you by PRX’s Radiotopia. Be sure to follow all our socials @YRAdultISH!

Please show your support for Adult ISH by making a donation at: YRMedia.org/Donate. THANK YOU!


Episode Transcript

[YR Music theme]

Nyge: Welcome to Adult ISH – produced by YR Media – and brought to you by Radiotopia from PRX.  

I’m Nyge Turner.

And today, we’re talking about Platonic Love.

Jalen: No matter like, what emotion I'm feeling or like, what type of day I'm having – I feel like I can ask them any question. They'll give me any truth, whether they're like, yeah, even if it's something I don't want to hear. Like, just like the honesty and like, the communication. That's a very good trait to have.

Nyge: Friends are extremely important to have in life. It’s a type of love that’s commonly overlooked, sidelined, and taken for granted. But, they could be some of the most important.

We are living in the middle of a loneliness epidemic, says the U.S. Surgeon General. According to CNN, one in four people feel lonely. So, this episode, we want to get into the feels about making and keeping a long-term friendship.

Talking through disagreements, renegotiating relationships, and even possibly moving away from certain friendships altogether. 

To do that, I sat down with one of my best friends, Josiah, to talk about the maintenance that we’ve had to put into our 10-year friendship. And, the importance of having a kid named Michael in your life.

But, first, I’ll let Josie introduce himself.

Josiah: For sure. Josiah, all my close friends call me “Josie.” Has been kind of a nickname since high school. I am 26 years old. I currently work my day to day job in construction. I got some hobbies on the side. Playing sports: football, basketball. I got a little drone photography videography thing on the side. I love to eat good food, hang out with friends. And that's, that's me in a rap.

Nyge: When's the last time you played basketball or football? (laughter)

Josiah: Alright. Maybe next…

Nyge: (laughing) I guess he had all these on the side.

Josiah: Yeah, yeah… You know, we do this…

Nyge: So, I guess to preface this. Josie's one of my best friends. I know his…

Josiah: (Laughing)

Nyge: I know his day to day life pretty well. So when you just tried to sneak that in there, I'm like, “Dog, what?”

Josiah: Alright, alright. I wanna get back into the football and the basketball.

Nyge: Okay, okay, okay.

Josiah: But, I also enjoy watching it.

Nyge: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Okay. 

Josiah: I enjoy the sport. I enjoy the sport.

Nyge: Okay. Yeah. There you go. There you go. There you go. Yeah, nah. I remember you used to hoop and play football back in the day.

Josiah: Yeah, back in the day.

Nyge: So how long have we been friends, and how did we meet?

Josiah: Oh, boy. All right. We have been friends for a minute. I want to say, since I was 15. So we're going on like dang near 11 years – 11, 12 years. How we met is actually, I think, a funny story. We have a mutual friend. His name is Michael. We were invited to this party. And we went up to this party, and supposedly Michael messaged you on ASKfm. Or, like…

Nyge: Yeah, yeah. So this is, like… This is what year? This is like 2013 or something like that.

Josiah: It’s gotta be. It’s gotta be.

Nyge: Probably 2013.

Josiah: Yeah. So yeah. Michael, basically he was living in Atlanta. He said he was going to move to the Bay. He somehow found your Instagram profile, all that.

Nyge: Wild story.

Josiah: And, went on ASKfm, and was like, “Hey, if I move to the Bay, could we be friends?”

Nyge: ASKfm is a, is a website that – or an app that used to let you ask questions anonymously. (laughing)

Josiah: Yeah.

Nyge: So, he asked me anonymously where I was from. (laughing)

Josiah: And, like said, “If I move into the Bay area would like, y'all be cool. And, I don't know, when he told me this story before even meeting you I’m like, “Bro. Why would you do this? This is, this is weird. This is weird. But anyways – we go to this party and it turns out you end up being there. And Michael pops up and was like, “Hey, I'm the dude from ASKfm. And supposedly, you know, y'all kicked it off and then you and me started kicking it. And then I was like, “Shoot, this dude's kind of cool.” So…

Nyge: Fo’ sho.

Josiah: Yeah. Then we started kicking it. Man, we played basketball for days. We got food. We play football. I mean, we did – we did a lot of stuff.

Nyge: Yeah, no. Definitely. What are things about our friendship that you value the most?

