Benefits of a Platonic Relationship

Platonic relationship definition can be difficult; however, many people have got different definitions but same meaning. They view platonic relationship as a:

  • Companionable nonsexual nonphysical friendly relationship.
  • Platonic love is an affectionable relationship without sexual contact.
  • Love of soul not a bodily love or a relationship in which you share the plates & not the bed.
  • The general notion of platonic friendship is an intimacy between a man and a woman which has no element of sex in it, but which is nearly as warm as love.
  • It is a relationship where you have a deep mindful and emotional connection with either a member of the opposite sex OR with a friend you build trust with (who may even be of the same sex), without the expectation or any possible initiative of a sexual favor or interaction.

In summary: platonic relationship is a solid friendship between a man and a woman that doesn't cross the sexual or romantic love boundaries.

Platonic relationships, although tough to maintain, can be beneficial and amazing experience. They provide a source of trust and happiness. They are welcoming relationships that help participants grow emotionally. As long as partners remain honest and loyal, a platonic relationship can provide a best friend and a safe-haven for its participants. Platonic relationships can develop into deeper romantic relationships in the future, but this should not be the expectation. Partners must be extremely careful to not hurt one another. As long as interests are clearly understood, platonic relationships are healthy resources of friendship and love balanced out well.

One of the most difficult issues with platonic relationships is controlling urges. Two people in a platonic relationship must be able to fight the urge to grow closer.

If one person in the relationship has developed romantic feelings for the other person, this relationship can no longer function as a platonic one. Partners will feel upset when they realize that the other person does not share the same romantic feelings. This can create a major disturbance in the friendship, and sometimes, it can separate friends and remove the closeness they previously had. Heartbreak can occur when one person in the platonic relationship enters a new romantic relationship. This can cause jealousy in many instances. This can also be an alarming experience if one person in the platonic relationship did not know of the other person's romantic interest. Heartbreak can also occur when a romantic relationship collides with a platonic relationship.

The partner's lover may disapprove of the platonic relationship. The new lover may also want the partner to spend less time in the platonic relationship. This can be incredibly difficult to carry through, and it can become even more difficult if a person has to choose between the two relationships.

Reassure others who might be impacted by your platonic relationship.

Where there are partners, spouses, lovers, etc., involved, it can be helpful to clear the air with them early on about the nature of your platonic friendship. Do likewise for your platonic friend's other half where politic. Stay out of potentially compromising situations, such as being at their apartment late at night without your spouse's  knowledge/agreement. Acknowledge that sometimes the partner's concerns about your platonic relationship can be the hardest part of maintaining a platonic friendship. Your spouse needs to know that (a) you aren't talking or complaining about them, (b) you will be open with your spouse about what you say and do with your platonic friend, (c) there will be no secretive actions, and (d) you will not let the platonic friend get closer to you than your spouse. If you have a secretive, intensely close relationship with your platonic friend, then you actually are having an emotional affair.

Defining boundaries

Defining the boundaries of your platonic relationship starts with you. Becoming aware of your feelings and needs can help to build a better relationship with the other person. Knowing your own limitations within the friendship and what you want to receive from the other can build a stronger relationship in the future.

Creating open communication is the first step to defining the boundaries of your relationship. Share your thoughts, needs, and limitations with your friend so that you both clearly understand the nature of the relationship. Often, one person may have a hard time being just friends so it's important to define the platonic relationship from the beginning.

Benefits

It helps to remember what is gained by remaining platonic rather than ever being tempted to throw that away in a moment of romantic weakness. The benefits of platonic friendships include:

  • You aren't plagued by the intimacy of romantic love and sexual relations, with all the accompanying doubts, jealousies, complications, etc.
  • Neither of you need to perform in front of one another; you are who you are
  • You can learn about the opposite sex from one another in a safe and uncompromising way
  • Both of you benefit from each other's perspectives on challenges facing you in relations with other people. So whatever it is you're facing, you know that buddy of yours is going to shoot from the hip.  This is particularly true when discussing your dating dilemmas because, remember, a real friend, regardless of gender, is always going to have your best interest at heart and give it to you straight.
  • There is always someone you can go to for genuine, fearless, and forthright advice - platonic friendships tend to have a quality that transcends the often unspoken competitive and conforming needs of same gender friendships
  • You've always got a date- Invariably we all get invited to those events that may not officially require a date but there is the unspoken expectation that you'll be accompanied by somebody. 
  • They can introduce you to their friends- What a better way to meet other people of the opposite sex than through your friend who also happens to be of that sex?  But be careful here, this can sometimes be tricky because your friend may be hesitant to introduce you to someone because if things happen to go south they'll be caught in the middle.  Still, when you do get an introduction you know some thought has been put into it. 

WARNING: If you do feel romantically entangled with your platonic friend and it is not reciprocated, you can end up feeling deeply hurt and betrayed and it can be very hard to mend the friendship again. Even if it is reciprocated, things won't be the same again if the friendship-turned-love doesn't work out. And be warned, platonic friendships that turn to romantic love often don't work out because that ruins the "something special" the two of you had to begin with.

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Page Updated: 05 April 2013