Platonic relationships are often misunderstood and undervalued in our society. Many people think that platonic means boring, unfulfilling, or lacking in passion. However, platonic relationships can be some of the most meaningful and rewarding ones in our lives. In this blog post, we will explore what platonic relationships are, how they differ from romantic and sexual relationships, and what benefits they can offer.
What Is a Platonic Relationship?
A platonic relationship is a close friendship between two people that does not involve sexual or romantic feelings. The term platonic comes from the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, who believed that the highest form of love was based on intellectual and spiritual connection, rather than physical attraction. Platonic love can also be described as a type of love that transcends the physical and aims for a higher ideal.
Platonic relationships can occur between people of the same or opposite sex, and can be based on shared interests, values, hobbies, goals, or experiences. Platonic friends may feel a deep affection, respect, and care for each other, but they do not have a desire to be physically intimate or romantically involved. Platonic relationships are often characterized by honesty, acceptance, understanding, and support.
How Do Platonic Relationships Differ From Romantic and Sexual Relationships?
Platonic relationships are different from romantic and sexual relationships in several ways. While both types of relationships may involve having a strong friendship and sometimes even love, people in a romantic relationship are typically physically intimate and emotionally attached, whereas there is no sex or romance in a platonic relationship. It is possible to have a desire for physical intimacy (such as hugging, kissing, or touching) or sex with a platonic friend, but not act on it. If no physical intimacy or sex occurs between two people, it is a platonic relationship—even if the desire is there.
|Romantic Relationship||Platonic Relationship|
|Involves deep friendship||Involves deep friendship|
|Generally involves both people having a desire for physical intimacy||People involved may or may not have a desire for physical intimacy|
|Often involves physical intimacy and/or sex||No physical intimacy or sex occurs|
What Are the Benefits of Platonic Relationships?
Platonic relationships can offer many benefits for our well-being and happiness. Some of the advantages of having platonic friends include:
- Reduced stress: Having someone to talk to, vent to, or laugh with can help lower our stress levels and cope with life’s challenges.
- Increased support: Having someone who cares about us, listens to us, and gives us advice can make us feel valued and supported.
- Improved communication: Having someone who respects our opinions, understands our feelings, and accepts our differences can help us improve our communication skills and express ourselves better.
- Sense of belonging: Having someone who shares our interests, passions, or hobbies can make us feel connected and part of a community.
- New perspectives: Having someone who challenges us, inspires us, or teaches us something new can help us broaden our horizons and learn new things.
- Personal growth: Having someone who encourages us, motivates us, or pushes us out of our comfort zone can help us grow as individuals and achieve our goals.
How to Maintain Platonic Relationships?
Platonic relationships are not always easy to maintain. Sometimes they can face challenges such as jealousy, misunderstanding, boundary issues, or unrequited feelings. To keep your platonic relationships healthy and strong, here are some tips to follow:
- Be honest: Be open and truthful with your platonic friend about your feelings, expectations, and needs. Don’t hide anything or lie to them.
- Respect boundaries: Respect your platonic friend’s personal space, privacy, and preferences. Don’t cross any lines that might make them uncomfortable or hurt them.
- Communicate: Communicate regularly with your platonic friend about what’s going on in your life, how you’re feeling, and what you need from them. Don’t assume anything or take them for granted.
- Be considerate: Be considerate of your platonic friend’s feelings, opinions, and situations. Don’t judge them or criticize them harshly.
- Appreciate: Appreciate your platonic friend for who they are, what they do for you, and how they make you feel. Don’t forget to express your gratitude and affection.
Platonic relationships are valuable and enriching forms of love that can enhance our lives in many ways. They are not inferior or less important than romantic or sexual relationships; they are simply different and unique. Platonic friends can be some of the best friends we ever have—they can make us laugh, cry, learn, grow, and feel loved.
1: What Is A Platonic Relationship? Meaning & Definition 2: What Is A Platonic Relationship? – Simply Psychology 3: What Is a Platonic Relationship? – Verywell Mind 4: [The Benefits of Friendship – Mayo Clinic] 5: The Benefits of Platonic Relationships – YourTango