How to Make a Platonic Relationship Work
Many people enjoy great friendships with members of the opposite sex every day, so a platonic relationship with a man or woman can certainly work if you both want it to. It’s possible that at times you may both have feelings that the nature of your relationship doesn’t allow for, but as long as neither of you acts on them, this doesn’t need to damage your friendship. Platonic relationships can work very well if you’re both on the same page and continue to respect each other. This type of relationship can be extremely fulfilling, especially if they’re offering valuable advice and support and great conversation. So, don’t be deterred from enjoying and nurturing a friendship with someone simply because they’re of the opposite sex.
What is a platonic relationship?
It can be difficult to define a platonic relationship, and that’s because people have differing views on just what it entails. In fact, platonic relationships occur between friends who love and admire each other, often sharing common interests and similar views. What’s important to remember is that platonic friends don’t engage in any type of sexual activity. This isn’t what platonic love is all about. So, when people talk about having ‘friends with benefits’, these aren’t considered platonic relationships. Loving someone platonically is possible because romance doesn’t have to be involved. It can simply mean that you understand them in a special way and that you’re totally in tune with that person.
Tips for making platonic relationships work
It’s important to have trust in your decision to embark on a platonic relationship with a friend. You may face societal pressures from people who don’t quite understand your friendship, but don’t let this deter you. You are responsible for your own choice and you need to have faith that you’ve made the right one. There are so many benefits to a platonic relationship, and it may help to remind yourself of these from time to time. Not only can you learn from someone in a safe and uncompromising way, without being plagued by the doubts and complications that come with sex and romance, but you can enjoy tenderness and spiritual connection for many years to come.
Reassure your spouse
It’s important to recognise that other people may be impacted by your platonic relationship with a friend. That’s why it’s helpful to be honest and open with your spouse, partner, or lover about the nature of the friendship from the very start. Acknowledge and address their concerns and reassure them that they have nothing to worry about. Don’t make them nervous by hanging out at your platonic friend’s house late at night if you haven’t agreed this with them in advance. Secretive actions can fuel your partner’s concerns about your friendship, which could even lead them to ask you to stop seeing them altogether. Maintaining a platonic relationship simply isn’t possible if you don’t have the approval and acceptance of your significant other.
Be mindful of your actions
You need to be mindful of what you say and do when you have a platonic girlfriend or platonic boyfriend. You should always ask yourself if you’d act in such a way if your spouse was there. For example, if you wouldn’t be touching your friend as much if your partner was present, there’s a good chance that you’ve overstepped a mark. Platonic friendships don’t give you a right to flirt when your spouse isn’t there.
Avoid making comparisons between your friend and spouse
This is a big no-no if you’re platonically dating a friend. Comparing them with your spouse is inappropriate and will only lead to trouble. It’s important to remember that we see our partners every day and see their bad traits regularly. After all, you can’t expect your partner to be a great mood every minute of every day! We only really see the best in our friends, especially if we don’t see them that often. It’s not fair or healthy to compare your friend and spouse, and it could even cause serious damage to your relationship with your partner.
Maintain clear boundaries
Even if you have an otherwise great marriage, it’s unlikely that your spouse will share all of your interests. That’s why platonic relationships are so great. You can enjoy pastimes and talk about topics that would bore your partner. However, it’s vital that you don’t confuse the sharing of common interests with romantic feelings. You need to draw a line between the two and maintain clear boundaries at all times. If you can’t do this, there could be trouble ahead for both your platonic friendship and your relationship with your spouse.
Be honest about your feelings
Unless you and your friend are not attracted to people of your own gender, it’s always possible that romantic feelings could arise between you. This isn’t uncommon in platonic relationships, but for many people, this can be difficult to ignore. It may be that you’re actually having an emotional affair with your friend, with either a spoken or unspoken agreement that it won’t become sexual. The truth is, an emotional affair can cause as much damage to a marriage as a physical one. It’s essential that you’re honest about your feelings for your friend. If you want your relationship with your spouse to survive, it may be that you need to end your platonic with your friend, as hard as it might be.
The question ‘can platonic relationships work?’ is a common one, and that’s because many people simply can’t understand how people of the opposite sex can enjoy friendship without sex complicating things. The truth is, it’s possible for men and women to enjoy happy platonic relationships, as long as neither chooses to cross the line into intimacy. If you can get to a point where you’re close like siblings and able to share each other’s joys, fears, and successes, you have a very special relationship indeed.
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