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Platonic Relationship: What It Is & 42 Friendship Rules to Avoid Sexual Drama

Is there such a thing as a completely platonic relationship? Here is what you need to know about platonic friendships and the rules to follow.

Platonic Friendship

Everyone seems to be looking for love, but there’s nothing wrong with a platonic relationship either. If you can handle being platonic friends with someone from a gender you’re attracted to, then more power to you!

We’re going to be honest. If you find a friend attractive, it’s not going to be easy to stay on the path of platonic friends for too long.

As much as you like staying friends with them, there’s a possibility you’re staying friends mostly because you’re attracted to them.

And while it’s flattering for your friend, it can also be uncomfortable – especially if the romantic gestures are unwanted.

Of course, the reverse could be true too. Maybe they like you or have a secret crush on you, but you either aren’t interested or are already in a relationship.

Either scenario is difficult.

Of course, there’s always the chance that you are both attracted to each other, and on the same page, but that doesn’t always happen. If it did, you’d be dating already! [Read: 18 signs a friend likes you romantically even if they’re trying to hide it]

But, if you do want to experience a healthy platonic relationship, there are a few rules you must follow, and we’ll get to those rules soon. For now, let’s understand this special friendship just a bit better.

Plato’s definition of love

Plato defines love as “a desire for the perpetual possession of the good.” He says that love is a desire, a continuous thirst for things that will satisfy and fulfill our needs.

According to Plato, every human being is an unstable mix of two halves, their body and their soul, and each of these parts is governed by two kinds of love. [Read: Easy steps to be just friends when he wants more]

The body craves carnal desires and falls prey to sexual desires and lust, which forces the human to create physical attachments to worldly entities.

And on the other hand, the soul cares only for a noble and spiritual kind of love that transcends beyond mere sexual desires.

Plato describes love as intense attraction and craving to be with a particular person or object, yet, it is not guided by sexual addiction or carnal desires. [Read: Lusty signs of sexual attraction you need to keep an eye on]

And hence, we have this pure kind of love between two people, the love that goes beyond sexual attraction, the love we know today as platonic love.

The meaning of platonic love

To explain it simply, platonic love is now understood as a form of true love between friends devoid of sexual attraction.

We experience it all the time when we get close to someone of the opposite sex, even if it scares us or builds intense sexual chemistry. [Read: The types of love all of us experience in a lifetime]

Every time we find ourselves getting closer to someone we admire or whose company we love, we feel the grasp of platonic love.

And to a large extent, we struggle to stay behind the barrier dividing platonic love from romantic love.

The divide between these two kinds of love is too thin and unless there’s a reason to stop the friendship from merging into sexual attraction, the relationship starts to drift toward romance. [Read: How to have a perfectly platonic relationship and avoid getting sexually attracted to each other]

There are several people in the world who successfully share platonic relationships. But do they really love each other intensely, or are they just casual friends?

And if they do intensely love each other, can they still remain just friends forever?

What is a platonic relationship?

It’s surprising we need to label pure friendship with another word. Because that’s exactly what a platonic relationship is. [Read: Things to think about if you start falling for a friend]

A platonic relationship is a friendship in which two people are friends, and share emotional intimacy, but there is no kind of sexual intimacy involved at all.

So, doesn’t that just make it a friendship? Yes, it does. But these days, the term “friendship” has transcended into various forms, so it’s only fair that a platonic relationship gets its own definition.

If you’re friends and sleeping with each other on the side, or if you’re friends and one of you likes the other, or if there’s any kind of sexual interest or chemistry involved, that clearly violates the idea of platonic friends. [Read: How to handle sexual tension between you and a friend like a platonic pro!]

Why is it so hard to experience platonic love today?

Platonic love may be hard to experience today, not because we think more with our loins and less with our heads, but because of the restrictions imposed on us by society.

Over two thousand years ago, when Plato first explained his thoughts about love in a debate, the idea of platonic love as we know it today was only a small part of his description of love and the complex idea behind love.

According to Plato, love was the desire to want good, or want happiness in life. When you’re filled with happiness when you see something, what you experience is the feeling of love. [Read: The important signs of true love in every relationship]

In the debate where the idea of platonic love was first discussed by Plato and other philosophers, Plato never really spoke of love as a heterosexual experience. 

So, when we talk about platonic love today, as much as it’s understood to be a bond between opposite sexes, it doesn’t always have to be interpreted in that manner.

