Can a Man and a Woman Have a Platonic Relationship?


Love has many forms, but none of them causes as much controversy as platonic love. Despite numerous beliefs, there’s nothing wrong with it. Platonic relationships are characterized by the deepest and strongest feeling that contributes to our spiritual development. Platonic feelings raise a person over his instincts and ennoble him. Let's find out what a platonic relationship is, what lies behind it, and what you need to do to save it.

Can a Man and a Woman Have a Platonic Relationship?

What is a platonic relationship?

First of all, let’s define a platonic relationship. According to different sources, it’s a spiritual feeling that isn’t backed up by physical contact. In other words, it’s a kind of love, in which one or two partners don’t have any physical attraction to each other. That’s pretty clear, but what does platonic mean in a relationship? Well, the name itself was derived from the Greek philosopher Plato, who devoted part of his life to understanding this phenomenon. In our time, platonic love is a rare thing because the freedom of morals of modern society makes us more liberated, leaving no borders and obstacles for intimate relationships. But it still exists today.

Why people resort to platonic love

- Peculiarities of upbringing and religion. In the Middle East, for instance, people still cherish the traditions and customs of their ancestors. In such families, children grow up following strict rules and are obliged to respect religious regulations. Having an intimate relationship before a wedding is considered a great shame. But if the feelings overwhelm you, you can’t get rid of them. That’s why the future newlyweds keep the fire of their passion burning, admiring each other at a distance.

- Lack of interest in sex. There are people who consciously choose not to have intimate relationships for some reason. Either they just don’t like sex itself, which is the opposite of a platonic relationship, or try to keep their basic instincts under control. All that remains for them is to embrace the spiritual joys of love.

- Health problems. Platonic love can exist when a person can’t have sexual relations because of health issues. Problems can be not only physical but mental, as well.

Can a Man and a Woman Have a Platonic Relationship?

- Unrequited love. The most common case of platonic relationships is undivided feelings. Hundreds of world’s best authors dedicated their works to unrequited love. The lack of reciprocity leaves a person hanging on to platonic feelings. Undivided love is sublime and blameless. Such feelings are fueled by the very fact of the existence of the object of love.

- Lack of sexual desire. Sometimes one or both partners simply don’t attract one another sexually. Despite that most people don’t believe that this is possible, it is. After all, a man and a woman can just be friends. Showing mutual understanding, common interests, moral support, they develop a platonic love for each other, and they’re happy with it. Maybe they just don’t belong to those types of people who are too focused on the physical aspect of love. Besides, every other elderly couple successfully keeps a platonic marriage relationship going without sex.

- Fear of spoiling the relationship. We shouldn’t forget about the fact that platonic love is a psychological reaction to the fear of destroying the relationship with the physical contact. Quite often, when a man and a woman are in a stable relationship and very close to each other spiritually, sex can spoil everything. For instance, they may not become a couple after having sex, but their friendship will no longer be the same as before after this. Therefore, cherishing what they already have and fearing to lose it, people prefer platonic relations.

Can a man and woman have a platonic relationship?

If we’re interested in platonic relationships and actively discuss them, then they definitely exist, right? We can believe that this form of interaction between the sexes is natural or absurd, but we can’t doubt the fact of their existence.

What's a platonic relationship? Adding the word ‘platonic’ to the word ‘relationship,’ we sort of limit it, put boundaries on it and, perhaps, make it a bit ‘narrower.’ But what do we take from love to make it platonic?

Some argue that this type of relationships lacks sensuality, physical attraction, and sex. All attention is given to spiritual interaction which is idealized. When a couple develops feelings of affection, understanding, and dependence, one might think that their relationship is platonic, but it isn’t. This is probably just a good old friendship. When people fall in love, they feel sexual attraction, and this fact partly proves that there can be no purely platonic relationship between a man and a woman.


As a rule, when a couple goes platonic, one of the partners has another relationship on the side, where he or she satisfies their sexual needs. This is not an absolute fact but rather a life experience, which is difficult to argue with. On the one hand, a person always strives to find the balance in his life, in this case, the balance between body and spirit. And if there’s disharmony in a relationship, and not all needs are satisfied, sooner or later, they will make themselves noticeable.