Josiah: Value the most…? I would say how open we are. Right? Like, I feel like we can talk about anything. I can, I don't know, talk to you about the craziest idea off the top of my head. And like, we still talk it through, whether, you know… “Hey, is that a good idea? Is that a bad idea?” You’d never look at me crazy for anything. Well… And, now I’ll take it back. Sometimes, you look at me crazy for some stuff, if it's really far-fetched.

Nyge: (laughing)

Josiah: If it’s really far-fetched. But, nah. I mean, I feel like you're that guy that I don't gotta worry about like, you know, “How do I sound to this person? How do I sound to that person?” It's just like, I can put it all out there and, you know, you're always going to give me that honest feedback, so….

Nyge: So yeah, man, we done – we done been through some times, but, yeah, I definitely have looked at you crazy, but…

Josiah: (laughing)

Nyge: But it's just like, it's – I've looked at you because I'm like, “Bro, you know better.” Like that's, that's what it always is. It's always like, “Jo...” And I know I'm like, “Bro, the reason that you're telling me about this is because, you know, I you know what I'm going to say.”

Josiah: (laughing) Yeah.

Nyge: You already know my response.

Josiah: You’re right. You’re right.

Nyge: But, yeah. It just happened.

Josiah: Yup.

Nyge: But, what do you…

(both laughing)

Josiah: Last night.

Nyge: Oh, yeah. (laughing) What, what do you look for? What do you personally look for in friends?

Josiah: I think, someone who is willing to give as much as I'm willing to give. I feel like I'm a person that, like, dedicates a lot of time, energy, and love to people that I care about. And I guess I feel like, you just would want to feel that reciprocated. Right? So, you know, I'm showing as much energy and I'm, you know, coming to you and I'm trying to build and grow and develop something with you. Then, I would hope that you would return that to me. And, you know, you kind of. Yeah. Reciprocate it. So.

Nyge: Yeah, no. I, I think what I look for in friends is just someone who... Yeah, some – like you said. Kind of, someone who's, like, willing to put in the effort. I think my friends don't really have to have anything in common, necessarily like, with me. They don't have to like the same things that I like, or whatever. Or, I think that stuff is good for, for friendships, when people are into different things. And, they can kind of like, culture you in different ways. But the, like, universal thing for me is like – Bro, if I don't feel you putting in the effort, I just – I don't know, it's just, it just doesn't feed me. You know?

Josiah: Nice. Nice. You’d be responding with the text messages real dry. You know? If I’m only hitting you… You know?

Nyge: Yeah. Well, I'm not a good texter, notoriously, anyway.

Josiah: True. Alright…

Nyge: (laughing)

Josiah: If I call you… If I call you, you’ll pick up the phone and we’ll talk for a minute. Right? But, if I call you and it’s just like – the one, the one-sentence responses like, “My day was cool.” “Okay, yeah… So like, you know, MY day was cool too. In case you're wondering.” You know what I’m saying?

Nyge: Yeah.

Josiah: Just, you got to, you got to put in that effort. You gotta…

Nyge: It has to feel mutual.

Josiah: Yeah.

Nyge: “Interesting.” (laughs) What have, what have you had to move away from in friendships just as time has gone on?

Josiah: Move away from friendships…? I would say, the directions of our lives, maybe just kind of change. Right? L ike kind of what you were saying – we don't necessarily have to have the same interests, but I kind of want somebody like, I have the same goals, the same drive, the same path as me. I'm trying to think of like, a good example of, like, moving away from a friendship…

Nyge: Something, something I think that you are better at than me is, not holding on to friendships that, like, where you don't feel that effort anymore. I think, for me, like, once we're friends, like, once we're tight – I kind of am just like, “Alright, brah. Like, no matter what, I'm a ride for you. Like, I got you.”

Josiah: For sure.

Nyge: And I think that, that as time has gone on, it's like, it's so difficult for me to be like, “Man, I guess, like, I can't kick it with so-and-so no more, I guess. I guess it's just not like that no more, I guess. Or, whatever. Because I'll just, like, still keep like, coming through, keep showing up to the point where you'll be like, “Bro. Like you gotta, you gotta chill. Like you puttin’ in all this effort. Like you gotta, you gotta look at the effort that you're getting back.” You think that's something that you've always been good at? Or, do you think that's something that you have to, like, develop over time? 