So, what makes platonic love so hard to experience between the sexes? [Read: Opposite sex friendships – 24 rules, boundaries, and where we go wrong]

In today’s world, any affection beyond a handshake, a friendly hug, or a kiss is deemed inappropriate between friends. 

But when you truly love someone and your heart aches to hold them close and touch them, would you feel satiated with a simple hug when you meet this friend after a year’s wait?

Platonic love is hard to experience because of the restrictions that are imposed on us today. And these very restrictions between friends also create insecurity, jealousy, heartbreaks, and affairs. [Read: Why guy best friends are nothing but trouble for love!]

Sexual orientation is a new myth

This may come as a shock to you, but in many civilized cultures, sexual orientation is a new trend that’s been followed only for the last few centuries. 

Of course, reproduction occurs only between the opposite sexes. But affection was openly shared between the same sexes too.

Today, it’s not acceptable to be overly affectionate with any friend, be it a guy or a girl.

But even a hundred years ago, it was acceptable for individuals to caress or even kiss other members of the same sex just to show their affection. [Read: List of sexualities – 15 gender orientations you need to know about]

Romantic relationships between the same sexes and friends were extremely common and were never seen as taboo until a century ago. 

Of course, homosexuality was considered taboo, but displaying affection through physical intimacy, on the other hand, was commonly accepted as a show of friendship.

The philosopher Plato too considers love to be a purely homosexual phenomenon and addresses sexual attraction as a heterosexual trait. [Read: Are you already more than friends or just friends?]

Platonic love between the sexes

Can men and women ever just be friends? They can, but it’s a lot harder than it once was.

When you love someone, you want to admire them, you want to hold them and adore them because you can’t find a better way to express the overwhelming affection you feel inside.

But is that really acceptable in today’s society? Can you really kiss a friend or cuddle a friend without feeling awkward about it because someone’s judging you?

These days, even perfectly platonic friends end up becoming sex buddies or having secret affairs because they can’t understand what they feel themselves! [Read: Sex buddies and the subtle art of seducing a friend]

The world has convinced us to believe that physical intimacy between friends or between two members of the same sex is inappropriate and damned, and just as bad as sexual intercourse. But our minds just can’t seem to understand this!

Platonic best friends are harder to make and keep because the world cannot accept your relationship anymore. We’re being forced to avoid physical intimacy everywhere. 

And in theory, this shunning of physical intimacy between friends by society may be causing more affairs and broken relationships too. [Read: Why flirting with a friend isn’t really wrong!]

After all, even when you feel passionate about a close friend, you can’t help but feel awkward and embarrassed about it because someone else has convinced you that the true love you feel inside is wrong!

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 in 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. [Read: I’m in love with my best friend… what next?]

Unless he can 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.

The different dimensions of love

Desiring someone sexually is not love. It’s sexual attraction. [Read: What you need to do when you’re in love with two people at the same time]

Poets and romantics have always placed romantic love on a pedestal and forced us to believe that romantic love is the most powerful form of love there can ever be.

We’re forced to believe that we can only love one person at once, and if we experience any form of love that’s similar to romantic love with anyone else, we feel guilty about it which convinces us to believe that we’re cheating or having an affair.

But that’s not the truth. Everything we want and desire, everything that makes us work towards achieving something, be it a person or an object, is because of the force of love. [Read: Romantic hug vs. friendly hug – how to feel the difference instantly]

The sacrifices you make, the small and the big ones, are because of your desire to want someone or something. And if that’s not love, then what is?

Platonic love and emotional affairs

An emotional affair is a kind of platonic love. But in today’s society, it’s not acceptable for us to feel passionately closer to anyone else other than our own partners. 

It’s just wrong because it threatens the romantic relationship we’re already involved in. In today’s world, we’re just as threatened by emotional affairs as much as sexual affairs. [Read: 18 signs you’re having a serious emotional affair and don’t even know it!]

If you mentally bond with someone of the opposite sex and feel more emotionally attached to them than your own partner, it’s only a matter of time before your partner starts to feel insecure about the marriage or relationship.

The best test for emotional affairs is the awkward test. Can you comfortably talk about your platonic friend with your partner? Can you tell your partner about every detail of the conversation you have with your friend without feeling uncomfortable?

Emotional affairs are almost always a closely guarded secret because you feel uncomfortable with the idea, especially around your partner. [Read: What do guys think of their female friends? 15 very real secrets revealed]

If you can’t talk about it with your partner, then your platonic relationship may be coming in the way of a happy relationship with your own partner.

