- Gender and Relationships
Ideas on How to Survive and Thrive in a Platonic Relationship
Have you ever thought
about platonic relationships? I have. And at the risk of hurting the sensitive people in my readership, this special type of relationship is without thrills, cheap or otherwise. Disciplined, formed into a routine, and apparently, very fulfilling for a lot of couples in 2017.
If I were to guess, I would have to say that (in some cases) a platonic relationship is harder for guys than girls. This is my reasoning and not to be taken as the bottom line from any socialogistic institution or firm. The male whose birth is traced back to dinosaur days, was the "hunter." And the female, (do not get upset with me, ladies) was put into her role as a cave-maker and the parent who carved the cave-children's behavior and skills for survival.
Why I say it is "harder" for guys than girls to flourish in a platonic relationship is that there are traces of that first selection of roles for males and females, and while today's male might be happy with a girl but not knowing her in a sexual way, just might be prone to give into his primal urges and one night during a friendly good-night embrace, or maybe a handshake, he feels that urge to take certain liberties with the young woman that will ultimately cause this "safe" relationship to hit the skids.
The experts' definition of platonic
platonic: adjective, (of love or friendship), intimate and affectionate but not sexual. Pretty simple. No instructions to read. No parts to find. A guy and a girl are at first good friends, then both agree to enter a platonic relationship.
Why? Well for as many couples in platonic relationship there are that many answers. Sometimes both the guy and girl have both experienced deep emotional hurts from previous relationships and they do not want to rush into another relationship without first getting to know everything that is to be known about their platonic partner.
Acceptable practices inside Platonic Relationships:
- Shaking hands, but no longer than nine seconds.
- Embracing, but no longer than ten seconds.
- Nodding instead of saying "you look so pretty/handsome tonight."
- Reciprocating looking away or closing the eyes when the mutual partner leaves the table in a restaurant or shows up in a flimsy bathing suit for your "Beach Gathering" not "Date."
- Tibetan Monk chants when one partner feels that (a) temptation is too strong for him/her. NOTE: this is not to be construed as the platonic partners to hire a Tibetan Monk to accompany them on dates and to chant on signal from the party feeling a strong temptation.
- Kissing, but not on the lips. Kissing the knuckles of the girl like in Olden Times is perfectly fine. And the girl can kiss the guy's cheek, but do it quickly. You do not want an ugly misunderstanding of body gestures.
What I found out
while doing my research about platonic relationships was scary if you want the truth. The unspoken rules or guidelines for such a popular relationship (that dates back to the late 1980's and thrived throughout the 1990's) are in my opinion, too lax. I might even say that these views were a bit too undefined and left to the couple's interpretation. Right there is the first crack in the platonic relationship wall.
If I were ever approached by those of Ph.D status and maybe a Rhodes Scholar or two, to write my own version of working guidelines for those wanting a platnoic relationship, below are a few examples:
- Riding in a car--the couple can stifle the first sparks of temptation to stray from the platonic plane by either the girl or boy riding in separate seats. The girl can drive while her male "friend" can ride in the back and not be tempted by her perfume or scent of the new shampoo she is using in her hair.
- Music--is an easy choice for our platonic couples. Do not have any LP's or CD's by Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra or Wayne Newton in the home. This is a "nest of romantic temptation" that could easily endanger the plantonic relationship. I have to strongly advise that if the platonic couple has an interest in music, the music should be by: Lawrence Welk, Slim Whitman, Kate Smith, or even Tony Orlando (without Dawn). These are safe musical suggestions and should strengthen the newest platonic relationship to the eldest.
- Talking--on the telephone is another area where temptation can sneak into the strongest platonic relationship. Honestly, some males and females get excited by the sound of the opposite sex' voice, so my idea here is for the couple to purchase an iPad which has an app called "The Voice Changer." And when it's time for our plantonic couple to chat, they can hear what the other is saying, but they answer into the nifty app and they suddenly sound like a mouse or even an elderly man. Temptation thwarted again.
- Common practices--for girls involved in a platonic relationship can be deleted or modified. e.g. the girl having the guy zip her dress. This of course opens the door for the male to experience lust, so she can go ahead and zip her dress and simply ask her male friend if her zipper is okay. And no more asking if a certain dress or skirt makes her look fat. This problem can be solved by the girl simply not asking. How hard was that?
- Long walks--on the beach are okay, but the couple has to share the cost of paying an off-duty police officer to walk behind them and if he were to see an infraction, he can use his traffic whistle just like a football referee uses. And yes, the police officer is in plain clothes.
- Walking--in the woods is acceptable, but my thinking is this: The couple cannot, for any reason, stop and rest. Resting leads to intimate talk. And that leads to, well, you know. So I suggest to couples in platonic relationships who love to walk in the woods, to use the bathroom first before you set off to walking in the woods behind your house. Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated (thanks, Bear Grylls, survival expert) and you can make the walk in one attempt and with no giving in to natural urges.
- Taking a shower--is a danger area (I said, 'area,'Kenny Loggins, not 'zone') for some platonic couples. e.g. if the male comes to pick up his platonic female "friend' a bit early, he rings the doorbell, goes into the living room only to hear her shower running. Well I do not have to tell you guys, how temptation can use this situation to cause you guys to backslide. The answer is this: girls, get yourself some advice from a local cattle farmer on how to install a small-but-effective electrical fence you can set up between you and your shower thus keeping your male "friend" at bay. This is not rocket science.
- Dining--in public or private places could be tricky because when males view their pretty dates through the candlelight, he gets romantic, but this tip can help you avoid those awkward non-platonic feelings. Just eat without candlelight and underneath a lamp or celing light fixture that is comparable to a runway light on airport runways. This way, there will be NO romantic feelings to deal with.
- Wardrobe design--for platonic couples when enjoying an outing (Note: since the word "date" has conotones of romance, this word has been changed to "outing.") can be fun as well as respectful to each party. My idea for wardrobe choices for platonic couples would be for men, loose-fitting slacks, button-up shirts that should have the very top button buttoned as to not give the female any sign of the man's neck, one of the sensitive areas that women love on men. For women, pretty much the same design of loose-fitting slacks or full dresses with plenty of under layers as to not tempt the platonic male with visions of the woman's figure.--
- Television viewing--can be fun and entertaining for platonic couples. But do not watch steamy films or sitcoms with romantic innuendos that might cause you to stumble. I vote for PBS and those historical documentaries about the "Politics of South Africa" and such. But do not be lured into watching documentaries that show the "Reproduction of The Amazonian Red Toad" or you will be asking for problems.
- Gift-giving--for platonic couples does not need to be an awkward event. Or even an event that might breed primal feelings by either party due to the romantic nature of the gifts. So I suggest non-romantic gifts such as books about world history, Japanese politics, and self-help DVD's that deal with "How to be Truly Happy in a Platonic Relationship." If you follow the safe pattern of non-romantic gifts, you should have nothing to worry about.
I am glad to be of help to those of my followers who are now in platonic relationships. I wish for you months of happy dating.
And good night, Las Vegas, Nevada. (Hey, what do you think about that? Las Vegas is the "Marriage Capitol of The United States." Go figure).
© 2017 Kenneth Avery