Josiah: I feel like it definitely had to develop over time. Because, it's not something that you, maybe, recognize right away. Like, some time will kind of go by and then you realize that – that, that other person is moving farther and farther away from being a good friend. Alright, so – so for example, for example, like there's a friend of mine.

Nyge: (laughing) Bro! Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Don’t. Chill, chill, chill, chill… (laughing)

Josiah: Nah. It’s like, it’s like… (laughing) Alright. so like, we're both married men. Right?

Nyge: Okay. Okay, okay.

Josiah: And, and there was a time when I was single. You know? And, I was like, you know…

Nyge: You were single. Yeah. We got it. We got you, we got you, got you…

Josiah: And there was, there was like, you know, my friends that are just always just trying to go out and party and have a good time. Right? Which, there's nothing wrong with that. Of course. Love a good time. Love a good party.

Nyge: Right.

Josiah: We're going to go hang out. But, you know, there's now a time in my life, where I feel like I'm a little bit more settled. Right? Like, I'm okay with being a little bit more of a homebody. I'm okay with, you know, just chilling out the crib. And, I got my wife. You know? And we're, we're having a good time just, just hanging out. Right? I don't always feel like every single weekend, every night at the weekend, I got to be doing something crazy. So…

Nyge: Yeah.

Josiah: It's just, it's – that's, I guess, what I kind of mean as far as, like, alignment of goals and like, outlook right now. 

Nyge: What type of maintenance do friendships require?

Josiah: I think it definitely requires communication, you know like, like tapping in with each other. Maybe not so much, like, every day is like a necessity. But like, every once in a while, like just see, “How are you doing? Like, what are you doing in life? Like how, how have you been with your job? How have you been with, you know, relationships? How have you, you know, just been doing stuff in your life?

Nyge: Yeah.

Josiah: So, I think that communication is important. Maybe more so than just, you know, liking a picture on social media. Right? It’s like that true tap-in. Texting, giving a call, and seeing how someone's doing.

Nyge: And what ways have you had to work, and have we had to work, on our friendship?

Josiah: (muttering) Man. I feel like we're marriage counseling or something right now.

Nyge: Hahahahahahaha!

Josiah: Nah. I think again, the biggest thing is communication. Right?

Nyge: Yeah.

Josiah: Sometimes, like you said, you're not always the best texter. I maybe text a little bit better, a little bit more. Sometimes you send me a text and I'm like, “Yo, what is Nyge on right now?” You know?

(laughing)

Josiah: l don’t know what this means. How am I going to take this” And then, you know, I’ll call you, I'm like, “Bro, what's up with this?”

Nyge: Yeah.

Josiah: And you say, “Oh, I didn't mean it like that.” You know? “I was rushing, and I was in the car. I was just trying to, you know, type something real quick, and…” And, it was just like, a simple misunderstanding. Right?

Nyge: Yeah. 

Josiah: So it's just, yeah. The communication, and just making sure that y'all are on the same page.

Nyge: Yeah. It's so, it's so funny when and whenever we have, like, a disagreement. Because, both of us ultimately like, don't want to like, fight with each other. We're both like, trying to get to the…

Josiah: (laughing)

Nyge: …to the like, solution so fast that like, the conversation I'm sure sounds so wild. Like, whenever we're having a disagreement, it's always “Okay. Yeah. So like, don't take this any type of way. Like don't, don't, don't get angry. Like, don't get mad. But, I just, I just think that there's one like, little thing that, like, I just want to tell you. But, like, are you okay with me telling you that?” Like, like it's so, it's so much like - we preface stuff so much…

Josiah: Right.

Nyge: …in those conversations. And I'll notice it in the moment, or I'll be like, ‘Right, if this was anybody else, I would just say whatever I felt. And then, we would just keep talking and figure it out later.’ But, I think we're so similar in the way that we communicate that, like, we try to like out-... we try to like out– kind of –diplomat, the other person. Like… (laughing)

Josiah: No, you’re right. You’re right. You’re right. Which is, which is good. Right?

Nyge: Yeah.

Josiah: You gotta, you gotta tiptoe to some extent. Right?

Nyge: Yeah.