A platonic relationship is never bad as long as you stay within your moral boundary. But if your affection for a friend starts to replace the love you have for your partner, you know your love life is only going to head downhill, don’t you?

Will platonic relationships ever be understood?

A platonic relationship doesn’t involve just two people, you and your friend. It involves your own partner and your platonic friend’s partner too. [Read: Emotional cheating and really bad things it can do to you]

Even if you or your friend are single today and everything’s dandy, would things still feel the same when one or both of you enter into romantic relationships with other people?

If you’re comfortable snuggling with your best friend of the opposite sex under the blanket while watching a movie, do you think your new partner would be accepting of that idea?

And on the other hand, if your partner spends a night over with their platonic friend, would you really be fine with that? [Read: Does your boyfriend have a flirty girl best friend?]

This is the monogamous world we live in today. As humans, we’re jealous and we’re insecure, and we can’t live in the idealistic world that defines Plato’s pure love that’s devoid of sexual desires, however reasonable or intellectual his idea may be.

The insuppressible power of love 

According to Plato himself, love is the desire for the perpetual possession of the good. If you find someone attractive or if you find something desirable, you can’t help but fall in love.

Perhaps, culture and society have burdened the words “love” and “passion” and forced us to avoid feeling these emotions towards anyone but our romantic partners. [Read: Love triangles and its confusing repercussions]

But whether we’re willing to accept it or suppress it, all of us know that every now and then, we feel a surge of love, passion, and affection towards platonic friends, even if we’re never willing to acknowledge it or accept it.

But once you realize you’re truly in love with a platonic friend, and you have a romantic partner too, does that make you feel awkward?

The answer to that question will help you make up your mind on whether you have the emotional capability and the relationship stability to experience platonic love with a friend and maintain romantic love with your partner at the same time. [Read: Things to know before you stay friends with someone you’ve dated]

Why are platonic relationships so hard to hold on to?

Simply because sexual attraction or sexual tension almost always finds its way into the friendship.

The thing about friendship, or any relationship for that matter, is growth. If you want the friendship to thrive, you both have to invest more time and intimacy into the friendship. 

You need to share secrets, have conversations, spend time together, and bond. [Read: How to be a friend – the real art of true and meaningful friendships]

This is great for a healthy friendship because this is the only way it can grow. The day you stop nurturing your friendship is the day it slowly starts to wither, and both of you start to drift apart.

But when we’re talking about two people slowly getting closer to each other, there’s always the off chance that attraction may slip in. Sometimes, it’s inevitable. 

You’re both spending a lot of time together, you miss each other when the other person isn’t around.

And the atmosphere feels exciting and electric when you’re sitting close to them. How different is that from sexual attraction or love? [Read: 20 conversation signs that reveal if he’s getting attracted to you]

This is where a platonic relationship can start to get complicated. And that’s why it’s really hard to keep a platonic relationship going unless you follow some very clear rules.

Signs your relationship is platonic

A lot of people know for sure or at least have a sense of whether or not their relationship is platonic. But sometimes there is some uncertainty. Here are some signs that you have a platonic relationship.

1. Closeness

Not all relationships or friendships are close, but if you’re in a platonic relationship, then you usually are. There is an openness between the two of you.

You can tell each other almost anything. And there is also mutual respect for each other. [Read: Emotional connection – 38 signs, secrets, and ways to build a real bond]

2. Honesty

Because the two of you are close, you can also be honest with each other. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell other people your true thoughts and feelings, but in a platonic relationship, it feels easy for you to do that.

3. Acceptance

No one is perfect. And in romantic relationships, people tend to get into power struggles because of their egos. They often want to “fix” or change their partner. But in a platonic relationship, there is a lot more acceptance of each other the way you are.

4. Understanding

One great thing about a platonic relationship is that there is also more understanding of each other’s personal space. [Read: 20 non-clingy ways to stop being a possessive friend and give space]

In a romantic relationship, there is more of an expectation to spend a lot of time together. But there aren’t those rules when you have a friendship that is platonic.

Types of platonic relationships

Usually when people think of the word “platonic,” they think in terms of opposite-sex friendships. But there are other types of relationships that can be platonic too.

1. Bromance

Sure, guys are friends with other guys. But a bromance is a little more than that – and it doesn’t include any romantic or sexual feelings. [Read: 72 bromandments – the bro code rules every guy must know and follow]

A bromance is simply a deep connection between two men who are friends. It goes beyond a normal guy friendship, probably because they talk a lot and spend a lot of time together.

