Matters Of The Heart: How To Deal With Platonic Love

Many people believe that platonic love between men and women is not possible, but, believe it or not, it is! Here are some tips on how to deal with platonic love.

Platonic love is often described as a deep friendship between two heterosexual people of the opposite sex, in which sex doesn’t play a part. It is often just as strong as a romantic relationship but there is no sexual element- despite many people around the two friends often assuming that there is.

Platonic love is a wonderful feeling. Having someone of the opposite sex who you can talk openly to about anything and everything, without the added pressure of a romantic relationship, is great.

Sure platonic friendships can be challenging in a way that your friendships with other girls aren’t, and they are especially difficult if one person is feeling more love than the other.

However, if you know how to deal with platonic love then you can have one of the most wonderful and rewarding relationships of your life.

Here are a few tips for successfully dealing with platonic love:

Be open and honest with each other

couple talking over a coffee

There’s a very fine line between platonic love and romantic love so it would be very easy for one, or both of you, to cross over that line.

Making sure you talk, openly and honestly, to each other on a regular basis will make it easier to deal with that if it happens with the two of you.

It is also important to be open and honest about how strong your feelings are for the other person, even if you know that your feelings are not reciprocated.

Be open and honest with any romantic partners

If you have someone in your life, who you have a strong platonic love for, then a romantic partner can end up feeling very jealous of that relationship.

Often an emotional relationship can be just as intense- if not more so- than one with a romantic partner. This can be difficult for boyfriends to deal with, and sometimes, no matter how many times you and your platonic love explain that you’re not romantically interested in each other, romantic partners will not believe you.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to end your friendship; it just means that all of you need to have an adult conversation and figure out what works best for all of you.

Set ground rules

Mature couple hugging in a garden corridor at home

Most platonic relationships work fine and remain just that- platonic. However, sometimes one of the two develops some romantic feelings for the other.

If that does happen you need to have already set the ground rules for how you’re going to deal with it.

These rules could be things like, don’t make a move on the other person or don’t talk about romantic partners with each other. Setting ground rules will eliminate awkwardness and it makes sure both people know where they stand.

Don’t make the other person feel guilty for not loving you

A lot of the time platonic love is reciprocated and the two people can have a wonderful friendship. Sometimes, though, one person has much stronger feelings that the other, and these feelings can border on romantic love. If the two of you decide that you can live with this then that is great. If not, however, it is important to handle this situation properly.

If you are the one with stronger feelings then it’s important to not make the other person feel guilty for not feeling the same way, and it’s important not to pressure them into being more than just friends with you.

Think about it, even if you did manage to talk them into a romantic relationship with you, it’s unlikely that they will suddenly fall in love with you the way you want them to, so it wouldn’t last. What’s more is you’d more than likely ruin the friendship that you had with them before.

Walk away if it’s too difficult- Like I said above if the two of you are perfectly fine having a platonic friendship when one of you has much stronger feelings that the other, but it’s also fine to walk away if you can’t handle your feelings not being reciprocated.

In my opinion, this should be a last resort because it would be a shame to throw away what could be a lovely, platonic relationship with someone.

However, if you know that wouldn’t make you happy then you can walk away. Just do it in a mature way and have a conversation with the other person first; don’t just suddenly cut off all contact and leave them wondering what they did wrong.

Have other friends

Group Of Friends Enjoying Drink And Snack In Rooftop Bar 2

Obviously, you want to spend a lot of time with this person- and that’s fine- but make sure that you spend time away from your platonic love with other friends.

It’s also fine to have a group of mutual friends that the two of you hang out with together but make sure you both have separate groups of friends too. You need time away from each other, just like you do with a romantic partner.

Remember that guys and girls are different

If you have a guy best friend it can be very tempting to behave with him in the same way that you would with a girl best friend. Shape your platonic relationship around things that you have in common and save the girly chats for your female friends. Not doing this can lead to difficulties in your friendship.

Ignore the people who don’t understand your platonic love

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people can’t accept that guys and girls can’t be friends without being in love- or at least wanting to have sex with each other. You absolutely can be in platonic love with a guy.

The main reason why most people think that successful platonic relationships between men and women can’t be done is that, throughout history, men and women lived such separate lives that the only real reason they got together was for romance. Now that we live in an equal society there is no need for such outdated ideas.

Enjoy your platonic love

positive and carefree couple having fun in city

Having such a strong feeling and connection to another person, without the pressure to commit to a romance with them is a wonderful thing.

You get someone who will always be there for you, who will always have your back, and who doesn’t need you to be anyone but yourself around him in order to impress him.

Another great thing about a male best friend is they will always give you a different opinion to your female friends, which allows you to see things from a different perspective.

The most important thing to take from this is, in order to effectively deal with platonic love and to make that relationship work, you need to keep talking openly and honestly with each other.

The other thing to remember is that guys and girls can be best friends for years without ever falling in love with each other- despite many people assuming that this is not possible.

Does anyone have any more tips for successfully dealing with platonic love? Let us know in the comments!

About the author

Emily W

I’m a soon-to-be psychology graduate who’s trying to avoid adulthood at all costs. I spent a summer working and travelling around America, and came home to the UK with a serious case of wanderlust and a bagel addiction. When I’m not writing articles I can be found blogging, planning my next adventure, or reading delicious vegetarian recipes.

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