Josiah: The closer of friends you are, maybe a little bit less you tiptoe. But still, as long as you have that respect. Hey, as long as you preface it like this, “Before I just come out and say this, because it could sound a little crazy…” And, I don't know – something that I appreciate about you is that, if I am sounding crazy to you, or if I'm saying something that you may not like, or something that you may not – disagree – you, for sure, give me the time to explain it to you and truly like run that to ground. So to speak. Right? Like, I'm going to give you my full thought process on why I'm saying this, and you're like, willing to hear me out. So, you're not very quick to like, jump, jump to a conclusion – or really quick to just say, “No, that's… That's stupid. Why are you saying that? That doesn't make sense.” You're willing to hear me out.

Nyge: What advice would you give young people trying to develop and maintain long-term friendships? Like, say you're talking to somebody fresh out of high school. They're trying to maintain like, they're trying to keep all their friends close. They're trying to maintain and, maintain and build positive long-term friendships. What's advice that you would give them – kind of looking back on your, your experience with that?

Josiah: I would say – I don't know if this is going to directly answer the question, but… I would say, like, stay true to yourself – only because sometimes it may feel like if you're if you're drawing, if you're moving away from certain friends, or if you feel like you want to be part of a certain friend group, it may want you to change. So, that you can be more like, you can fit in more with that type of friend. Right? Because you don't want to move away from them. But, I say stay true to yourself and still be your genuine person. Right? And then those people that want to maintain that friendship and relationship with you will stick around, essentially.

Nyge: I like that. I think that's really good advice. I want to, I want to pass it over to you. Like, do you have any questions for me, kind of like about our friendship? Or, yeah, pose some questions back to me about, like…

Josiah: Okay. Okay.

Nyge: …the topic of friendships.

Josiah: The topic of friendships… What are your thoughts on that type of relationship for a friend – where you and I, we talk like, every day. And then, a friend that you may feel is like really close to you, but you don't talk for maybe months, even years. But then – when you see each other, you like dab it up. You guys talk as if like, you do talk every day. Like, you feel like there's one relationship that may be stronger than the other, even though you still have those feelings for that person you haven't seen in over a long period of time?

Nyge: I don't think there's an issue with having friends that where you all kind of just pick up right where y'all just left off. I have a lot of those friends and acquaintances and things like that, but I think with those situations I often wonder like, “Man, why don't we stay in touch?” Like, there's always people who I hang out with where I'm like – I'll be in the middle of hanging out with them, and I'll be like, “Bro, why don't we do this more often? Like, I wish we could stay in touch more” – and we'll say it like, to each other, in the moment. And it’ll like, “Bro, like, we're going to be tapped in. Like, there’s no more, there's no more of this, “Like, I’ll see you once a year type stuff, like we're going to lock in!” And then, we go home, we like, text each other. We try to set something up. It doesn't work out for whatever reason. And then we kind of just fall off. And then, we catch up the next year and it's like, “Bro, we're not doing this again!” And it's just like this, this forever like. a repeating cycle. And I don't, I really don't know what to do about that. I'm very much in that space where I have a lot of different friends, where as soon as I see them, they make that face like, “We did it, again!” And I'm like, “I know. Like, I'm sorry, but we gotta figure it out.” Shout out to my boy Jason for, shout out… Jason comes to mind. We gotta lock in, bro. We gotta lock in!

Josiah: Got to lock in.

[BREAK]

Nyge: Let's get back to breaking down the ins and outs of friendship with Josiah.

Josiah: Like you said, you try to make that effort, but there's there's very unique people. Right? It's a, it's a very unique type of relationship that if you see someone and in that much time does go by. You can still pick it up, right back, right where you were. Yeah, basically, pick it up. Pick it up right where, right where it was.

Nyge: (laughing) I get what you’re saying.

Josiah: Yeah, so.

Nyge: Yeah, nah. I think you should still continue to explore those type of relationships, and those friendships. I think that was something that kind of happened with us for a period of time. I think there was like a, a period of like a year where we didn't really talk. And, we weren't really beefing or anything like that. We kind of just…

Josiah: Well… (laughing) Nah, I’m just playin’. I’m playin’.

Nyge: (laughing) But, we started, we started hanging out with different groups of people.

Josiah: Yeah.

