Is it a Myth or Fact?
Can a man really be “just friends” with a woman?
What is the story behind platonic relationships?
And more importantly, does it exist?
Is a deep and spiritual connection between two individuals: within such a relationship there does not exist any form of sexual connection or sexual elements?
True friendships are perhaps the best thing a person can experience.
To have someone who will not judge you, be by your side through ups and downs as well as be a great shopping/drinking buddy is an amazing thing to have.
Through our years, we will accumulate (and sometimes lose) friendships as such. And as you grow older and become more exposed to the opposite sex, some of these friendships can actually be shared with them. Many people out there will stand claim to this: they are friends, sometimes even on a close basis, with those of the opposite sex.
You share everything you do with another same-sex mate – bonding and being there for each other – except in this particular relationship, that best mate just happens to be from the opposite sex.
“He’s just a friend.” How many times have we heard this from another and think, “Yeah, right.”
So why is it so hard to believe that platonic relationships can exist?
“Wherever a friendship between two people of the opposite sex is seen, society makes predictions about how the friendship is doomed to fail because intimate feelings will usually get involved.” Why this thought?
When a platonic relationship is put in the spotlight, most people have the same view – that the relationship will get too intimate for comfort or that one half of the friendship is vying for more than just plain and simple companionship.
Over many decades of social opinion, men and women are predisposed to not being able to have just a simple friendship. Many things will come into play – intimacy issues, crossing the line, physical attraction that is the biological make-up of human beings to name a few.
When any of these takes place on top of a simple friendship, the platonic relationship becomes complicated. Feelings are exposed and what may seem like an innocent relationship soon becomes undefined.
Also, many times platonic relationships are not what they may seem to be. Most likely, one party in the friendship is likely to harbour some stronger intimate feelings for the other, who could be completely unaware of such affection. In this case, a friendship could just be a guise to become closer to the other person.
Affirmations of care as well as actions that speak of thoughtfulness may not be as innocent as it may seem.
“When a platonic relationship is put in the spotlight, most people have the same view – that the relationship will get too intimate for comfort or that one half of the friendship is vying for more than just plain and simple companionship”
When Things Go Wrong
Intimacy in a platonic relationship can spell two things – a blessing in disguise or a disaster. Relationships that begin with friendship as their base have been proven to last longer and be more stable than one that didn’t. In the case of platonic relationships, having gone through the friendship stage before taking it one step further will prove to be a good thing for the new relationship.
Relationships that have friendship as their base usually last longer because both partners are more comfortable around each other. There are no pretences in the relationship.
This, along with other factors, proves that even if male female friendships escalate, they can still be healthy relationships.
However, what happens when it is a one-time off intimate moment that will prove to be the ingredient that ruins the friendship?
In this case, while it may be a most unfortunate thing, it can very well spell the end of the relationship as both parties may never be as comfortable as they were with each other.
And in the case of the one-sided affection and love, platonic relationships built on this will not have a very long on-shelf date either. Without realising this affection, one could be leading on the other party, who could be blinded by their emotions and affection.
When the truth finally surfaces, disappointment and anger are two possible ends to the relationship. The best thing to do when faced with such situation is to mutually agree that the relationship was never platonic to begin with and perhaps the wise choice of action is to part ways before anyone else gets hurt even further.
Still A Possibility
Platonic relationships can still be a possibility and in some cases, they actually do exist and have worked out for many individuals.
The one thing to remember is that platonic relationships are unlike your same-sex friendships and will require additional work as well as some prior agreements to allow it to be a healthy relationship.
In order for platonic relationships to work, both parties will have to be upfront about their feelings. If romantic sentiments arise, these feelings will need to be addressed right from the start of the relationship to gauge if it is wise to pursue a platonic relationship or whether it will take too much of a toll on the other party.
Be honest with one another – keeping your actual feeling in check is not the way to go. You wouldn’t have to do this with your other friendships so why should this be any different? Platonic relationships do not get a special status above the rest of your relationships in fact it is like any other friendship but is only different due to the parties involved.
If you realise you are developing an emotional and intimate attachment from this platonic relationship, you need to take a step back and figure out what is happening. Could it be because you’ve come to realise you prefer your friend to be more than just a friend? Or could it be a clouded judgement, one that is formed due to the nature of the friendship?
Ask yourself what you want out of the relationship and be completely honest with yourself. If you do want more out of it, then be open with your friend to see if this could be a possibility. But respect what he or she has to say, especially if they don’t share the same sentiments as you.
But if you’re platonic relationship is just that and nothing more, then by all means – enjoy your friend’s company as you would others, as this one is definitely a keeper for life.