Platonic Friendship: Here’s 5 Exclusive Tips to Know if You Are In a Platonic Relationship
Derived from the Greek philosopher Plato, the term “Platonic Friendship” was first used to describe a friendship that brings out your best traits, and as a result will allow you to attain a certain level of divine wisdom. However in modern society, we’ve come to define the term ‘platonic’ and its associated usages such as “Platonic Love”, “Platonic Friendship” and “Platonic Relationship” as one that’s non-sexual in nature.
So while a platonic friendship could still be one that brings out the best traits in people, we commonly know it as a relationship between a male and female (more so than same-sex relationships due to the differences in how men and women tend to view relationships) who are “just friends”.
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While the “just friends” connotation might create the notion that a Platonic Friendship is on the opposite end of romantic love, this isn’t necessarily the case. Similar to its original meaning, a platonic love, like a romantic love, can be as deep and intense, and create a powerful attachment between people.
In many situations, the person you have a Platonic Relationship with could be someone you’d go the distance for, but just have no romantic interest in or any sexual attraction to. If you’re uncertain on whether the friendship you have is a platonic one, the following characteristics will help you recognize it and ideally, manage it.
Not to say that one cannot be completely honest with your romantic partner, but with a platonic friendship, there is little to no need to keep up with appearances in order to impress the other person. You’re able to share with them openly your dating troubles and personal embarrassments without fear of judgement or disappointing the other person.
At the same time, as your platonic friend is of the opposite sex, you’re able to get insights and perspectives that you won’t always get from your romantic partner, especially when you’re at the initial stages of dating.
While you can be completely honest with each other, there are also certain boundaries which you both know implicitly not to cross. As time passes, you’ll learn how far they can be pushed, and when it’s too much. For example, when traveling together, will you stay in the same room? If so, will that change if one or both of you are seeing other people?
In terms of physical contact, you also understand there is a level of touchy-feely you both can accept, before it creates questions on whether you have intentions beyond friendship. These boundaries will also help your significant other feel reassured that your friendship is as it is, and that it would not pose any potential threat to your romantic relationship.
Ask yourself: Would you be more or less forgiving to a platonic friend who has committed the same mistake as your romantic partner? The majority would answer more forgiving, largely because they’re your friend, and not the person you’ll potentially pick as your life partner/spouse.
We tend to hold our romantic partners to a higher standard than our friends, even if they’re extremely close, because our romantic partners will become part of our everyday, and the person we’ll share a home, children, bank accounts etc with.
However with a platonic friend, we are quicker to let go of their flaws, but at the same time know how to call out their behavior without feeling excessively disappointed as you would with your significant other.
Typically seen as the place men (and sometimes women) are condemned to after someone they’ve expressed romantic interest in only wants to be friends. While the male might agree to remain as friends, the fact that there was a romantic interest in the first place disqualifies the relationship from being a platonic one.
Furthermore, more often than not, men will agree to stay in the friendship, in the hopes that their friend will change their mind and develop romantic feelings.
The term FWB is commonly used for a friendship where sex is involved, but usually without any romantic feelings or expressed commitment.
While you might care for each other as friends, there is little to no expectations, and is just sex. A platonic friendship on the other hand, is strictly non-sexual.
While there remains the debate on whether men and women can ever be “just friends”, it’s undeniable that having a platonic relationship comes with several benefits, amongst which include a better understanding of how the opposite sex thinks and perceives the world.
Aside from that, today’s social environment – be it at work or play – calls for regular interaction with members of the opposite sex.
Therefore, being able to have and maintain platonic friendships will not only set you up for a healthy social life, but also a far less complicated one – imagine if every opposite-sex relationship was expected to turn out romantically!
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