At the same time, the strongest and longest relationships are based on deep spiritual bonds, which means that platonic love still lies at the heart of a happy union. A harmonious and healthy form of platonic relationships shows itself when two partners are temporarily separated by a great distance and, being physically far from each other, retain platonic love. They maintain a spiritual connection, saving that emotional closeness without direct physical contact.

A genuine platonic love relationship is all about the dominance of spiritual priorities over the needs of the body, but very few are able to take control of their instincts. Therefore, platonic feelings between a man and a woman are unlikely but possible.

How to have a platonic relationship

If you manage to find a platonic relationship, it will give you a lot of wonderful perks. For instance, you’ll get a friend who will never judge or criticize you but will always be ready to talk, support, give advice, and help you look at small troubles from a different angle. Here are a few ways to keep a platonic relationship from falling apart.

Can a Man and a Woman Have a Platonic Relationship?

Don’t be afraid of your hidden desires

There’s always a chance that one of you will fall in love. You can’t escape from your nature. You shouldn’t be scared of intimate feelings once they arise. Just don’t let the thought that you may one day find yourself in a non-platonic relationship take over. Even if you both agree that there shouldn’t be any romantic feelings between you, one of you may still want to take the relationship to a new level. You can avoid this by setting some boundaries and making it clear that you value your friendship and treat each other as close relatives.

Discuss your platonic relationship with people close to you

How to maintain a platonic relationship if one of you already has a partner or spouse? It’s better to explain to them the nature of your friendship from the very beginning. Do this, and let your friend also talk to her loved one. Avoid potentially compromising situations. For example, don’t give your spouse a reason for jealousy. Sometimes the trickiest thing in maintaining a platonic relationship with someone is your partner’s attitude towards it. Your spouse should know that:

a) You don’t discuss them or complain about them in the presence of your platonic friend;

b) You’ll never hide from your loved one what you do and talk about with your friend;

c) You’ll never do anything behind your partner’s back;

d) Your friendship will never replace your romantic one.

Be realistic

Sometimes, suppressed romantic feelings turn into a powerful force that gives your relationship a spark and makes it so wonderful. This forbidden but potential ‘what if’ can be a source of extraordinary inspiration for creating something beautiful and making new discoveries. Seeking a platonic relationship, you should keep this feeling under control, but you need to admit that your relationship is so special mostly thanks to it.

If despite the efforts, you can’t get rid of romantic feelings for your platonic partner, and you see that they’re not mutual, they will surely hurt you and burden your soul with the feeling of betrayal. It’s almost impossible to restore friendship if you confess love and get nothing in return.

Rules for a platonic relationship

Now that you know how to have a platonic relationship, it’s time to learn some rules you need to follow.

Trust yourself and each other

Leave aside all the possibilities of developing romantic feelings and be sure of your decision. The laws of nature and the pressure from society shouldn’t influence you and your platonic partner’s choice. You’re responsible for your decisions, and if you chose friendship over romance, then so be it. Believe in your friendship and trust each other.

Can a Man and a Woman Have a Platonic Relationship?

Always remember the pros of platonic relationships

In order to avoid the temptation to give up a friendship for a brief moment of romance, remind yourself how many advantages platonic male-female relationships have. Think about the following benefits:

- It can stand the test of time because you trust each other and have much in common both spiritually and emotionally.

- You’re free from all the problems that accompany romantic and sexual relationships - doubts, jealousy, difficulties, and so on.

- You don’t need to be someone you’re not to impress your partner; just be yourself.

- Such relationship is an excellent and safe way to get to know the opposite sex better.

- You both get a chance to look at the difficulties in dealing with other people from the perspective of the opposite sex.

- You always have someone to ask for a sincere, bold, and straightforward advice

- In contrast to a friendship between people of the same sex, the one between a man and a woman is usually deprived of rivalry or the desire to adapt to each other.

Don’t cross the line

This is one of the main rules for a platonic relationship. Try not to think that friendship is a start for something deeper if you don’t want to end up disappointed. Even if you both agree that a romantic relationship between you is impossible because one of you is already married, you still may come across sweet temptation to make your relationship more intimate. It’s much better to clearly indicate that you cherish your friendship, take care of each other, look after each other, and just hang out together, but your friendship will always remain platonic.

So, are platonic relationships possible? Sure, but it’s a rare phenomenon. Platonic love is one of the most sincere and romantic feelings we can experience. If you found it, stick to it and never abandon it.