Most Bollywood movies and Hollywood rom-coms of the '90s have had us believe that a man and a woman can never be just friends and that platonic friendships are not even a thing. They have romanticised the idea of two best friends falling in love - in almost all these movies, the protagonist was bound to fall in love with his childhood best friend.
However, this does not hold true in our real-life stories. For, in reality, maintaining a platonic friendship is healthy, important (almost necessary), and less complicated than developing romantic feelings for a friend.
It may probably seem difficult, but it's possible to have platonic friendships. Here are some tips to maintain and thrive in a healthy platonic friendship, especially if you often struggle with drawing boundaries in a friendship.
Remember, flirting is a no-go. Flirting, characterized by playful or suggestive behaviour, can introduce romantic undertones that may complicate the dynamics of the relationship. Keeping interactions friendly and devoid of any romantic gestures or innuendos helps in maintaining the clarity of the platonic nature of the friendship.
If you're in a relationship, keep your partner in the loop
Share details about your friends, the nature of your interactions, and any significant developments within the friendship. This not only builds trust but also prevents misunderstandings. By involving your partner in the loop, you demonstrate respect for their feelings.
You don't have to always act on your feelings
Being attracted to a friend initially is common and natural even, but it's important to understand that having such feelings doesn't mean you have to act on them. You can appreciate the emotions without letting them change the dynamics of your friendship. By exercising restraint, you preserve the platonic nature of the relationship and maintain a healthy connection based on mutual respect and understanding. A friend should be a friend and nothing more.
In the initial stages of friendship, especially when you’re still getting to know each other, it is important to avoid situations that may create ambiguity in one’s mind. Essentially, situations that may be misinterpreted romantically. Giving this thought will also help you establish clear boundaries in a friendship.
Jealously is a red flag
If you find yourself feeling jealous when your friend interacts with others or has a romantic relationship, it signals a lack of clarity in the friendship dynamic. Take this as a cue to check and possibly reset your boundaries, fostering a more transparent and secure platonic relationship.
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