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Develop and improve products. List of Partners vendors. A platonic relationship is one in which people share a close bond but do not have a sexual relationship. The concept originates in the ideas of the ancient philosopher Plato, from whose name the term is derived. Where Plato believed this type of love could bring people closer to a divine ideal, the modern use of the term is focused on the idea of people being close friends.
The opposite of a platonic relationship is a sexual or romantic relationship. While the term is sometimes thought to apply only to opposite-sex friends, it can also apply to same-sex friendships as well. There are a of characteristics that distinguish a platonic relationship from some other types of relationships. In addition to the lack of a sexual aspect, this type of relationships also tends to be marked by:.
These types of relationships are often friendships. And while the lack of a sexual relationship is what characterizes this type of connection, it does not necessarily mean that the individuals in the relationship are not attracted to each other or could not start to feel attracted to one another. A few different terms have emerged to describe some different types of platonic relationships.
Platonic relationships can be important for psychological well-being. Research has found that having social support plays a vital role in mental health, so building a network of people that include family, platonic friends, and other loved ones can be important for your overall wellness.
Some things that you can do to help foster platonic relationships include:. In addition to developing new platonic relationships, it is also important to understand how to keep the ones you have now healthy and strong. Some ways to do this include being supportive, maintaining boundariesand practicing honesty. There are a of reasons why having platonic relationships is important for your health and well-being.
Some of the positive effects that these relationships may bring to your life include:. Research suggests that having love and support from people in your life can have important health benefits. This type of support can lower your risk for disease, improve your immunity, and decrease your risk for depression and anxiety. Your platonic support system can help provide emotional support by listening to what you have to say, providing validationand helping you when you are in need.
Stress can take a serious toll on both your physical and mental health. Chronic or prolonged stress can contribute to health problems such as cardiac disease, high blood pressure, digestive issues, and decreased immunity.
It can also play a role in mood problems such as anxiety or depression. Having strong platonic relationships outside of immediate family and romantic partnerships, however, has been found to help people cope better with sources of stress. Not only that, having supportive platonic friendships lowers the stress that people face.
Platonic relationships can also play a role in helping you become more resilient in the face of life's challenges. Whether it involves troubles in your romantic relationships, problems in your family, work struggles, or health challenges, your platonic relationships can support you as you weather these storms.
One study found that one of the biggest predictors of a person's ability to recover after a traumatic or stressful event was the presence of strong friendships. Platonic relationships are not always easy to find. When you do establish a strong platonic bond, it is important to continue to nurture and strengthen that connection. Some things that you can do to help keep these relationships healthy include:. It is also important to know when to let go of a platonic relationship. Unhealthy relationships can create stress, so don't be afraid to end your association if the other person is unkind, manipulative, hurtful, or doesn't support you the way you support them.
It is important to note that platonic relationships are not the same as unrequited love. Where an unrequited relationship is essentially a crush that involves one person being romantically or sexually interested in someone who does not return their feelings, true platonic relationships do not involve an unequal balance of emotions.
This can be a problem if preserving a platonic friendship is important. While such a relationship can potentially turn into strong romantic relationships, you also run the risk of losing the friendship if you end up breaking up. If maintaining a platonic relationship is important to you, focus on establishing and maintaining clear boundaries.
For example, set limits on things such as time spent together, amount of contact, and physical intimacy. If you are the one who wants to extend a platonic relationship into something more, it is important to be open and honest with the other person. Express your interest without pressuring them. Discuss what it might mean to the relationship and how it might ultimately affect your friendship. Platonic relationships can serve as a great foundation for a romantic relationship, but it is important to be honest and communicate openly.
Learn the best ways to manage stress and negativity in your life. American Psychological Association. Manage stress: strengthen your support network. Updated October Miller A. Friends wanted. Monitor on Psychology. Social relations and life satisfaction: the role of friends. Adolescent friendships predict later resilient functioning across psychosocial domains in a healthy community cohort. Psychological Medicine. Your Privacy Rights. To change or withdraw your consent choices for VerywellMind.
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How to Form Them. Potential Challenges. Platonic Boundaries Some boundaries you should maintain in a platonic relationship include: Don't gossip or complain about your partners to each other Don't engage in physical contact beyond casual intimacy i.
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