The term 'love' conjures up images of a couple in the minds of most people. However, romantic love is only one sort of loving relationship that you may encounter throughout your life.Yes, you have a relationship with your significant other, but you also have relationships with your friends, siblings, and neighbours, to mention a few. These friendships are based on platonic love and provide support outside of a romantic connection.Here's all you need to know about maintaining and growing platonic relationships in your life.What Is A Platonic Relationship?At first glance, 'platonic friendship' may appear to be redundant. After all, aren't platonic friendships by definition?Platonic friendship is defined as a friendship between two people who are not romantically involved in any way. The concept is based on the thoughts of the ancient philosopher Plato, whose name is taken from the term. Plato felt that this form of love may lead humans closer to a heavenly ideal.However, even if one or both people may feel some transient sexual tension and ponder, 'What if we tried dating?' at some point, their friendship remains platonic until the attraction is acted upon.Benefits Of A Platonic RelationshipThere are several reasons why platonic relationships are beneficial to one's health and well-being. The following are some of the good consequences that these relationships may have on your life:1. Love And SupportAccording to research, having love and support from others might have significant health benefits. This form of assistance can help you avoid disease, boost your immunity, and reduce your chances of depression and worry. Your platonic support system can offer emotional assistance by listening to what you have to say, validating you, and assisting you when you need it.2. Lower StressBoth your physical and mental health can suffer due to stress. Chronic or long-term stress can lead to health issues like heart disease, high blood pressure, digestive disorders, and lowered immunity. It can also contribute to mental health issues including anxiety and despair.People who have strong platonic ties outside of their immediate family and romantic partnerships are more likely to manage their stress levels efficiently. Not only that but having supportive platonic friendships reduces people's stress levels, in the first place.3. Increased ResiliencePlatonic relationships can also assist you in being more robust in the face of life's difficulties. Whether it's problems in your love relationships, family issues, career struggles, or health issues, your platonic friends can help you get through these difficult times.How To Keep Things Platonic, If Theres Underlying AttractionPlatonic friends may choose to keep things simple and avoid becoming passionate because lines and boundaries might blur when sex is involved. There are, fortunately, methods to reap the benefits of platonic relationships without ever becoming romantic.BoundariesFocus on setting and keeping clear boundaries if having a platonic relationship is vital to you. Set limitations on things like time spent together, touch, and physical intimacy, for example.In a platonic relationship, you should respect the following boundaries: To each other, don't gossip or criticise about your relationships Don't engage in physical contact that isn't intended to be intimate (i.e., avoid things like hand-holding, kissing, or 'friends-with-benefits' situations) Do not abandon your relationship to spend time with a platonic buddy Don't keep your platonic friendship a secret from your partner Give each other space Make time for the other people in your lifeWhat To Do If Platonic Becomes Romantic?There are a few things that could happen if both people decide to move on sexually. If the expressed intimacy is a positive experience, it has the potential to strengthen the relationship and even to promote and strengthen new kinds of ties. On the other hand, if the encounter is not favourable, the increased intimacy might be harmful to a platonic relationship. There may be times when one person has a romantic desire and the other does not, making it difficult to maintain the non-sexual connection.If you're in a platonic relationship and you're thinking of bringing up the issue of sex, talk to a therapist about how you can keep the connection as platonic as possible. After all, the physical and emotional benefits of developing and maintaining strong platonic relationships can be life-changing, impacting your happiness and quality of life significantly.Do's And Don't's In A Platonic Relationship1. Check Your FlirtingIn many relationships, casual flirtation occurs. Flirting that doesn't breach boundaries is generally OK, as long as you monitor for body language cues that imply the other person would want you to stop. That or if they simply ask you to stop.Flirting, on the other hand, can cause misunderstanding in friendships where there is some potential for attraction. Even if you're certain it's all in good fun, you might have some reservations about what that flirting signifies.It can help keep your chat innuendo-free around your platonic buddies, at the very least. If a buddy is persistently flirting with you and you'd like them to stop, talk to them about it.2. Be HonestConsider sharing your feelings if you finally find you have a greater romantic interest. You may be concerned about losing your buddy. Unfortunately, this is a possibility. Many individuals, on the other hand, are capable of dealing with romantic confessions healthily. It's possible that talking about your feelings will bring you closer together and help you deal with them better.If you bury them instead, you can feel bitterness and envy if your friend starts dating someone else.If you don't feel like informing them right away, here's another option: Put some distance between you and the feelings to see if they disappear on their own.3. Communication Is KeyThe majority of good friendships are characterised by strong communication. You don't have to talk about everything in your life, but having important conversations outside of day-to-day chitchat can help you improve your friendship and clear up any misconceptions before they become serious.Again, if your feelings for your friend alter, talking about them sooner rather than later usually provides better results.Similarly, if you have a sneaking suspicion that your friend has romantic feelings for you, asking them outright can help them feel more at ease, though not necessarily in that moment.If they deny it, explain how you came to that conclusion, but otherwise, take their word for it, unless they provide evidence to the contrary. Unnecessary scepticism can also be detrimental to your friendship.4. Don't Make Them Do All The WorkDon't rely on the other person to make all of the arrangements or initiate all of the communication. Reach out to them regularly to invite them to activities.It's also crucial to understand when to end a platonic relationship. Relationships that are unhealthy can cause stress, so don't be scared to stop your connection if the other person is nasty, manipulative, hurtful, or doesn't support you in the same manner that you support them.Finding BalanceIt's important to be present for a buddy at times. Other times, your partner may require assistance in dealing with a challenging situation. Occasionally, you'll have to put one relationship ahead of the other.The goal is to avoid ignoring one relationship regularly. Friendships and romantic relationships serve different purposes in your life, yet both are essential.Keep an eye out for red signals in this area, such as a spouse who is attempting to guilt-trip or otherwise manipulate you into spending time with them rather than your friend, or vice versa.The TakeawayPlatonic relationships are not the same as romantic partnerships, but they are just as loving and valuable. Outside of a love partner, platonic connections can bring additional support, respect, and loyalty.FAQsQ. Can people of the opposite gender maintain a platonic relationship without it leading to something romantic?A. Absolutely. As long you maintain the boundaries that come with a platonic relationship, you can stay friends with someone of the opposite gender without developing something romantic. However, in the chance that there are some feelings involved, it's best to talk it out with them to clear the air.Q. How do I talk about my platonic friend to my partner without arousing any feelings of jealousy or suspicion?A. Avoid the urge to lie or manipulate the truth. Trust is eroded through dishonesty. Even if they don't find you lying, you may subsequently feel guilty. Guilt might have a more subtle impact on your connection.On the other side, open communication demonstrates that you have nothing to hide. When you've always been completely honest, a partner who continues to mistrust you may have underlying trust issues that need to be addressed.