Aaron Schuster at Cabinet Magazine:
What if the secret of the Symposium was that it is not so much about love as breaking up? Just as we speak of Platonic love, so we should speak of the Platonic breakup, which is, of course, the ideal form of the breakup. Its formula, invented by Socrates, has two parts:
1) I am nothing.
2) You would be happier with someone else.
In what follows, I will sketch a brief history of this formula, culminating in the peculiar amorous adventure that is psychoanalysis. But first, what does Plato mean by it?
The formula concerns the end of the affair between Socrates and Alcibiades. The dazzlingly brilliant and bewildering philosopher and the dashing, larger-than-life general and politician were one of the great couples of the Golden Age of Athens.