Platonic, according to Merriam Webster, is of, relating to, or being a relationship marked by the absence of romance or sex. Hmm. . .maybe someone can explain this to me. Apparently, in recent years, there has been a surge in “serious” relationships across genders referred to as “platonic.” With women and men co-mingling in the work force, “serious” friendships (between opposite sexes) have become part of the new relationship wave. Large amounts of literature in the form of magazine articles, blogs etc. have surfaced regarding this phenomena (for this blog, I’m referencing male/female platonic relations). “Boundaries” arises as the catch term of the articles as well as “feelings.” “Boundaries,” these articles/essays suggest, are important because one wouldn’t want one’s significant other to feel threatened or jealous by spending too much time with one’s platonic friend. One is supposed to be honest about “feelings” as well. If romantic feelings are present, then how can the relationship be platonic? Another definition, according to Plato, says that a relationship is platonic if romantic feelings are suppressed. Not sure if Freud would agree with that one. While Freud would not address the morality of the ideology, he was not a fan of people repressing feelings.
My question is, can women and men (in committed relationships) have true, platonic relationships outside of their committed relationships? I’m talking “serious” platonic friendships here. Hanging out all the time. Talking on the phone for hours. Sharing emotional intimacy (not referencing gay friends here). I have no doubt, being a heterosexual woman, that I have deep, platonic love for my best, female friends and that my love for them is just that, platonic. Yet, I’m not buying this modern definition of the “serious” platonic relationship (based on a philosopher who lived between 429-423 BC). Am I totally old school in believing that, when one is in a committed relationship (whether married or BF/GF), maintaining “serious” platonic, opposite sex friends is pushing the envelope? Again, I qualify the opposite sex, platonic relationship as large chunks of time spent with each other. Yes, I do have male friends in committed relationships. I am single. However, I am conscious of my “friends” realities and act accordingly, as acquaintances or professionally (if work related). We’re not shooting the breeze, grabbing lattes and dishing. I can close with the realization that I’m content to be single. If I enter into a BF relationship again, we will need to view this issue in a similar manner. Otherwise, it won’t work for me. I’m peeling a label and sticking it on this blog, “serious” platonic friendships outside committed relationships, busted. Convince me (okay, try to I’m not budging) otherwise.