14 Rules Of Platonic Friendship And Love

Reviewed by Sharon Gilchrest O’Neill, Ed.S., LMFT
Written by Harini Natarajan, Certified Emotional Intelligence Practitioner

We cherish friendship, and it is even more precious when it involves the opposite gender. All you need to do to maintain a healthy bond is follow the rules of platonic friendship!

Opening yourself up to the other gender helps you evolve and allows you to gain insight into their lives. But there are also drawbacks. For example, there is a fine line between enjoying a platonic relationship and falling in love with someone. You need to stay aware if such feelings begin to develop and recognize that you will ruin your friendship if you act on your feelings. You will feel lost and confused. Don’t worry; we will tell you how to avoid this!

Keep your platonic friendship and love pure and strong forever by following these 14 simple rules. Keep reading!

Rules Of Platonic Friendship

1. Don’t Ever Flirt With A Friend

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Flirting may seem harmless, but it can do a lot of harm. If you value the friendship you both have, don’t send “the” signals just to get some attention and feel good about yourself. Two things may happen – he may get scared that this is turning into something else and bolt, or he may reciprocate. The latter is fine, but only if you both feel that the relationship could grow into something more – if not, well, you will lose a friend.

2. Establish Boundaries

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There are certain things that need to be kept clear in a platonic relationship. Knowing where to stop yourselves is important. Avoiding situations that can ignite passion is where establishing boundaries is of great help. Avoiding sleeping over at your buddy’s place or getting drunk at a late-night party you attended with them can save you both from breaking the rules of a platonic relationship.

3. Be Respectful To His Partner, As Well As Yours

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First things first, being respectful toward his partner is of utmost importance. Otherwise, things can get really messy in your relationship with your platonic friend. Also, showing gestures of respect toward your own partner in front of your platonic friend is helpful in strengthening your bond. At the same time, it is important for you to make it comfortable for your friend to be together with your partner.

4. No Sexual Contact

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This is a no-brainer. If he is your friend, he is your friend. You shouldn’t get touchy-feely with him. This is something your friendship can never recover from. The most important rule of platonic friendship and love is this – sexual acts will ruin the friendship, and there is no getting back together! You need to either move on to a romantic relationship or break up as friends. If you feel that there is sexual tension between you guys, sit down and think about it. Are a few moments of passion worth giving up the friendship? You will know the answer.

5. No Date-Like Hangouts. Ever.

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Should you really be going on long drives, giving each other gifts, and going on candle-lit dinners together if you are just best friends? No, no, and no. These are things people in relationships or people planning to get into one do. If you are just friends, hang out together at arcades and cafes, especially with your other buddies. Keep the intentions clear. There should be no inclination of doing something romantic together because it is NOT meant to be romantic in any way whatsoever.

6. Treat Him The Same As Your Girlfriends

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So what if he is a boy? You don’t have to behave any differently around him! You don’t put makeup on when your girl buds come over, do you? Stick to the same rules. No dressing up for him, no taking care and doing special things for him, no going out of your way to be nice to him. You are his buddy, a shoulder to cry on, and therapist, all rolled into one. Keep it that way. Enjoy this beautiful friendship without dragging the mess of sex/romance into it.

7. Don’t Play Games To Get Him To Be With You

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It not only comes across as desperate but is also plain silly. In fact, if he gets even the slightest idea that this is what you are doing, he is going to disappear very quickly. Such girls hardly get any respect. Keep things clear and simple. You are not a child, and he is not a fool. You are deceiving nobody. Playing the “Let’s make him jealous” or the “Shower him with attention and gifts” game can backfire on you big time.

8. Don’t Get Drunk And Cozy With Him

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Getting drunk is fine, getting cozy is not. You guys can, of course, go partying together along with your other friends, but don’t turn it into an “I was so drunk I didn’t know what I was doing” kind of night. It will not only be embarrassing the next day but also prompt others to make inappropriate comments about the two of you, which will affect you both in the long term. When in a platonic friendship with someone, make sure that the relationship you both share inspires respect, not ridicule.

9. Never Plan Vacations Together With Just Him And You

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Vacations are not only stressful and take a toll on your relationship, but also create situations in which you both can get too intimate. Of course, this doesn’t apply for group vacations in which the entire gang goes somewhere. If you both go on vacations just by yourselves, you are setting up your friendship to fail.

10. Introduce Him To Family And Friends

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Introducing him to your family and friends makes it clear that he is your buddy, nothing more, almost like a bro. This makes the message loud and clear – you love him enough to introduce him to your loved ones. He will be perceived more like a sibling than a love interest, and that’s how it should be.

11. Do Not Allow Your Other Friends To Tease You About Him

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All that teasing, though harmless, can create unrealistic expectations. You may start developing feelings for him, which may not get reciprocated, thus breaking your heart. You will never be able to have a straight conversation with him without double-checking everything you say. If your friends are teasing you about your platonic friend, tell them you don’t appreciate that kind of joking. If they continue doing so, just ignore, and don’t react to them.

12. Don’t Do Couple-y Things Together

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There are so many things that scream “boyfriend-girlfriend,” like gifting flowers, spending Valentine’s Day together, getting soft toys, and giving each other candies and chocolates. These little acts can be misconstrued as something else. These should be reserved for your significant other and not your platonic friend. Avoid gifting stuff except on birthdays and such important events and keep the “I am thinking of you” vibes to yourself if you want this friendship to flourish and grow stronger.

13. Acknowledge Your Feelings If You Have Them, But Don’t Act On Them

13. Acknowledge Your Feelings If You Have Them, But Don’t Act On Them

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It can be really difficult to keep your heart in check if you fall for your best guy friend. But, it is not necessary that just because you have a little crush on him, you jeopardize the entire friendship you both have built together. Of course, if he is also showing signs that he is into you, you can both go forward with a romantic relationship.

Be cautious about putting your friendship at stake. In fact, if you are really close buddies, you can drop him subtle hints to see how he responds. If he HAHAs it away, gather your pride and move on.

14. Don’t Share Private Stuff With Them, Especially About Your Boyfriend

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This might be especially difficult if you guys were friends before you got together with your significant other. But, set your priorities straight. It will hurt your boyfriend immensely if he gets to know that you have been discussing him with another guy. Also, it will create unnecessary conflict between both of them and ruin any chances of friendship they may have in the future. Keep your private life private and maintain proper boundaries.

These are the key “rules” you need to know to keep your platonic friendship intact forever. If you have something wonderful, treasure it. Boyfriends come and go, but friends are forever. Spend your best times with them and make beautiful memories that you will cherish when you are older.

Key Takeaways

  • We value friendship, and it becomes even more valuable when it involves someone of the other gender.
  • All you need to do to maintain a healthy bond is follow the rules of platonic friendship.
  • You have to be aware of certain feelings, or you may ruin your friendship, or feel lost and confused.
  • Maintain appropriate boundaries.

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Sharon Gilchrest O’Neill

(Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist )
Sharon Gilchrest O'Neill is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Family Business Consultant. She holds degrees in Marriage &... more

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