How to keep a friendship very clearly platonic

The firmest of friendzones!

06 February, 2024
How to keep a friendship very clearly platonic

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.

Understand boundaries 

The primary rule of a healthy platonic friendship is understanding and establishing boundaries. This can be achieved by determining and setting your comfort level and emotional limits. You may not necessarily have to verbalise them but remember not to overstep them. In case a friend unexpectedly expresses their romantic feelings, opening a dialogue and having an open conversation to help reset and reaffirm the boundaries might be important.

Flirting is out of the box 

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.

Avoid ambiguity

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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