A Guide to Friendship

There are four words that women (and men) don’t want to hear from the opposite sex: “Let’s just be friends.” While it can be painful and traumatic, it is actually not a bad thing! In a busy and ever changing world, with people leaving one city to live elsewhere, it seems that the lineup of friends in our life changes almost on a daily basis. That’s why you can never have enough friends, especially friends of the opposite sex.

Platonic friendship has become more popular in recent years. Men and women have a lot to share with each other as friends instead of lovers. A platonic friendship is most importantly a friendship between a man and a woman without the concerns of establishing and maintaining a relationship. All they need to be concerned with is being friends.

The origin of the term platonic friendship dates back to the time of the philosopher Plato. While he did not invent or use the term, the followers of Plato began using the term platonic as a way of describing a pure love or affection of someone that did not involve physical love. The term has been used for several centuries since, and is still used to describe a special friendship between men and women.

So, why do we need platonic friends? Other than the fact that you can never have enough friends, a friend of the opposite sex can be valuable. A member of the opposite sex can give you the point of view from that gender. For example, if you are a girl that is having problems with her boyfriend; a male platonic friend can help give a male perspective on the issue. It can be helpful to uncover where problems could exist. On the other hand a female platonic friend can be invaluable to a guy. She can help the guy pick out places to go, places to eat and can help select presents and gifts.

A platonic friendship can also be helpful if neither is in a relationship. For example, they can go out as a “couple” to dinners, movies, the theater, sporting events, parties and a host of other places. Going out with someone else, who you are not romantically involved with, can provide the duo with a pleasant night out, instead of hanging out on the couch watching television.

However, a platonic relationship has ground rules. The friends must be that, just friends. No expectations should be made that they will become more. It may happen – you never know – but being friends should be acceptable. If one of the friends finds a boyfriend or girlfriend, the other needs to be supportive. It may have an impact on the friendship, but that can be accepted.

A platonic friendship is great for both parties. It provides a source of friendship and a sounding board for each other. And, you never know, like the movie “When Harry Met Sally”, you may start out as friends and end up as lovers!

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