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What Is a Platonic Relationship and Are They Possible?

By Orgesta Tolaj


31 January 2024

platonic relationship

© Helena Lopes / Unsplash

Platonic relationships have long been a topic of curiosity and debate. Can two people truly have a deep, meaningful connection without any romantic or sexual involvement? Many people are skeptical, believing that a platonic relationship is simply a stepping stone to something more. However, the concept of a relationship like this is both real and possible, and understanding it can provide valuable insights into the dynamics of human connection.

What Is a Platonic Relationship?

A platonic relationship, rooted in the philosophical ideas of Plato, is characterized by a profound emotional connection between two individuals without the inclusion of a sexual dimension. Plato conceptualized platonic love as a means of bringing people closer to a divine ideal, emphasizing a non-physical and transcendent bond. In modern terminology, a platonic relationship or love is commonly understood as a deep, affectionate friendship devoid of sexual involvement. This concept applies to relationships between individuals of the opposite or same sex, emphasizing the importance of emotional closeness and companionship without romantic entanglement.

Difference Between a Romantic and Platonic Relationship

This type of relationship differs from a romantic one by lacking physical intimacy, even though both involve deep friendship and love. In romantic relationships, physical closeness, such as hugging or kissing, is common, whereas platonic relationships exclude such activities, despite the potential desire for them. The absence of physical intimacy defines a relationship as platonic, even if there is a yearning for such a connection.

How to Create a Platonic Relationship

Fostering these types of relationships is crucial for mental well-being, as social support plays a significant role in mental health. To form such connections, one can join social groups, attend workshops, engage in online communities, and volunteer for causes of interest. Maintaining and strengthening existing platonic relationships involves being supportive, establishing boundaries, and practicing honesty. Building a network comprising family, friends, and loved ones contributes to overall psychological wellness.

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Tips for a Successful Friendly Bonding

Maintaining a healthy platonic relationship involves proactive efforts. Avoid placing the burden solely on the other person by initiating plans and contact regularly. Keep communication open through calls, texts, or emails, expressing thoughts or sharing enjoyable moments. Reciprocate emotional support and be present when needed. However, it’s crucial to recognize when to let go of this relationship, especially if it becomes unhealthy, stressful, or lacks essential support. Ending associations may be necessary if the other person is unkind, manipulative, or hurtful.

Cons and Challenges of This Type of Bonding

Platonic relationships differ from unrequited love, as they involve mutual emotional balance. While these connections may potentially evolve into romantic ones, there’s a risk of losing the friendship if a romantic relationship ends. To maintain a platonic relationship, establish clear boundaries, such as limits on time spent together, contact, and physical intimacy. Avoid gossiping about partners, engaging in excessive physical contact, prioritizing platonic friends over partners, or hiding the relationship. Allow space for each other and ensure a balance with other relationships.

What Can You Do if You Are Looking for More?

If you are considering taking your friendly relationship to a romantic or sexual level, it’s important to prioritize honesty. Express your feelings openly without putting pressure on the other person. Have a conversation about the potential impact on the relationship and share your thoughts and emotions openly. While these relationships can provide a solid foundation for romantic connections, fostering transparency and maintaining open communication is crucial for navigating this transition smoothly.

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Have you ever had a platonic relationship before? How did it turn out?

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Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!