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Platonic Friends: An Insight into a Rare & Complicated Friendship

Platonic Friends

Platonic friends are a bit like the unicorn of relationships. Something so rare and pure that it is more fabled than real.

Platonic friends are said to be the purest of friendships. A heterosexual relationship without the sexual and romantic feelings that usually develop when you put a man and a woman together. This is a friendship so rare people tend to be skeptical that it even exists.

What you need to understand about platonic friendships

Can men and women stay exclusively friends? That is the eternal question. We know that people of the opposite sex can be good friends for a while, but how long can they keep it up before one of them folds and starts to develop romantic feelings towards the other person?

But regardless of general opinion, there are many cases where a man and a woman stayed friends for the most of their lives. But as everyone sees later on, it takes a very special set of circumstances for a friendship to stay platonic.

#1 Other people will always mistake you for a couple. After all, you do what normal couples do minus the intimate contact. You go on dates, hang out, shop together, and maybe live as roommates. You spend a lot of time together. More than average friends do and trying to explain that you’re not having sex to everyone else is your greatest struggle. [Read: How to handle sexual tension between friends like a platonic pro]

#2 Consequently, they are always skeptical that you’re “just friends.” It usually starts with a question “How long have you guys been together?” Followed by a moment where you and your friend stare at each other before explaining “just friends.” What follows is usually a moment of awkward silence, raised eyebrows, and a long “oookay.” But you’re used to that because it is what it is.

#3 Your interaction is far from the staples of romantic comedy. None of those typical rom-com montages where you try on funny masks and giggle from across the aisle, smear ice cream on each other’s noses, and cap the day with a pillow fight. Then you collapse on the bed laughing as the screen and music fades. Instead, your interaction is mostly insults, pranks, curses, and sarcasm characteristic of the closest friendships. [Read: Can girls and guys really be just friends?]

#4 It’s most likely your friendship started really early. We know how the story of platonic friends goes. Both of you shared cribs, baths, and have known each other for so long the possibility of romance rubbed off by many years’ worth of memories and shared experiences. And as a result…

#5 You can never put your platonic friend in a sexual light. You can *and would have* seen each other naked and would have known each other’s sexual escapades. There is still no way you ever think of sleeping with your platonic friend. The very thought of it makes you feel uncomfortable—like the thought of sex with a sibling.

#6 Platonic friends are a source of good advice and honesty. If you find yourself struggling with a life problem or a difficult decision, your friend would be the first to know because you are certain they will give you straight, unadulterated advice. You trust them to give you the best advice even if it hurts you because your friend wants what’s best for you. [Read: How to be friends without crossing the platonic line]

#7 Your friend is the first responder if things go south. Just had a bad breakup? In urgent need of cash? Need a place to stay for a few days? Your platonic friend will surely be the first to know and respond to your troubles. Way before your family does.

Platonic friends have an unspoken code of loyalty to have each other’s back when needed. But this is not solely for times of need. Oftentimes, your platonic friend will be the first to know of your successes as well.

#8 You’re in a constant state of worry about ruining your friend’s chances to meet someone. Since most people mistake you for a couple, there’s always the possibility that anyone attracted to your friend backs off because you keep hanging out with each other. [Read: Are guy best friends nothing but trouble for girls?]

#9 You’ll never get enough of “you look good together, why don’t you just date?” from other people. It’s just a reality of life that people cannot get over the fact that you’re just friends of the opposite sex. As a result, you come up with a rebuttal speech that you memorize by heart as a response. [Read: Are you more than friends or just friends? The real truth]

#10 You still maintain your friendship even if both of you have relationships of your own. What you get from your romantic partner is different from what you get from your platonic friendship. As a result you still stay friends for many years, even if you both marry and have kids of your own.

#11 If you are in a relationship, you may have to deal with jealousy from your partner sometimes. Especially for those who’ve been childhood friends, the bond of shared experiences go deeper than that of your significant other which often causes bouts of jealousy. As a result, both of you need a moment to discuss your relationship to your spouse or significant other.

#12 You jokingly pledged to be together if you find yourselves at 40 and still single. Platonic friends are so certain that they won’t end up together they bet a young adult life of singleness just to agree to consider being together if still single in their forties. But then again, nobody wants to grow old alone. If you can do it with a good friend, why not do it? [Read: 10 reasons to have a platonic marriage and marry as just friends]

[Read: 14 platonic friendship rules to be just friends without the drama]

Platonic friends are so rare and complicated that people doubt they ever happen. But as complicated and rare as it may be, platonic friendships do exist. Looking at them closely, you see it is indeed special.

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Paul Timothy Mangay
Paul Timothy Mangay
Paul aka Morty is a keyboard-pounding cubicle-dweller based in Manila where he occasionally moonlights as a writer for anyone in need of his mediocre word-strin...
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