On International Women’s Day, I wanted to take the opportunity to discuss the importance of platonic relationships. Platonic relationships can be empowering and essential for us to reach our goals and happiness in life. Speaking from experience, many of my close platonic friendships have supported me through difficult times and have provided me with great memories and experiences.
Firstly, I want to discuss some of the misconceptions about platonic relationship. Platonic relationships are always just friendships. Often, people mistake these relationships as ‘friends with benefits’ or ‘unrequited love’. This is not the case. For a platonic relationship to be successful, romantic emotions and attraction should not be present. Whilst affection and care is essential in the relationship, it should never become sexual.
There are numerous benefits to having a platonic relationship. One of which is communication skills. It is essential to have good communication skills with the opposite sex. This can be beneficial in the world of work and in life in general. Being able to feel comfortable around men and women is a great trait to have.
Platonic relationships often provide us with a different perspective when it comes to advice. This can be particularly useful when in relationships. If you are experiencing relationship difficulties, the perspective of the opposite sex can often provide more relatable advice which allows you to think rationally about the issues you are encountering.
Another benefit to platonic relationships is that they allow us to be more open about our emotions. This can be particularly prevalent in men, who often suppress emotions and feelings around other men because of the macho stereotype they sometimes follow. Having a female to discuss emotions with often makes men feel more comfortable and address their issues in regards to mental health which they might typically suppress in an all male environment.
Platonic relationships can be fun. Often platonic relationships can lead to new relationships. Through connections, you may introduce each other to one another’s friendship groups and this could lead to new romance and friendships blossoming.
So far, platonic relationships seem like a breeze. Nevertheless, there are some disadvantages to platonic relationships which we should always bear in mind when deciding how close to get to someone of the opposite sex.
It is very common that some platonic relationships result in jealousy. This usually occurs when one, or both, of the friends are already in a relationship. It is impossible to deny that suspicions of romance always arise around platonic relationships. This can be really difficult for some partners who often feel insecure about the discussions which occur between those who are in the platonic relationship. It is good to consider the emotions of your partner if you feel you platonic relationship is getting too close.
Another downside to some platonic relationships is the development of feelings. I personally would argue that it is possible for us all to have platonic relationships without developing any feelings of romance. However, for many people this can be difficult. Sometimes platonic relationships emerge from initial attraction towards each other. Moreover, as a closer relationship grows you may start to develop feelings even if you weren’t initially attracted to the person who you were in a platonic relationship with.
In summary, I would argue that platonic relationships are a great idea. They can be empowering, fun and essential to achieve happiness. Whilst these relationships can come with some risks, the benefits from them are definitely worth it. Just be honest and open about the relationship from the start and it can truly be one of the best friendships you will ever have.