How to Define and Maintain a Platonic Relationship

A platonic relationship is one that does not involve romantic or sexual feelings, but is still based on love, loyalty, respect, and honesty. Platonic relationships can exist between people of any gender, and can be very fulfilling and meaningful. However, platonic relationships can also face some challenges, such as misunderstandings, jealousy, or unrequited feelings. In this article, we will explore how to define and maintain a platonic relationship, and what are some of the benefits and pitfalls of this type of connection.

What is a platonic relationship?

The term "platonic" comes from the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, who wrote about the ideal form of love that transcends physical attraction and lust. He believed that this kind of love was pure, spiritual, and intellectual, and that it could only be achieved by people who shared the same values and interests. ¹

Today, a platonic relationship is generally understood as a friendship that is not influenced by sexual or romantic desire. Platonic friends care for each other deeply, support each other emotionally, intellectually, and practically, and enjoy spending time together. Platonic friends may also share physical affection, such as hugs, kisses, or cuddles, as long as they do not have any sexual implications or expectations. ²

How to make a platonic relationship work

Platonic relationships can be very rewarding and enriching, but they also require some effort and communication to avoid potential problems. Here are some tips on how to make a platonic relationship work: ¹²³

  • Create clear ground rules. If you want to keep your friendship platonic, it is important to communicate your intentions and expectations from the start. Avoid sending mixed signals or leading your friend on. Be honest about your feelings and respect their feelings as well. If you or your friend develop romantic or sexual feelings at some point, talk about it openly and decide how to proceed.
  • Trust yourselves. Don't let society or other people pressure you into thinking that your friendship has to turn into something more. Remember that platonic love is just as valid and valuable as romantic love. Have confidence in your decision and trust your friend's decision as well.
  • Consider all the benefits of a platonic relationship. Platonic relationships can offer many advantages that romantic relationships may not. For example, platonic friends can provide unconditional support, honest feedback, diverse perspectives, shared hobbies, personal growth, and fun without drama or complications.
  • Be realistic. Platonic relationships are not perfect or immune to challenges. You may still have disagreements, misunderstandings, conflicts, or hurt feelings with your platonic friend. You may also face external difficulties, such as social stigma, family disapproval, or partner jealousy. Be prepared to deal with these issues in a mature and respectful way.
  • Be open to the possibilities of tension. Sometimes, platonic relationships can experience some tension or awkwardness due to various factors. For example, you may feel jealous of your friend's romantic partner or other friends. You may feel insecure about your friendship status or future. You may feel attracted to your friend physically or emotionally. These feelings are normal and natural, but they need to be addressed before they affect your friendship negatively.
  • Maintain healthy boundaries. Boundaries are essential for any relationship, but especially for platonic ones. Boundaries help you define what is acceptable and unacceptable in your friendship, and protect your personal space and well-being. Boundaries can include things like how often you communicate, how much you share about your personal lives, how you express physical affection, how you handle conflicts, etc. Boundaries can vary depending on your preferences and comfort levels, but they should always be discussed and respected by both parties.


A platonic relationship is a friendship that does not involve romantic or sexual feelings but is still based on love, loyalty, respect, and honesty. Platonic relationships can be very fulfilling and meaningful, but they also require some effort and communication to avoid potential problems. By following the tips above, you can define and maintain a platonic relationship with your friend and enjoy the benefits of this unique type of connection.

Source: Conversation with Bing, 4/17/2023

(1) How to Make a Platonic Relationship Work: 6 Best Tips - WikiHow.

2) Platonic Friendship: What It Is and How to Make It Work - Healthline.

(3) What Is a Platonic Relationship? Examples and Differences - Insider.

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