You have a friend you’ve known for years. She has a boyfriend and you have a girlfriend but you are best of friends. You hang out together when you have free time and do many things together. Your love for her as your best friend is pure. You’ve never thought of making a move on her because you are happy in your relationship. You are in a platonic relationship.
Platonic Relationship Definition
You may be asking yourself “What is a platonic relationship?” or “What does platonic mean?” According to Wikipedia, a platonic relationship is a relationship between members of the opposite sex that doesn’t involve any sexual activity.
It is a relationship that is purely affectionate. The relationship gets its name from Plato who first described it. Some people define a platonic relationship as a relationship between two people of the same sex or of the opposite sex that is not sexual. Whichever way you look at it, a platonic relationship has one meaning: it is a relationship devoid of sex and lust.
Can men and women be just friends? The answer is a booming “Yes!” While this question has provoked intense debates, memorable movies, and lurid literature, the truth is that two people can be friends without having sexual feelings for each other.
When two people are not attracted to each other or don’t see a romantic future together, there is no tension. What ensues is a successful and supportive friendship. A platonic relationship is one of the best relationships you can ever have. It gives you a deeper insight into the opposite sex, yourself and most of all allows you to open up and be who you are because you are not expecting or trying to get something from your friend.
Platonic relationships are possible and happen all the time. Men and women work, play, and live together without developing sexual feelings for each other. While one person’s feelings may interfere with the relationship at some point, the relationship can be maintained if the feelings are unrequited.
If you are in a platonic relationship and start to have romantic feelings for your friend, don’t express them if you know your friend doesn’t feel the same way. For your relationship to work, you must understand that you two have no romantic future and behave accordingly. If you continue to harbor those feelings, your relationship will not work.
How to Make a Platonic Relationship Work
Set Ground Rules
Most platonic relationships never work because people never set ground rules from the start. If you have a boyfriend or you are married, make it clear that you don’t want a romantic relationship. Your friend will stop seeing you as a potential romantic partner and focus on building your friendship.
Avoid Physical Intimacy
Simple things like hugging or cuddling up can give way to sexual desires. Even a harmless thing like snuggling under the blankets and watching a movie can cause sexual tension. Sexual tension makes things awkward and can easily crop up if you are both unfamiliar with each other’s bodies.
Pay attention to how you dress around each other. If ‘she’ is wearing low cut tops or tight fitting pants it will increase the sexual tension considerably.
This doesn’t mean that you strip naked so you can see each other’s assets. It means you learn to look at your friend’s body without sexual appreciation. Spending a lot of time together can help you do that.
While times have changed, many people still don’t understand platonic relationships. They often think that platonic relationships will turn into romantic ones at one point or another. Talk to your partner about the nature of your relationship.
Ask your friend to tell his partner about your platonic relationship. Also steer clear of compromising situations. Don’t go to their apartment at night after you’ve argued with your partner or spend too much time alone. Never put your friend before your partner.
Hang Out With Other People
If you are not dating someone, avoid spending too much time alone with your platonic friend. You are simply asking for trouble. Don’t go on dates together or do many activities together. Involve other people as this will help establish your friendship.
Once the boundaries are clear, you can hang out together. In addition, have more platonic friends so you don’t get too attached to your friend. It’s easy to start having feelings for your friend is your friendship is one of a kind.
Benefits of a Platonic Relationship
It Lasts Longer Than a Romantic Relationship
Many times, platonic relationships outlive romantic ones. This is because they are devoid of romance and other relationship drama. Lovers break up over demands and disagreements, but friendships are stronger, healthier, and safer. With the correct approach, platonic relationships can last a lifetime.
It Improves Your Health
A platonic relationship can have a positive effect on your health. Studies show that those who have a deep connection with others can lower the risk of diseases like high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and depression. Platonic friends can also encourage you to avoid unhealthy habits – such as excessive drinking and not exercising – and live a healthier life.
It’s an Antidote to Loneliness
People who have no friends are very lonely. While not everyone is extremely social, we all need personal interactions from time to time. A platonic friendship can help get rid of your loneliness. It can enhance your purpose and belonging and boost your self-worth and self-confidence. It can also help you to cope with difficult situations in life such as serious illnesses, divorce, or the death of a loved one.
You Can Talk About Anything
Another great benefit of a platonic friendship is that you can talk about anything. You can share your deepest thoughts and feelings without fear of being judged. You can talk about emotional, spiritual, and even physical matters without worrying about jealousy. Platonic relationships often become the strongest of friendships because you always have someone to talk to.
Create a Platonic Friendship That Lasts
Most people say that having a platonic friendship is just not possible, but it is. The only question you need to ask yourself is if you are capable of creating and maintaining a platonic relationship. Most people think they want platonic relationships when in reality they want so much more.
For your friendship to work, it must be free of sexual desire. A platonic relationship can work, but only if you want it to. Men and women can be the best of friends, as long as they are honest and want only friendship.
Author: Esateys Stuchiner
Esateys (pronounced Ee sáh teez) is an International Life Transformational Speaker, Author, Master Facilitator, Life Coach and Expert in the Human condition. She is a Nationally and Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. For over 30 years, she has practiced, taught and lectured extensively in the allopathic and alternative medicine field.
Esateys is known for her groundbreaking work in the areas of personal empowerment and health restoration using mindset and inner connection as the catalyst for all change.
Esateys describes herself as the ‘Architect of the New You’ and has dedicated her life and professional career to helping her clients create “New Beginnings” by facilitating self empowerment, economic freedom and restored health.
For more information, go to esateys.com.