There are many different kinds of love in the world, so what do we mean when we talk about platonic love or platonic friendship?
When we talk about platonic love, we usually mean love between two people that are close but are not romantic. We experience this love all the time with friends and it creates a potentially intense closeness between the two. It can be difficult to toe the line between platonic love and romantic love, as there is almost always an implication of romance when we make new friends. But if you have a platonic friendship, it is one of the most incredible things you can experience, and here’s why:
1. It teaches you healthy communication
Communication between humans, in general, can be tricky. There are a number of reasons why communication between couples can be difficult, but breaking through these difficulties is an important part of relationships. A Platonic friendship helps you to develop these healthy communication skills so that you and your partner have a much stronger relationship.
They do this because they are someone that you can turn to without fear of judgment and they can offer advice on how to approach difficult conversations with a partner. Essentially, they are great practice for the real thing.
2. They can give you another perspective
Do you ever find yourself puzzled over behaviours of the opposite sex? Platonic friends, when of the opposite sex, can help you to navigate these difficult and often confusing behaviours. Having a friend of the opposite sex is like having a secret weapon on the inside. You can use them as a sounding board and they can let you know what’s going on in your partner’s head, allowing you to better understand your partner and how to manoeuver around relationship issues.
There is also a benefit in the fact that they can give you tips on other areas of life, letting you know what looks good and what can benefit you in ways that you may not be able to see yourself.
3. It can help you kick some bad relationship habits
If you aren’t used to having friends who are actually just friends, you can find yourself using friends as back up lovers, whether you mean to or not. Having a friend that is just a friend allows you to get used to no romantic side to a relationship so that when you are in a committed relationship, you don’t feel the need to have a backup. This not only makes your romantic relationships stronger, it also develops your ability to decipher between a meaningful romantic relationship and a flirtation.
It can be difficult to trust people in a romantic relationship sometimes, especially if you’ve been hurt before. With a friend who is strictly platonic, there is a level of trust that is easier to protect than in a romantic relationship and won’t be vulnerable to heartache. Having someone who is always there to talk to is one of the best benefits to a platonic relationship, as the opposite sex have different ways of comforting and supporting others.
Make the most out of your platonic friendship, as they will be one of the longest and fulfilling relationships that you have.
5. Varied Support
Opposite genders support others in different ways. Women are much more emotionally supportive whereas men tend to look toward a solution. Having an equal mix of these approaches within friendships and relationships can help you to deal with difficult situations much more successfully. Having a platonic friendship gives you different perspectives on how to deal with problems and navigate different circumstances and this makes you much better prepared in future.
With a platonic friend, you can be your true self on your best days and your worst because they will accept you all the same. You don’t need to worry about being judged for being unladylike or ungentlemanly and you can just be yourself. You don’t need to feel embarrassed or on edge, you can just be you. Platonic friends are also great when you’re feeling blue, as they know you better than anyone and will know exactly what to do to cheer you up.
It is important to set clear boundaries so that both parties understand and maintain the relationship in a platonic way. There can sometimes be a suggestion of romance or flirting, and if feelings begin to emerge, it is important to be open and honest with your friend as to how you feel so that you can work forward together. Yet, if you have a platonic connection, you will know just how special it is.
Like any relationship, platonic friendships take work too, but they can be some of the strongest and most fulfilling relationships that humans can have, as well as having some great benefits!
By Francesca F.
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