Ahhh, the platonic relationship. Out of all the different kinds of relationships out there in the world, this one might be the least exciting (well, at least for those of us who are horny as heck all the time), but also the most underrated.
Having someone who we love and rely on is a big deal, as friendship gives many of us new and varying meanings of life, and with a platonic relationship, you can actually focus on aspects of friendship and connection that fall well outside of ideas of romanticism and sexuality.
So then, what is a platonic relationship, are platonic relationships possible, and what do you do when choosing between a platonic relationship vs romantic relationship? Dang, good questions! Maybe we have an answer or two, so stick around.
What is a Platonic Relationship?
Some of us might not even know what a platonic relationship is, or if we have been in/are currently in one, and that’s totally cool!
It’s actually a really simple term to understand, as a platonic relationship is a relationship between two people that remains strictly as a deep, connected, and emotional friendship. This is not a romantic or sexual relationship whatsoever, and the second things expand beyond friendship, the relationship is no longer platonic.
Any gender can be in a platonic relationship, and it doesn’t even matter what style of sexual identity you take on. A straight male can be in a platonic relationship with another straight male; a straight female can be in a platonic relationship with a gay female. A gay male can be in a platonic relationship with another gay male. The term of a platonic relationship sees absolutely no end to possibilities of gender and sexuality!
Platonic Relationship vs. Friendship
You might be thinking to yourself, “Well, this sure as heck sounds like the same thing as a friendship”. And yeah, you’re totally not wrong, as a platonic relationship is a friendship, but there are a few defining characteristics that set the two apart, as a friendship isn’t necessarily a platonic relationship.
Some of these characteristics include:
- Love: You feel genuine, non-romantic love for your platonic partner
- Closeness: You feel close to your platonic partner. You might have similar life experiences, a similar outlook on life, similar hobbies. Whatever it is, if you feel like you know and understand each other well, then your friendship might be platonic.
- Trust: You trust your platonic partner with the world, and they trust you with the same.
- Honesty: You can be open and honest with your friend, feeling as though you can confide in them with any topic or life circumstance
- Happiness: A good friend will make you feel happy, and if your friend is an abundant source of your happiness in life, then you can probably define this as platonic love!
Are Platonic Relationships Possible?
Are platonic relationships possible? Absolutely! They are not only possible, but some of the most beneficial types of relationships to exist.
Platonic relationships are possible with any construct of gender and sexuality, but a majority of platonic relationships that last the longest and that are genuine and true are those that exist between two partners whose sexuality makes it difficult to like the other partner on a romantic level.
A straight female and another straight female, a gay male and a straight male, a gay female and a straight male. These constructs are much easier to find connections without the desire for ‘more’ (wink wink) affecting anything.
However, when two like-minded individuals whose sexuality align and that allow for a relationship beyond only a friendship, are platonic relationships possible here? They sure are, and these are often some of the most valuable friendships that someone could ever experience, but we are all human- and being human means having ‘sex’ at the forefront of our biological brains.
For a platonic relationship of this type to work, the key is to actually not try too hard at all! In the end, a platonic relationship should form naturally. If you don’t feel a connection that spans into the desire for romance, then that might just be fate speaking! Why would you try and force something romantic that isn’t occurring naturally?
And, if after time passes and your platonic connection builds, should you feel that spark of romance start to light, then you know what? That is okay too! Once again, you feel this way for a reason, that reason being you might have found the person of your dreams, and you should follow through with the direction your heart is taking you.
Sure, things might get tricky or weird if the other person doesn’t feel the same way, but you can work through this. I mean, shoot your shot, right? I know, I know, you might be scared that you’ll lose the person forever, but chances are, if your friendship is already so strong, you can work through this, and we should never spend our lives avoiding how we intrinsically feel.
A platonic relationship that starts as and last as a platonic relationship was clearly meant to be as such, and one that expands into more was meant to be more, so you know what? Just go with the dang flow, and don’t overthink it!
The Benefits of a Platonic Relationship
If you do find yourself in a genuine platonic relationship, there are some serious benefits to this, especially if your platonic partner is of the other gender. Some of these benefits include:
- They give you romantic insights into their own gender to help push you in the right direction during your other romantic endeavors.
- They’re a great wingwoman/wingman.
- They provide unique insight into other aspects of life, seeing as they are often another gender, and other genders have entirely different experiences.
- They give you someone to open and honestly talk/vent to.
- They show you love in a form that exists entirely outside of romantic relationships.
- They teach you the true meaning of friendship.
- They give you someone to share intimate experiences with, even though the intimacy isn’t sexual (hey, did you know that there are actually quite a few different types of intimacy?)
And overall, they’re simply your partner in crime! It’s always so good to have someone that you love who is not your romantic partner, and platonic relationships create so much good within your own life.
Platonic Relationship vs Romantic Relationship
Oh boy, are you stuck deciding if you should attempt to take your platonic relationship to the next level with someone by making it romantic? Bringing us back to what we said earlier, our best piece of advice is to listen to your heart! You know what you want deep down, so whatever your itch, you will eventually have to scratch it.
If this is the case, then how the heck are you supposed to approach things? You really have two options:
- Being honest as their friends and telling them directly how you feel
Considering your friendship is so healthy and close, this might be the best way to go about it. Sit them down for a nice conversation, and tell them how you feel as a friend and also as a potential romantic partner. They will appreciate your honesty and your ability to get straight to the point as soon as your feelings have turned into more.
- Going slow and steady with all the right hints
And for the other route, you might want to go a little slow and steady through subtle hints at the fact that you like them. Throw in a few additional cute compliments to your text messages together, express a little bit of flirtatious body language, learn how to flirt so you can subtly get your message across that you’re really feeling them.
And then, of course, you’re going to have to ask them out at some point, so we suggest visiting our latest guide on “How to Ask Someone Out” for all the deets.
No matter how you choose to approach things, just be ready to accept denial should that be the case, and don’t let anger or disappointment get in the way of ruining your friendship, and always remember: you’re the hottest thing on the block anyway, and there’s always other fish in the sea.