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Do Platonic Relationships Really Work?

Neha Joshi Mar 12, 2019
Most of us indulge in a platonic relationship at least once, for sometime. Do platonic relationships really work? If they do, how? Platonic relationships can be saviors of another committed relationship, or they can ruin the lives of all those who are associated with it directly or indirectly.
You date someone for the longest time and realize that you are one of the lucky few to have sustained a relationship for this long a time. Everything seems to be working fine until a day when you realize you are alone, irrespective of being with that special someone, you are alone.
It takes you a long time to decide whether or not you should tell your partners what's on your mind. Eventually, you decide not to tell whatever it is to save yourself from judgment. You ignore issues that you know will lead to a fight you won't be able to take. You fight for what you deserve, but in vain.
All this, while you are still dating that somebody else. You wait for a call or a message when you need it the most, only to see yourself staring blankly at the cell phone. All this, and you're still with that person 'you' love.
At times, you find another person to 'share' feelings with. This other person then, becomes your emotional support system and you tend to develop a close, yet platonic, friendship with that person.
That brings us to the point where we question are these platonic relationships capable of providing what they promise and how. Before that, let's try to understand what is meant by a platonic relationship...
A platonic relationship is a relationship where two people come close because of their emotional understanding. This relationship does not include any sexual or physical aspect to it. In this, two people of the opposite sexes understand each other much more than anyone else.
Today, the definition of this relationship is fast changing where people have a platonic relationship with many people at the same time. In reality, it is very difficult to find that one person who can understand you no matter what. That one person who knows and accepts you just how you are, with all the simplicity and all the madness.

How Do Platonic Relationships Work?

You might think why people can't share their problems with people of the same gender. The reason for this, is our psyche. We humans are programmed in a very different way. Most of us are attracted to the opposite sex when it comes to sharing problems in a relationship.
We find ourselves attracted to a person of the opposite sex faster than someone of our own gender. Men can make women feel more comfortable and vice-versa. This is the reason why platonic relationships exist in the first place and also the reason as to why it is difficult to keep the relationship just platonic.
More than men, women are the ones who look for a platonic relationship. The reason being that women need continuous emotional support. Another way of looking at this is that women have more complex emotions than men and this makes it more difficult for men to understand women.
However, the human need to be understood is the same for everyone. Women don't stop loving their partners because they don't understand them well, they just find someone else to share these emotions with. Though this isn't advised, there are times when you can't do much about it. The need to be understood overpowers rationality.
There can be only two problems with platonic relationships. Let's discuss the first one. When you start sharing your problems with someone else, apart from your partner, you become more close to that person emotionally. You start talking to him/her more than your partner, who ideally needs to know things first.
You emotionally start depending on the person who understands you and over a period of time, you might think that this is the person you should be with. There is a huge possibility that a platonic relationship might lead to emotional infidelity.
Though understanding is the basic need of every relationship, in some, it might take time, maybe years. Platonic relationships affect your personal life negatively in this case. Women might decide to move on from their current relationship and start dating the person who understands them more.
All you need to ask yourself is, can this person tolerate me the way I am along with understanding me? By a certain age, we all know that living with a person and being with a person, require separate emotions and patience.
The second problem is this. Some people know that they are looking for only emotional support in their platonic relationships. The other person involved in this relationship might be expecting something else. He/she might think that there is something more to this relationship from your side.
They might become hopeful and start expecting more from you. If they don't, your spouse or your boyfriend might think it's unhealthy to be so close to someone apart from them. This difference of opinion might lead to more fights and even lesser communication.
Platonic relationships are very beautiful if you understand them properly and know your boundaries right from the start. On the other hand, you need to make the other person aware of these boundaries too. The nature of the human heart or soul to connect to only a few is very exceptional.
Sometimes, these platonic relationships help people get out of abusive relationships by giving the confidence and support needed. If you are in a platonic relationship with someone, know your boundaries well and always remember where your loyalties lie. Everything becomes simple then!