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14 Platonic Friendship Rules to Be Just Friends Without the Drama

Platonic Friendship

Everyone seems to be looking for love, but there’s nothing wrong with a platonic friendship either. So, here are the rules you need to follow.

I’m going to be honest. I have never been friends with a guy where he hasn’t either tried to make a move, or otherwise made his romantic interest known in some way. I’m sure many of you can relate. And while it’s flattering, it can also be uncomfortable – especially if the romantic gestures are unwanted on your part.

Of course, the reverse could be true too. Maybe you’re the one who has a crush on your friend, but they either aren’t interested, or they are already in a relationship.

Either scenario is difficult. Of course, there’s always the situation where you are both attracted to each other and on the same page, but that doesn’t always happen.

So, how can you have a truly platonic friendship without sexual tension and attraction getting in the way? It’s not as difficult as you think.

Rules for a platonic friendship

No one has actually written a book called The Bible of a Platonic Friendship, although that would be convenient. So, I guess this article is as close as you’re going to get. Let’s jump right in and look at what you need to do.

#1 Be conscious of your words and actions. When a person is crushing on someone, sometimes it seems like their brain has been hijacked. They are so gah-gah that they might not know that they’re making a fool of themselves.

So, whether you are the crusher or the crushee, be careful of what you say and do. You don’t want to lead them on, and/or you don’t want to make them uncomfortable. [Read: How to have a perfectly platonic relationship]

#2 Talk about it. Yeah, I know, you probably didn’t want to hear this one. It’s not easy to be vulnerable. But if you have the crush, why not just be honest and just put it out there? Take a chance – you never know, they might feel the same way.

Or, if you know they’re crushing on you, but you don’t feel it, maybe politely and kindly bring up that you noticed their interest but you just want to keep it platonic.

#3 Establish boundaries. Once you’ve talked about it and it’s out in the open, then you can talk about the boundaries. Like, maybe you don’t hang out at each other’s houses and watch Netflix.

Because we all know where that could lead, right? Or maybe you only hang out during the day and not at night. Any boundary that will help one or both of you resist romantic temptation should be discussed. [Read: 20 unmistakable signs your friend is totally crushing on you]

#4 If you’re married or in a relationship, be respectful to your partner. Many people don’t like it when their partner has a friend of the opposite sex. I get it… we all want them to ourselves. However, that’s probably unrealistic.

But if you are in a relationship and have a platonic friend of the opposite sex, don’t do anything that would make your partner uncomfortable or jealous. Always keep it respectful. [Read: Are guy best friends nothing but trouble for girls?]

#5 No touching. I know, I know. You’re just a really outgoing, friendly, touchy-feely person with everyone. That’s cool – a lot of people are.

But, if you really want to have a strictly platonic friendship, then you are going to have to watch your touchy-feely-ness. Touching can really send a flirty, sexual message if you’re not careful.

#6 No “date-like” outings. I’ve had guy friends before who want to cook me dinner at their house… and I said no. Why? Because it screams “date” and “making out” and… well, you know. I knew what their intentions were – I wasn’t dumb. So, stay away from things like that. Even movies or dinner can feel like a date. [Read: 16 hush-hush signs your friend wants to have sex with you]

#7 Don’t manipulate your friend to get them to like you. Okay, so you have a massive crush and you’re having a hard time keeping it a platonic friendship. Well, that doesn’t mean you should make a fool of yourself trying to get their attention in a romantic way.

Don’t try to make them jealous or dress like a stripper. They’ll just think you’re weird, and it might actually turn them off.

#8 Treat it like a same-sex friendship. You know how you behave with your same-sex friends, right? I mean, you’re not touchy-feely and flirty. So, why do you think that would be a good idea with an opposite sex friend? It’s not. It’s flirting with disaster *no pun intended*. [Read: Sexual tension between friends – How to handle it like a pro]

#9 If you have feelings, it doesn’t mean you have to act upon them. This is a message especially for the guys out there. Just because she’s friends with you doesn’t mean that she’s necessarily attracted to you. Yes, I know you’re a dude, and you want to conquer all women. But hey, she’s your friend. You should just keep it at that.

#10 Accept that there might be sexual tension. The tension might be mutual or one-sided. But chances are, it might be inevitable. So, just accept it. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. But just expect it so that you won’t be surprised. [Read: 18 emotional affair signs you probably didn’t notice]

#11 Avoid sexual conversations. I know it’s easy to get into all sorts of sexual conversations, whether it’s with the same sex or opposite sex. It’s just fun. But, it can be a really bad thing to do if you want to keep a platonic friendship. Just don’t go there. Talk about the weather if you have to.

#12 Don’t cozy up to each other. Even though I told you that you should avoid any date-like circumstances, sometimes you’ll forget that. So, it might seem like a good idea to watch a movie at home and have some drinks. But that doesn’t mean you have to sit next to each other on the couch and cuddle. Just don’t do it. [Read: 15 cuddle buddy rules to avoid turning into f*ck buddies]

#13 Don’t go on vacation together. This may or may not seem obvious. It might seem harmless to go on a weekend getaway or a cruise together just to have some fun. But, if you are going to be sharing a hotel room, well, that can get tricky – even if you have two beds. So, why not just avoid going away altogether?

#14 Remember the benefits of keeping it platonic. Believe it or not, there are a lot of benefits to keeping it platonic. It’s kind of like having another sibling, and that’s kind of cool. Sometimes having a friend of the opposite sex that you can count on but have no sexual relationship with can be a really awesome.

[Read: How to be just friends when your friend wants something more]

Having a platonic friendship is a wonderful thing. I know that it’s difficult to ignore the sexual tension, but if you follow these rules, you will do just fine!

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Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...

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