“Just Friends”. This phrase has got extremely popular over the years. But can any two people of opposite genders ever really be “just friends”? Is it just one of those things people say out of convenience? Have Monica and Chandler created the new norm of best friends of going further than a friendship?
Despite what many people believe, and what our favorite movies, sitcoms and books have embedded in our minds, platonic relationships can and do happen. There are people who have best friends of the opposite gender that remain so for the rest of their lives. It can truly be the innocent, caring and loving mutual friendship it is supposed to be.
But that is not to say that there won’t be complications. So here are some tips on how to maintain a healthy platonic relationship:
Be open to the possibility of tension:
It is said that men usually befriend women they are already attracted to. Women on the other hand, get more attracted to a man as they get closer. Therefore, there could very well be a tension between the two of you. You might get shivers and feel your heartbeat fasten a bit, so be open to this possibility. As long as no action is taken towards these fluttery feelings, your friendship should be safe.
Lay some ground rules:
Have some boundaries between the two of you. These should not be verbal boundaries as long as you have a good understanding of each other and their romantic life. Don’t get too caught up with your “guy friend” and cross the line from friendship to flirtation.
Encourage friendship, not intimacy:
It could be true that you and your friend don’t have mutual friends, so the two of you always end up hanging out alone. But don’t make these outings romantic in any way. Don’t stay on call at night for too long. These kinds of actions would leave you both utterly confused. And it could tarnish your friendship.
What to do when you’re in a relationship?
This is very important. If you’re married or in a committed relationship your significant other might not always approve of your platonic friend. No matter how many times you’ve stressed the fact that you are indeed “just friends”. So don’t have your spouse doubt you or dislike your friend. Include your significant others in your plans, so that they know what your friendship is like.
Don’t ever complain about your spouse with your friend. This would ruin your relationship with both of them. And never compare the two of them, even if it is to yourself. Always remember that you’re mostly seeing only the goodness in your friend whereas you see every bit of your spouse’s good and bad.
And finally, be mindful of what you do. Don’t do anything that you wouldn’t do if your spouse was there. This way, you and your friend can have a nice, healthy, innocent and beneficial platonic relationship.