2. Womance

Just like there are bromances, there are also womances. This is the same as a bromance, but for women. 

The two of them are probably very emotionally connected and they might even go so far as to cuddle up with one another in a non-sexual way. Again, it goes beyond a normal woman-woman friendship. [Read: Can guys and girls really just be friends? Truths to bridge the gap]

3. Work spouse

A work spouse is usually someone of the opposite sex that you work very closely with at your place of employment.

It could be because you work on projects together on a regular basis or simply because you like each other’s company.

A work spouse can cause concern for their significant others. Spending so much time together on a daily basis could make them jealous and wonder if they will ever cross the line into emotional or physical cheating. [Read: Work husband and wife – 49 work spouse signs you’re too close and rules to follow]

How to form a platonic relationship

If you want to find more friends and are interested in a platonic relationship, then there are ways you can find one. Here are some ideas.

1. Join social networking groups where you can meet people

There are a lot of professional and personal clubs and groups that you can join to meet people. For example, if you like hiking, try going to Meetup.com and see if there is a hiking group in your area. 

Going to gatherings where there are people who are like-minded will help you find a platonic relationship. [Read: How to make new friends as an adult – 15 ways to do it right]

2. Sign up for workshops or classes on topics that interest you

If you don’t want to join a club or a group, then you can always sign up for classes or workshops on topics that you find interesting. If you like cooking, then take a cooking class. Or if you like yoga, then join a class at your local gym.

3. Participate in online communities

If you’re more of an introvert or just don’t have a lot of extra time to go out and meet people, then you can start online. There are plenty of groups online that you can find on social media or other websites.

4. Volunteer for causes you care about in your community

Maybe you are passionate about feeding the homeless or rescuing animals. Or you might want to help out abused women at a shelter.

Volunteering will connect you with people who have the same passions as you do. [Read: How to make friends in a new city – 15 ways to feel at home again]

Rules for a platonic relationship

It’s easy to keep a relationship platonic, all you need to do is remember to avoid building sexual chemistry or allowing the sexual attraction to grow.

If both of you can do that, chances are, you’ll be able to stay platonic friends for a long time to come. That, and of course, these rules you MUST follow!

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. [Read: 25 basic relationship rules for successful love]

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 you don’t want to make them uncomfortable.

2. Talk about it

You probably didn’t want to hear this one. It’s not easy to be vulnerable. But if you have a 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. [Read: How to stop having a crush on someone and find your heart again]

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. We all want them for 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: Why guy best friends are nothing but trouble for girls]

5. No touching

Of course, 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 relationship, 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. [Read: How you can flirt by touch without even realizing you’re flirting!]

6. No “date-like” outings

Your friend may ask you to come over to watch Netflix at night. You may want to stay over after partying the whole night because you’re too drunk and tired. 

Unless you know with absolute certainty that things won’t get out of hand, you should avoid these scenarios.

Why? Because it screams “date” and “making out” and… well, you know.

Sometimes, your friend may have an ulterior motive to seduce you because they’re secretly attracted to you, even if your intentions are purely platonic. [Read: 16 hush-hush signs your friend wants to have sex with you]

So, stay away from things like that. Even movies or dinner can feel like a date.

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 relationship. 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? 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: What are the unbreakable rules of opposite-gender friendships?]

9. If you have feelings, it doesn’t mean you have to act on 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, we 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. [Read: How to be just friends with a guy when you know he wants more]

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

It’s easy to get into all sorts of sexual conversations, whether it’s with the same sex or the opposite sex. It’s just fun.

But it can be a really bad thing to do if you want to keep a platonic relationship. Just don’t go there. Talk about the weather if you have to.

As exciting as it may be to talk about how each of you looks naked in bed or while having sex, it’s a conversation that can make one or both of you fantasize about the other person. [Read: Sleeping with a friend – a no-regrets guide to doing it right]

12. Don’t cozy up to each other

Even though we told you that you should avoid any date-like circumstances, sometimes you’ll forget that. Sometimes, 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 attached 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. [Read: How to have a perfectly platonic relationship with a friend – all the steps you need]

Sometimes, having a friend of the opposite sex that you can count on but have no sexual relationship with can be really awesome.

Having a platonic relationship is a wonderful thing. Of course, sometimes it’s difficult to ignore the sexual tension, but if you follow these rules, you will do just fine!