Nyge:  And, I would see you, kind of like, with your crew or whatever, your group of people. And I was like, “Okay, that's how – that's where Josie is moving, you know, now,” or whatever. And then, you will see me and then, “Oh, okay. How you doin?” But, yeah.

Josiah: But, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Nyge:  Yeah, there wasn’t anything wrong with that. And then I think, we just somehow, those groups kind of merged at one party or something like that. And we ended up kicking it for like a day. And then we just kept, like, extending the day. Like we went, I think we, we were in, like… It started off in, like San Francisco or something like that. Right? Like at PIER 39, we were like, hanging out. And we kicked it at PIER 39. Then we kicked it somewhere else. And then, you were like, “Oh, let's come – everybody come back to my house.” And it was just, like, me, you and someone else.

Josiah: Oh. I do remember that. Yeah.

Nyge: And then we ended up going back to your house too. And I was like, “Okay, like, we keep extending the day to keep hanging out. Like, we should just hang out more.” And then I think we just started hanging out again, like really regularly after that. And then we got like really, really tight after that. Got really locked in. But yeah, I think those relationships, those friendships, like you feel that way for a reason. You should listen to yourself and listen to the people who – listen to, to how you feel and pay attention to who you are and how much you like who you are around different people.

Josiah: Yup.

Nyge: And when you, when you peep that – like when you really realize, “Oh, I, I like who I am around you. This is the direction I'm trying to move in.” I think those are the people that you should surround yourself [with]. Not solely for that reason, but I do think that's a really good quality when you are looking for friends.

Josiah: Yeah. No, I agree. You always want to surround yourself with people who are going to help level you up. Right? That's not always a necessity in a friend. But like, I feel like that is something that I also look for. Right? Because if I'm just always around somebody who's just always like, kind of doing the same stuff. You know, not really doing much with their life. You know, I love you. I have love for you. But I also want to surround myself with people that are going to help me level up. Right? That are gonna help me improve and be a better person and, you know, reach the goals that I want to reach.

[YR Music]

Nyge: Communication in any type of relationship can be  uncomfortable, but it’s necessary to keep the people you love close. Now, we’ll hear from some YR stars on their thoughts on friendship. 

Nubia: A way I show my friends I appreciate them is texting them, like, all the time. And, being there for them, like talking to them whenever they need it.

Jalen: Mainly I'm always like, able to check in with them and just talk with how they're doing. And one thing I always try to do is like, I'm a good listener, I can listen to anything somebody needs, like, I'm there.

Ny’annah: She's a good friend because, she helps me understand. She. She helps me. She gives good advice and good people to hang around good people or bad people to hang around. 

Nubia: I would say my friend Nyana here is a very good friend because any time I'm bored or anytime, just like being me chilling, she always comes and tells me the most entertaining stories. She's a really good storyteller and she's really fun to be around.

Nyge: Pour into your friends and surround yourself with people who pour into you. As life goes on, those relationships will mean more and more.

[YR Music]

Nyge: Adult ISH is produced by YR Media, a national network of young artists and journalists creating content for this generation.

Our show is produced by Fredia Lucas, Dominique French, and by me: your boy, Nyge Turner.

Our engineer is James Riley, and our audio engineering fellow is Christian Romo.

YR’s director of podcasting is Sam Choo.

YR’s senior director of podcasting and partnerships is Rebecca Martin.

Our interns are Menelik Ransom and Jalen Black.

Original music for this episode created by these young musicians at YR: 

Christian Romo, Anders Knutstad, Noah Holt, Jacob Armenta, Chaz Whitley, Michael Diaz, Sean Luciano Galarza. and David Lawrence.

Music direction by Oliver “Kuya” Rodriguez and Maya Drexler. 

Art and visuals are produced by the youth co-led design team at YR Media.

Creative Direction by Pedro Vega Jr.

Designs by Jess Smolinski, Marjerrie Masicat, and Brigido Bautista.

Project management by Eli Arbreton. 

Special thanks to Kathy Chaney and Kyra Kyles.

Adult ISH is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a network of independent creator-owned, listener-supported podcasts. Discover audio with vision at Radiotopia.fm.

And if you haven’t reviewed our show on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, please be sure to do so. Five stars is much-appreciated.

You can follow us on all the socials at @YRAdultISH. And on that note, we’ll see y’all later.

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Invest in the diverse voices that will shape and lead the future of journalism and art.
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