Platonic friendship: 21 signs and what are the limits

April 19, 2023 0 Comments

A platonic friendship is a meaningful relationship between two or more people without any sexual or romantic feelings or behavior. As couples and sex therapist Kyle Zrenczyk, Ph.D., ACS, LMFT explains, platonic friendships have “the sole purpose of enjoying each other’s company.”

Word Platonic refers to the Greek philosopher Plato, who theorized at length about the various ways in which people can love one another and seek truth. Over time, his name began to be associated with non-romantic, non-sexual relationships, especially deep and special relationships. Common platonic relationships include those between parent and child, mentor and student, professional staff, or a neighborhood group.

“Most friendships are platonic,” adds Zrenczyk, though many find the term particularly useful when it comes to friendships between two people who could theoretically be drawn to each other—a straight man and a straight woman, for example. “A platonic friendship is a platonic friendship because both want the relationship to be without sexual or romantic experiences,” he explains.

In comparison, non-platonic friendships can include friends with benefits, friendships with exes where feelings still linger, or situations where one person feels “friend zoned” and longs for something more.

On a broader level, having platonic friends means having friends with whom you engage in more than just sex or romance. Think of a sister from another lord or a brother from another mother.

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