Talk Nerdy To Me’s @StaffWriter:
It’s a well-known fact that platonic relationships exist, but what is it and how does it differ from a romantic one?
A platonic relationship is the type of friendship in which both people in the relationship are not romantically involved. It’s usually developed when two adults want to spend time with one another without getting sexual or developing feelings for one another.
A platonic relationship can be long term and it can be short term, depending on how both people feel about each other.
the difference between a platonic and a romantic relationship
One way to explain the difference between a platonic and romantic relationship is they usually develop without physical or emotional intimacy. This is probably the biggest difference.
But there are others.
For example, in a platonic relationship, both people are completely comfortable around one another because they’re not romantically involved.
They can be themselves and rely on each other for emotional support.
There is usually no jealousy or physical attraction. This means it can be easier for both people in the relationship to communicate their true feelings.
Although it’s not always true, sometimes one person in the friendship will develop romantic feelings for the other person. There is a chance that one of them may want to become romantically involved with the other.
types of platonic relationships
There are different types of platonic relationships. Some popular types are bromance, work spouse, and frenemy.
A bromance is a close platonic friendship between two men. A womance is a similar non-romantic bond between two women.
A work spouse is a relationship that develops between two co-workers who spend an extended period of time together and depend on each other for help and support.
They develop a strong bond, but it’s not romantic in nature.
benefits of a platonic relationship
There are numerous benefits to having a platonic relationship.
Benefits include helping each other through tough times, knowing you can count on them as a friend and not as a lover. With a platonic relationship, you get someone to talk to that isn’t biased when it comes to certain things like family or work because they’re outside of that dynamic.
For example, if you were in an argument with your partner, you may not feel comfortable talking about it with them.
However, you can talk openly in your platonic relationship.
Another benefit is that you get the opportunity to get to know new people without any added pressure. It can also be helpful for building up self-esteem and developing positive relationships with others.
Since the relationship is non-romantic, there will usually be more solidarity and honesty than in a romantic relationship. This means that you and your friend won’t have to worry about making your relationship look perfect or hiding certain aspects of it from others.
Both people can be themselves without worrying too much about what the other one will think about them. For instance, if you’re working on a project together, you won’t have to answer to anyone because it’s platonic.
You won’t have to call and tell your platonic friend where you are or what you’re up to all the time.
tips for maintaining a platonic relationship
Let’s go over some helpful tips for maintaining a platonic relationship.
Since it’s an important relationship, you want to make sure that it’s strong and that you’re both committed. If someone does develop romantic feelings for their friend, they should talk about those feelings with the other person first.
It might be helpful to discuss this early on in your friendship so you can determine if you two are looking for the same thing.
To make a platonic relationship work, you should communicate a lot and be open with one another. Prioritize quality time together. Fulfill your commitments to each other.
Treat each other with respect and care.
Listen to your platonic friend, celebrate their victories, be there when they need you.
how to start a platonic relationship
If you want to start a platonic relationship, there are plenty of things you can do to achieve that goal.
Go out and meet new people.
Be upfront about your inability to develop romantic feelings for them. Find someone with whom you share goals, interests, and values.
The most important thing is to make sure you set boundaries and expectations.
example boundary #1: no romantic feelings
You’d be happy if your platonic friend met someone and fell in love.
However, you aren’t looking for that yourself. You enjoy hanging out with them because of shared interests or experiences.
example boundary #2: no physical intimacy
While it’s important to keep the relationship platonic, there are some things that you can do. For instance, no kissing. No hugging for too long. No touching privates. In short, keep the physical intimacy to a minimum.
example boundary #3: communication
If one of you does develop feelings, communicate with each other. Unexpressed romantic feelings can fester into resentment.
example boundary #4: mutual interests
You should do things together, rather than just hanging out at home. That way you can both enjoy yourselves and keep communication open.
how to end a platonic relationship
If you want to end a platonic relationship, it’s best to do it in person. A text may seem too flippant. Ghosting a friend is almost never a good idea.
A better approach is to meet with the person and be honest about your feelings. Let them know the relationship is not working out for you. Don’t be mean but do be direct and clear.
You can say something like, “I’m so grateful for our time together. However, I don’t see us as a fit anymore.”
Hopefully, they’ll understand and respect the boundaries you’ve set.
If not, at least you know that you tried your best. You were honest and clear. Most people will respect that approach.
If someone tries to pressure or guilt you into continuing the friendship, stay firm. You don’t have to explain your reasoning to anyone, not even your friend.
This often stems from romantic feelings that are bubbling under the surface.
That’s why it’s best to communicate openly about boundaries and expectations at the beginning of a platonic relationship.
If you find yourself in an uncomfortable or hostile situation, end the conversation and leave.
Your safety and happiness come first.