Ever been in a relationship where you and your partner will cuddle, hug, and talk about everything under the sun, but you don’t have any physical desire for each other? Wondering why it hasn’t moved to the bedroom yet?
Chances are you are in a platonic relationship.
I’ve got all the details for you about this kind of relationship and how to make the most of it.
What Is a Platonic Relationship?
When you share a close bond with someone who is more than family-based, you feel deeply for them and you love them without a doubt, but you have no desire to have sex with them. You have a strong bond with that person, and while you may enjoy being physically close, you don’t wish to take things any further than that.
Instead, you want your relationship to remain about you and your partner and your amazing connection. Instead of being lovers, you choose to be friends—setting the bar on an incredible relationship.
The term “platonic love” was invented by Plato. Platonic love refers to a love that is about sharing friendship or focusing on the higher selves that can be obtained in a relationship that is sex-free.
An In-Depth Look at Platonic Relationships
There are many aspects of platonic love that need to be considered to fully understand just what it is.
An example of a relationship that isn’t platonic is one where the husband chooses not to engage in sex with his wife because he already has an affair going on the side. His abstinence isn’t driven by some higher love or connection in this case.
Benefits of Platonic Love and Relationships
If you wonder whether a platonic relationship is right for you, it’s one of those things where you just have to dive in and see for yourself. Nobody can tell you that a platonic relationship is right for you.
Instead, you need to see if you enjoy these benefits:
In a platonic relationship, you find that you care more about your partner than you do about yourself. Whatever they need, you instantly want to help. While other couples argue, you and your partner sit calmly and talk things over with no sense of self-defense or recrimination.
If you’ve ever wanted to share your deepest thoughts, feelings, and fears with someone, your platonic partner is the perfect sounding board. Platonic partners are never driven by their own egos, which makes them better listeners and more receptive to sharing.
Platonic partners give each other space to be who they are. In a platonic partnership, you and your partner create a safe space where you can be who you were born to be. There is no expectation to be something you’re not.
You realize how rare it is to be with someone who wants you for more than an orgasm and will set aside sex to be with you because of who you are. Since you trust each other so completely and choose each other so wholly, you are more at ease with each other and build a deep respect that connects you both.
Since both parties are focused on each other, not on the possible influence of others, they are not likely to make mistakes that could lead to a breakup.
When you decide you don’t want to have kids or conform to a societal construct of what a relationship is supposed to be, your platonic partner is the perfect match and supporter of your individuality.
In a platonic relationship, you have and build a genuinely authentic connection with another person who sees you, gets you, and will walk through fire for you—and expects nothing in return.
Your communication will be the most stimulating you’ve ever had, and you will find yourself hanging off their words and being eager to share your thoughts.
You start to function in a complementary manner, adjusting to perfectly support and mirror each other.
Drawbacks of Platonic Relationships
When you are in a platonic relationship, you may feel that it is a much larger investment than any other relationship before. This can be intimidating to anyone who believes they may be in a platonic relationship.
Sadly, one of the things that can ruin a platonic relationship is when that relationship takes on a sexual nature. If you and your partner decide to take the next step and go for sexual intimacy, you risk ruining the original bond that comes with being in a platonic relationship.
A platonic relationship needs not be a “couples” relationship. In fact, you can be in a platonic relationship and have a romantic relationship with someone else, as long as you and your platonic partner have discussed and agreed to this. Unlike an open relationship, this is not about having more than one sexual partner.
Since people may think that you are romantic partners since you are so obviously close and connected, it can place pressure on you to make the platonic relationship into a romantic one.
If you and your platonic relationship partner have agreed that you can also have romantic relationships with other people, it may backfire if there is suddenly jealousy showing up in your relationship.
While you both know that you are not in a romantic relationship and may both have agreed to external relationships, it is only natural to suddenly feel jealous if you see someone else making your platonic partner happy.
How to Know You Are in a Platonic Relationship
There are signs to look out for to determine you are in a platonic relationship.
A platonic relationship is a relationship between best friends. This can be with someone who is the same sex as you or the opposite sex. So one of the first signs that you’ve gone beyond friendship into platonic love is a deep closeness.
You will both have similar interests and share a number of similarities that give you common ground, which further enhances your closeness. Yet, and most importantly, you won’t at all be interested in a sexual relationship with your platonic partner.
With most people, if you say something honestly, your first instinct is to fear some form of backlash or retribution later. You regret spilling the beans or even just truthfully sharing how you feel.
However, with a platonic relationship, suddenly blurting out the truth doesn’t hurt, and it doesn’t make you (or your partner) feel uncomfortable at all.
Acceptance and Freedom
Most relationships have a certain level of accountability, and while your husband may demand that you are home before 5 p.m. to cook dinner, your platonic partner will encourage you to do what you enjoy.
They will want you to be late if it means you get to spend more time learning about Italian cooking at the local culinary school, as long as it excites you.
There is great freedom in knowing someone wants the best for you, always.
Respect for Boundaries
While it may sound like your platonic partner is an “artificial twin,” this person is not so integrated in your life as to be parasitic. Instead, they want you to have your own space, and they have theirs too. You both respect each other’s space.
A sure sign that you are in a platonic relationship is when you respect your partner’s right to their own interests and time investments without your “approval.”
How to Protect Your Platonic Relationship
Okay, so you’ve found your twin flame, your partner in crime, your better self in someone who you are in a platonic relationship with. Wonderful!
But how do you stop this incredible relationship from being broken?
Protect your platonic relationship with these steps:
You may want to have romantic relationships outside of your platonic relationship, and this can cause conflicting feelings as your partner may feel you being drawn away from them. Be sure to discuss everything openly so they know you are not moving away or on from them.
Relationships always have challenges, but don’t discuss the issues your romantic partner and you have with your platonic partner. Naturally, they will want to protect you, which can bring them into conflict with your romantic partner.
If they hear you complain, your platonic partner will want to take steps to fix things, which can cause romantic feelings of protectiveness to form. This can damage the non-sexual nature of your platonic love.
Ensure that you have enough time to spend with your platonic and romantic partners. Both these partners will want to feel important, considered, and cherished.
While spending time together with your partners is important, your platonic relationship also requires that you can spend time away from your romantic partner. Both partners should clearly be equally important to you. AND you should have a life beyond these relationships too.
If you want to have a successful relationship of any kind, being open and communicating is a powerful skill to master.
Your platonic relationship can help you define your communication skill and better understand your romantic partner. Platonic and romantic relationships can coexist peacefully if you manage these carefully and with great consideration.