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In a world where we are bombarded with messages about finding our soulmates and true love, it’s easy to forget that not all relationships have to be romantic.
In fact, some of the most meaningful and lasting relationships are platonic ones.
So, what exactly is a platonic relationship? What are the benefits and challenges, types, misunderstandings, and tips for maintaining a platonic relationship?
Read on to find out…
What Is a Platonic Relationship
A platonic relationship is one that is free of any sexual or romantic desires. Platonic relationships are purely friendly and platonic (hence the name).
Platonic relationships are actually quite common. Think of your best friend, sibling, or co-worker, chances are good that your relationship with them is platonic.
What Are the Benefits of Platonic Relationships
Platonic relationships offer us the opportunity to connect with others without the complications that can come with more romantic types of relationships.
Because there is no sexual or romantic tension involved, platonic relationships tend to be much less drama-filled than their counterparts. This can be a refreshing change of pace, especially if you’ve had your fair share of bad experiences with dating.
Another benefit of platonic relationships is that they can be more relaxed and easygoing than romantic relationships. There is no pressure to impress or perform, and you can just be yourself around your friend.
Platonic relationships provide us with an opportunity to expand our social circles and meet new people who we wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to get to know.
And last but not least, platonic relationships can be a substantial source of support, especially when life gets tough. We all need someone to lean on from time to time, and having a few close friends who we can count on is invaluable.
Platonic Relationship Challenges
One of the biggest challenges of being in a platonic relationship is maintaining boundaries.
It can be easy to blur the lines between friendship and something more, so it’s important to make sure that you are clear about what your relationship is and isn’t.
Another challenge of platonic relationships is dealing with jealousy.
If you find yourself feeling jealous of your friend’s other relationships (romantic or otherwise), it’s important to communicate with them about it.
Jealousy can be a normal emotion, but it can also be damaging to a relationship if it’s not dealt with in a healthy way.
Types of Platonic Relationships
There are many different types of platonic relationships, but some of the most common ones include friendships, familial relationships, and professional relationships.
Friendships are perhaps the most common type of platonic relationship. We all have friends, and most of our friendships are platonic in nature.
Professional relationships are usually platonic as well, although there may be some exceptions. Mostly, though, people form close professional relationships with those they trust and respect, but who they don’t want to date or sleep with.
Misunderstandings About Platonic Relationships
One of the most common misunderstandings about platonic relationships is that they are less meaningful than romantic relationships, but this couldn’t be further from the truth!
Platonic relationships are just as valid and important as any other type of relationship. Just because there is no sexual or romantic attraction doesn’t mean that the friendship is any less special.
In fact, many people find that their platonic relationships are some of the most rewarding and fulfilling ones they have.
Another common misunderstanding about platonic relationships is that they are less intense or passionate than romantic relationships.
Again, this is simply not true. Platonic relationships can be just as intense and passionate (in a none sexual way) as any other type of relationship.
The key difference is that they are based on respect and friendship, not sexual or romantic attraction.
Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Platonic Relationship
1. Be clear about your boundaries
Make sure you and your friend are on the same page about what your relationship is and isn’t. This will help prevent any misunderstandings or hurt feelings down the line.
2. Be honest with each other
We build platonic relationships on trust, so it’s important to be honest with your friend about your thoughts and feelings. If you’re feeling jealous or insecure, tell them!
It’s better to deal with these issues openly than to let them fester and damage the relationship.
3. Don’t take each other for granted
Just because your relationship is platonic doesn’t mean it’s any less important. Make sure you always show your friend love and respect.
4. Have fun!
Platonic relationships can be some of the most enjoyable and rewarding relationships you have, so make sure you take the time to enjoy your friend’s company. Go on adventures, laugh together, and just enjoy each moment together.
Signs a Platonic Relationship is Turning into Something More
There are a few signs that a platonic relationship might turn into something more:
1. You get jealous of your friend’s other relationships
If you find yourself feeling jealous or threatened by your friend’s other friendships, it could be a sign that you’re developing romantic feelings for them.
2. You fantasize about them
If you daydream about what it would be like to date your friend or kissing them, it’s obviously a sign that your feelings might be changing.
3. You start to feel possessive of them
If you get angry when your friend talks to other people or wants to spend time with someone else, it could be a sign that you’re developing feelings of possessiveness and becoming psychically attracted to them.
4. You act differently around them
If you dress up more for them or try to impress, or look more attractive around your friend, it’s a sign that you might be interested in them romantically.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to communicate with your friend about how you’re feeling.
Platonic relationships can be great, but they can also confuse if one person develops romantic feelings for the other. It’s important to be honest with each other so you can figure out what you both want from the relationship.
If you’re looking for a close relationship free of drama and complication, then a platonic relationship might be right for you.
These types of relationships offer many benefits, including the chance to meet new people, expand your social circle, and have a reliable support system when life gets tough.