They are good listeners. You probably have visible chemistry with each other. Your interests match so it’s very easy to have a conversation with them. It also helps that you have known them for years so you have bonded over the changes in life and your friendship has stood the test of time. However, nothing more has ever happened between you. You have not been physically intimate with them because your friendship is platonic. They are ‘just friends.’
We all have that one person in our lives that other people often think there’s more to your friendship but you are just platonic friends. The question of whether people of different sexes can be just friends has been asked over and over again. The person could be attractive, funny and with many desirable traits but they are in the friend zone because you are not interested in them like that.
On the other hand, it is possible that you probably find them attractive but you decide to keep the relationship platonic. This becomes the person you talk to when your significant other frustrates you because we all need an outlet. They know you so well that confiding in them is very easy. In the course of your interactions because you are still humans, sometimes there’s sexual tension but you manage to handle it without crossing that line. Given the dynamics of male and female interactions is it possible to have a platonic friendship with a person of the opposite gender?
Multiple studies conducted show that even though friends of opposite sexes can be friends one of them or both have been sexually attracted to the other person at some point. Often it was the man who found the women attractive. Since the man finds the woman attractive they also tend to overestimate how attractive the woman finds them. On the other hand, women underestimate how attractive men find them because they are not interested in them sexually.
The majority of the people with platonic friendships have had a crush on their friends at one point. It probably started as a crush and then they got friend-zoned and became very good friends. Interestingly, many of the people interviewed were glad about the turn of events. The friendships have served them more than any other kind of relationship would have.
Platonic friendships can be difficult to maintain especially if you are dating or in a marriage. However, here are a few ways to make them work.
- Set boundaries
This is the cardinal rule of successful platonic friendships. Some of the boundaries are unsaid but you have to consciously set boundaries. Avoid sexual innuendos of any form whether it is a joke or messages. Avoid situations that could lead to poor decisions. For example, if you hang out together avoid situations that could lead to physical intimacy.
- Communicate openly
Communication is key in all relationships but it’s a key component of successful platonic relationships. If you are dating then communicating about your friendship also extends to your partner. If you are dating often your partner might feel jealous of your friend. Jealousy stems from fear. Perhaps your partner fears that there’s more between you two.
To avoid misunderstandings be open about your friendship. Let your partner know when you hang out with your friend. Let them know of your boundaries both verbally and through actions. On the other hand, as friends communicate openly. It’s possible that you could have other intentions with the friendship. Make your feelings and intentions clear to the other person so that you can manage expectations.
It is possible for men and women to have a platonic friendship but it’s can be difficult. It becomes difficult if one person has feelings for the other person. However, over time when you get to know each other, you form a deeper connection that supersedes the need for physical intimacy. If you are dating or married, however, you might have to give up these friendships for the sake of your relationships with your partners because very few are comfortable with this idea.
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