When you think of relationships, your mind immediately goes to romantic ones, right? While the connection you feel with romantic partners has its benefits, so does the one you feel with platonic ones!
Let’s take a look at the platonic definition vs romance: a romantic relationship is a close relationship to another person that involves deep friendship, physical intimacy, and love, while a platonic relationship is between friends. While platonic relationships can be loving, they are not physically intimate.
Of course, it’s common to have romantic feelings in a platonic relationship. If you’re hoping to turn your friendship into dating, there a few things to consider:
- Do you think that your friend is on the same page as you are?
- Have they given you any signs that they are interested in you in more than a platonic way?
- Are you willing to potentially change your friendship dynamic for the worse if romantic feelings aren’t reciprocated?
- Are your romantic feelings long-term and actionable or feelings that seem to be fleeting?
If you’re still interested after asking yourself these questions, then talk to your friend! Expressing emotions can be tough, but it’s important to be honest about how you feel. Best case scenario? They feel the same way! Worst case scenario? They are flattered but not interested, in which case you can find a way to move forward.
Here’s the good news: even if your friend doesn’t want to be romantic, there are plenty of health and social benefits that come from platonic relationships! Here are a few:
Help With Emotional Development
Much like how kids develop problem-solving, empathy, and listening skills through social interactions at school, adult platonic relationships help with emotional development, too. The more friends you have, the more you learn how to navigate social situations and develop emotions needed for successful romantic relationships.
Act as a Support Network
Doesn’t it feel good having friends to experience the highs and lows with? Whether you’re celebrating exciting news or going through a rough patch, your friends act as a much-needed support network. It’s also good to have someone outside of romantic relationships to turn to.
One could argue that having friends by your side during life events is even more important than having a romantic partner be there. (Although both are crucial, of course!)
Work as a Sounding Board
We all need help working through ideas sometimes, and friends are the perfect sounding board! We need people that we trust to challenge our ideas or offer different opinions and perspectives. It’s also helpful to have a third-party view of any new romantic relationships, since being swept up in the beginning stages of love can cause you to miss red flags. (If there are any, of course!)
Until you find your forever love, platonic relationships are likely the longest relationships you’ll ever have. Along with this comes social support, which can actually help you live longer! There are many negative health effects of social isolation, and studies have shown that friendships can lead to lower instances of conditions like cardiovascular disease.
Don’t you feel extra lucky to have friends now? Not only are they amazing to be around, but they make you healthier, too!