Platonic friendships and other people’s opinions

Now that you know the rules of being platonic friends, and what it really takes, we need to confront the world we live in. You two may be perfectly happy just being friends. [Read: Platonic marriage – what it is and why it’s okay to marry and live as just friends]

But is the world around you ready to accept that without bringing in a bit of drama?! Here are a few things you need to keep in mind, especially when it comes to other people’s opinions.

1. The mistaken couple

After all, you do what normal couples do minus the making out. You go on “dates”, hang out, shop together, and maybe even 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 can sometimes be your greatest struggle. [Read: Are we just friends or is he interested? 16 signs to read his mind]

2. They’re skeptical you’re “just friends”

It usually starts with the question “How long have you guys been together?” Followed by a moment where you and your friend stare at each other and laugh, before explaining “just friends.”

What follows is usually a moment of awkward silence, raised eyebrows, and a long “oookay.” So if you’re going to be platonic friends, this is something you both have to get used to.

3. “You look good together, why don’t you just date?”

It’s just a reality of life that people cannot get over the fact that you’re just friends of the opposite sex. [Read: Are you more than friends or just friends? The real truth]

It’s time you mentally prepare a snappy answer for every time someone will ask you this question!

Benefits of platonic relationships

This is something you will have to confront if you’re ever considering a serious platonic relationship with someone.

If you’ve been friends with a guy or a girl, and been getting platonically closer to each other with time, perhaps you both are definitely ready to be platonic friends.

But here are a few pros and cons for you to keep in mind. [Read: How to be friends without crossing the platonic line]

1. Good advice and honesty

If you find yourself struggling with a relationship problem, life problem, opposite gender problem, or a difficult decision, your friend will be able to offer you a whole new perspective, and unadulterated advice.

Your friend knows what’s best for you and can see things from a totally different perspective.

2. A code of loyalty

Just had a bad breakup? In urgent need of cash? Need a place to stay for a few days?

Your platonic friend is usually your first point of contact and the first one who’ll probably help you, even before your other friends. [Read: How to be just friends with a guy when he wants more]

For some reason, platonic friends are usually more loyal to each other, and always have each other’s backs. And this is not just in the good times, but in the bad as well.

3. Help with your relationship

A platonic friend usually works harder to win over your partner, because they understand the insecurity they may cause in your relationship. So, this means they’d try to get to know your partner just as well as you do. 

And your friend can offer you the right kind of advice during times like these. [Read: 25 questions to ask your guy best friend instead of your girl BFFs]

4. Improved health

Research has shown that humans need to be around other people and have strong connections with them. It helps to improve our happiness and overall well-being. 

So, having platonic relationships can make life a lot more fun. This, in turn, also improves your health because of the positivity it brings into your life.

5. Lower stress

When we are happier, then we have less stress in our lives. Not only is stress annoying and difficult to live with, but it can also make you unhealthy too. That’s why stress and health *or lack of it* go hand in hand. [Read: How to reduce stress – 17 fastest hacks to a calmer and happier life]

6. Increased resilience

There will always be challenges in life. No one is immune to that. And when you have to face them alone, it is much more difficult to get through them.

But when you have platonic relationships, you always have people to help you through the tough times. There is always someone to talk to, and that makes you much more resilient in life.

Disadvantages of platonic relationships

As simple as being platonic friends may seem to you, there are always a few other things that can play spoilsport in a perfect friendship! [Read: 20 signs he just wants to be friends even if you’re hoping for more]

Here are a few warning signs of a platonic relationship that could spill over into other parts of your life. Of course, we know you’re ready to face all of these annoyances. But, it’s better you know!

1. Your friend may get fewer dates

So will you! As most people would mistake you two as a couple, there’s a possibility that anyone attracted to your friend may back off because you’re always with them.

On the other hand, many people just avoid dating someone who’s in a platonic relationship with someone of the opposite gender. They’d rather avoid the messy complications they assume it would bring. [Read: How to be friends with a guy – 16 friendly ways to just stay platonic]

2. Your partner WILL get jealous

And likewise, your friend’s partner will get jealous too.

Both of your partners may be totally understanding and very secure in the relationship. 

But no matter how secure they feel, they would always experience the smallest hint of doubt or insecurity when you spend so much time with your platonic friend. [Read: Jealousy in a relationship – how to accept, deal, and overcome it in love]

And every time you have an argument with your partner, and vent to your platonic friend, it’s only going to make your own relationship worse.

