There are many who want to know What is Platonic love, Platonic relationship, and Platonic friendship. If you too are confused whether your relationship with your best friend is Platonic or is there anything else on the table, then you must know the definition of the word.
In this article, I am going to share my thoughts on this affectionate relationship according to what I have read, seen, and experienced.
The simple definition of Platonic is when two individuals are intimate and affectionate towards each other but not in a sexual way. A platonic relationship can be friendship, love, bro-relationship, or any other kind between two people. It is one of the purest forms of feeling you get for someone else.
What Does Platonic Relationship Mean
Here is what Wikipedia has to say about this:
It is a type of love that you experience with someone in a non-romantic way. This type of close relationship is named after Plato – a Greek Philosopher. However, he never used this term himself.
In simple words, platonic love is when you rise from physical attraction and are closer or attracted to someone’s soul. If you have ever been with someone and had difficulty understanding why you are so close to that person even though you don’t want to have a physical desire to be with them, you know what platonic is.
Here is another take on being platonic with someone by Urban dictionary:
Simply put, when you do not want to be with someone in a sexual relationship, but find them nice and want to be their friend, it means that you want to be platonic with them.
People also call this the “friendzone”. Some often get scared or are dejected when they are put there, but it all depends on how you feel about someone. It should be taken care that you are not confusing friendship with love. If you have sexual feelings for someone, you are going to get a blow when they see you as “just friends”.
So basically, what I am trying to say here is that when you surpass the phase where you want to “just hang out” and rather be with them emotionally, your relationship can be stated as platonic.
To understand being platonic, you need to understand the basics.
synonym for platonic: chaste, spiritual, intellectual, pure, nonsexual
opposite of platonic: physical, bodily, romantic, passionate, lustful
Now, you understand what it means when someone wants to be platonic with you. They don’t want to “spend the night” but rather they would have a fulfilling and pure bond with you.
Platonic Love Examples
The easiest example of this is “Bromance”.
If you have seen “How I met your mother” you know what a bromance is. Barney Stinson always referred to something called “Bro code” where a bro is not allowed to do certain things to save the brotherly relationship the two guys have.
If I man says “I love you” to another man, there is nothing wrong in it. If they are gay-couple, and they are having sex, then it is not a bromance it is just a normal relationship and not a platonic love. But if they are not, they are just good friends who happen to have care for each other, they are in a platonic relationship.
Why is Platonic Relationship Beneficial?
The more important question here is – Is being platonic better than being in a romantic relationship?
The answer is that when you are a good friend to someone, without expectations, it is much better than being in a fake and disloyal relationship.
Here are some characteristics of such a relationship that will surely help you understand it, manage the expectations, and have a healthy friendship with someone.
1. People who are platonic are always honest to each other.
They do not have any hidden motives or fear of losing someone. The stakes are not as high as you are not technically dating. There is no hiding, having an itch of being cautious, or a desperate need to make them stay. You are brutally honest, without having to maintain a frontage or a fake self. You can share things that you would never do with your romantic partners. There is nothing to lose but a lot to gain in such cases.
There are no complications. There is no care about how your actions will make you look. There is a consideration for each other and no games in mind. You can ask anything, give actual answers to those questions without feeling shy. Moreover, this relationship is far from fragile. There is strength like a rock, unlike romantic love, it doesn’t need much nurturing.
In short, people in platonic relationships are open to each other like an open book.
2. All the boundaries are respected in a platonic bond.
Even though we say that platonic people share everything, that doesn’t mean they don’t have boundaries. These boundaries are set according to the level of closeness you feel for each other. However, they are not usually discussed. You just know they are there. What your friend thinks, what they want, you know it somehow. And you never cross these boundaries.
This is not the same in a romantic relationship. There are boundaries, which are often crossed.
3. Expectations never come in a platonic relationship
When you are involved with someone, you always expect something. Either it is love, financial help, or just emotional support. But in a platonic involvement, you never feel anything of that sort. You just are there with them, without any promises or any expectations. We forgive them for their mistakes, make up for any fights we have and don’t even expect them to say a simple “sorry”.
4. There is no point in being selfish
As mentioned in the last point, there is no expectation, and hence – no selfishness. You both know what is best for the other. You keep the relationship before your own requirements. You try to be with them when they might need you even though they don’t tell you that themselves.
Misconceptions About Platonic Friendships
There are a lot of misconceptions about platonic relationships. Many people think that when a girl says that she sees her relationship with a guy as platonic it means that she has rejected him. So, let’s clear some things up.
1. It is not friends with benefits. There are no benefits involved.
2. It is strictly non-sexual
3. Both are on the same page. If one of the two feels even a bit of physically attracted to the other person and the other person knows it, the relationship is not platonic anymore.
The Benefits Of A Platonic Friendship
While reading, you must have sensed that there are many good things about a friendship that is platonic. There are many reasons why you must have platonic friendship in your life.
The first and the obvious being that you have a friend. A friend who would be there for you when you need them. They are loyal, you can share your feelings with them, go on tours with them, share your love life with them, anything normal friends would do.
If you both are of different genders, then you can teach each other about different perspectives. You can share how people act in different situations and how those actions affect a certain gender.
If anyone of you has problems with being social or lack communication skills, others can help overcome it.
If you still are not sure how you feel about certain relationships in your life, you can make a list of questions and answer them. Include questions like – where you see yourself going forward with them, how would you feel if they are in a relationship with someone else, does their presence make you feel good or you are just physically attracted to them.
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