All said and done, no matter what the odds are, a happy platonic relationship can be fulfilling and fun, and can create a perfect friendship that can stand the test of time.
But that’s a big IF, because you have several hurdles to cross before you get to the part where both of you can be comfortable in each other’s company without letting sex get in the way.
Can opposite sexes ever be friends?
How often do we see this happening? How often do two people of the opposite sex just walk into each other’s lives, feel like there’s a lot in common, hit it off perfectly and then avoid dating each other and just end up as best friends?
Almost always, most platonic friendships hold on only because the two people involved have known each other for a long time, through their school or college years and have somehow managed to get past the confusion of sexual tension.
If you can hold on to a platonic relationship, it’s one of the best things you can do. It gives you a better perspective of the opposite sex.
Why is it so hard for a guy to look at a girl as a friend?
A guy just can’t stay friends with a girl he finds attractive. At some point of time, your guy friend would feel the need to take a peek down your blouse and do more if he gets the opportunity.
Evolution has taught him to sow. It’s what he does best. Unless he can weigh the relationship in his mind and truly understand that both of you are better off being just friends because the relationship is more meaningful and safer this way, he’ll always look for subtle opportunities to get frisky with you.
So if you’re a girl and have no sexual interest in your guy best friend, the relationship could still enter murky waters if he decides to pursue you.
Do you need this relationship?
The hope of a platonic relationship comes down to this simple question. Do you really need it?
Your friends and family may be confused. Your own partner may always feel threatened by the close relationship you share with this attractive friend. And deep down inside, you’ll never know for sure if your friend likes you or is sexually attracted to you. [Read: How to make your jealous boyfriend feel less jealous]
With so many odds stacked against your favor, is a platonic relationship worth the effort?
How to have a platonic relationship
If you’re not threatened by all these worries, and still feel like you and your best friend of the opposite sex have what it takes to share a platonic friendship, read on.
A platonic relationship is never easy to begin with, but once the ball starts rolling, it can definitely be a happy relationship that’ll stand the test of time.
Avoid too much physical intimacy
One of the most important things you need to avoid, especially at the start of a relationship, is cuddling up with your best friend. Almost always, even a simple thing like cuddling together under a blanket while watching a movie could give way to romantic or sexual ideas in one or both of your heads.
Sexual tension always makes things awkward. And it always gets in the way when both of you are unfamiliar with each other’s bodies.
Now I’m not telling you to get naked in front of each other just to get familiar with each other’s assets, but both of you should learn to look at each other’s bodies without sexual appreciation. Familiarity and a lot of time spent together could help you with that.
And even if your friend makes a move on you one eventful day by getting on top of you or by trying to kiss you, push them away by treating them like a child, or call them silly names for behaving in such a stupid manner. It’s not easy, but it’s your only way to deal with the situation without driving a wedge in your platonic friendship. [Read: I’m in love with my best friend… what next?]
10 tips to hold on to a platonic friendship
If you want to hold on to a platonic relationship and stay friends for a long time, here are 10 things you need to keep in mind.
#1 Understand what you stand to lose by giving in to temptation, a really special friendship.
#2 Never let the sexual tension build up.
#3 Don’t create awkward sexual conversations or flirt while texting. Remember, it’s very easy for two people of opposite genders to get carried away in each other’s company.
#4 Get familiar with each other’s touch. Don’t be soft and gentle when you touch your friend, be aggressive. Don’t touch softly on the arm, instead pat hard on the shoulder. And don’t graze your palm or linger your touch, be quick and firm when you touch your friend.
#5 Make it very clear that you’re not interested in your friend sexually. Point out a few traits that your friend has and mention that you could never date someone like that. Even if it hurts, it makes it clear that both of you are going to stay as best friends.
#6 Emphasize on how much the friendship matters to you every now and then to your friend.
#8 Don’t get addicted to each other. Have more friends of the opposite sex so you know how to handle yourself. Sometimes, it’s easy to get confused over your emotions if your relationship with your best friend is one of a kind to you.
#9 Show off your bad side. When you get too familiar with someone and reveal your clumsy side, it can help them overlook you as a dating potential.
#10 Talk about your crushes and your partner. A lot. If your platonic friend considers you as just a friend, they’d be more than happy to spend hours plotting ways to make your romantic life more interesting.
What if a mistake happens?
Now even if you’re cautious and carefully avoid any temptations with your platonic friend, things could slip out of control in a weak moment like a sleepover with a lot of booze. But that doesn’t mean you should end your friendship over it.
Instead, get over it. Mistakes happen all the time. Try to avoid it from happening again. Instead of pushing both of you further apart, it’ll bring both of you closer.
Evolution hasn’t built guys and girls for friendships. Sometimes though, they can end up as friends and the relationship may work in your favor. But almost always, it never works. Try to hold on to the friendship, and if one of you do fall in love eventually, there’s nothing either of you can do about it. Either date each other or try to be friends again. Friendship can still outlive romance or sexual attraction if you choose to give it a chance.
But if nothing works, walk away and cherish all the years that both of you did share together as perfect platonic friends, even if one person may have had a hidden crush all along.
Are you really ready for a platonic relationship? Keep this guide on how to have a platonic relationship in mind, and avoid all temptations when you see them. And chances are, both of you may end up sharing a lasting and perfect platonic friendship.
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With a penchant for downing more energy drinks than is sane, Keith Brown is a bartender and amateur mixologist who geeks about superheroes and spends way too mu...