3. YOU may get jealous!

You want the best for your best friend. And you’re happy they’re dating someone wonderful and perfect.

But at the same time, you can’t help but feel a hint of jealousy and possessiveness yourself when your friend starts to date, or spend time in someone else’s arms. [Read: What to do when he has a girl best friend? Should you be worried?]

All of a sudden, they have less time to spend with you. AND your friend is in love with their new squeeze, which may even make you hate their new partner just a little bit for taking your best friend away from you.

4. You’re both misunderstood

Your partner and your friend’s partner can’t understand why you need a platonic relationship with someone of the opposite sex when you have them.

Your partner thinks it is a valid point because they want to be your best friend and the closest member of the opposite sex. [Read: Long-distance friendship – what makes it work and 15 ways to stay connected]

As hard as you try to explain that your platonic friend was here first, and you totally like/love them only as a friend, your partner will probably never understand it.

5. Avoiding sexual tension is hard work

Spending time with someone where there’s a possibility of sexual attraction is not easy. Of course, if neither of you feels any sexual tension at all, that’s a breath of fresh air.

But the odds of that are low, especially if you’re ever in a situation where you’re bound to admire your friend sexually. [Read: 20 strong signs of sexual tension to know if you make each other horny]

Tips for a healthy platonic relationship 

As we all know, relationships require work. Most people know this when it comes to romantic relationships. But when it comes to the platonic types, they are really no different. So, here are some tips for a healthy platonic relationship.

1. Don’t make the other person do all the work

Any relationship is a two-way street. Don’t be the lazy one in the friendship. 

Make sure you check in with them and plan things for you to do. If your friend thinks they’re the only one doing all the work, then they will eventually grow resentful. [Read: Am I a bad friend? 16 bad friendship skills that push people away]

2. Stay in touch

You may or may not be good at keeping in touch with people. But if you want a platonic relationship to thrive, then you have to stay in touch. 

If you’re not a phone talker, then text them. Or if you don’t like texting, call them. And do all this on a regular basis.

3. Show up for them

Everyone has difficult phases in their lives. So, when this happens, it’s the time when we need our friends. [Read: 30 sad signs of a bad friend that’ll make you lose faith in humanity]

That’s why you have to show up for them when they need you. Be a loyal friend to them, and they will do the same for you.

The subtle undertone of sexual tension between platonic friends

If your platonic friend is attractive, you’d obviously know that. You’re not blind, and you are still human. So, this isn’t about pretending like you find them unattractive. It’s about accepting it and looking above and beyond it.

But sometimes, especially when you feel all alone and miserable, or you need a comforting shoulder to lean on or cuddle with, there’s a chance that all the love and affection you feel towards this platonic friend could find an outlet through sexual attraction. [Read: Mutual sexual tension – 44 signs, causes, and secrets to get more horny]

You like them a lot already, and on one lonely night, you may find yourself wondering how things could be if you two did end up together.

This is especially true *and a warning sign* if you both jokingly pledge to “get together if you find yourselves at 40 and are still single” in the future.

If you’re just friends, why would this thought cross your mind?

If the only reason you’re not sleeping together or dating each other is that there are plenty of fish in the sea or other hotties to date, that’s not a healthy way to stay platonic friends. [Read: How to get over a crush on a friend and stay strictly platonic]

Is it worth being platonic friends?

Friendships are great, it’s something all of us need and cherish. And it’s incredibly unfair if you have to remove 50% of the world’s population from any chance of being friends with the other 50%. And it’s also a bit silly and immature.

As an adult, if you want to have a healthy platonic relationship, you need to learn to be honest with each other. And most importantly, you need to be mature about it.

Being platonic friends isn’t a childish game, nor is it about bragging rights, it’s about having a true and loyal friend of a gender that sexually interests you, and it’s about putting friendship over base emotions like sex. [Read: The truth behind why guy best friends are nothing but trouble]

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 tell if a guy is gay by reading the signs]

With so many odds stacked against your favor, is a platonic relationship worth the effort?

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. [Read: Signs both of you are already more than just friends]

But if these sexual accidents happen often, obviously both or one of you are interested in being more than just friends.

Is it worth fighting evolution?

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 does fall in love eventually, there’s nothing either of you can do about it. [Read: Does your boyfriend have a flirty girl best friend?]

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.

[Read: 10 signs you have trust issues in your relationship and ways to overcome it all]

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 relationship.

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Carol Morgan LP
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...