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Thread: What's the difference between friendship and platonic, romantic relationships?

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    watersniper's Avatar
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    What's the difference between friendship and platonic, romantic relationships?

    I think in a lot of Western countries, romantic relationships probably mean that you have someone to be physically intimate with. (Correct me if I am wrong!)
    I come from a conservative Asian family where pre-marital sex is taboo. In that case, if we took out physical intimacy, to you, where would the difference between friendship and a relationship lie?
    I mean, I can ask a male friend to go to a movie just as I might do with a boyfriend, and similarly, we can chat for ages about everything.

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    When you kiss (is that also taboo?), hold hands, feel sexual arousal.
    You aint doin nothin bout it but like you'se are still thinkin bout it ya know?
    But I guess its when you make plans for the future.

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    I think it's when you feel a mutual romantic attraction (to appearance among other things more deep) and you make it known towards each other, that makes you cross the line from friends to romance

    You wouldnt even have to touch each other like THAT. I don't think youd ever be the same if, say, you both confessed romantic feelings towards each other yknow?

    Platonic friendships, for me, provide the basis of a romantic relationship. The romance is really just the icing on the cake...I can't see an entire lasting "relationship" based on attraction/romance alone. I think that if you haven't been out of love with each other at least once where you can see each other's worst sides, and fall in love anyway, then it really isn't a "real" relationship, using the loosest sense of the word...
    However, these boundaries are more opinion based & differ from person to person in my opinion, so it's okay to sometimes be confused on the clarity of these boundaries
    Last edited by Mint; 09-29-2013 at 08:41 AM.

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    Friendship = Know someone better than a 'stranger', able to trust them to a degree, and regularly talk to & associate with on both formal and casual topics.
    The 'friend' thinks the same of you.
    Deep friendships are ones where you have each other's 'backs' when situations are tough on either of you, and it's a burden on the friend to help you - but they still do it.

    Platonic Relationship = You like and care for someone more than just a 'friendship'.
    Always looking out for your 'other' before they ask, and sharing emotional moments of support are frequent.
    You want to be with your other a lot more often than in a 'friendship', and they expect the same from you.
    Like two people being reserved for one another, without rivals from anyone else.
    No sexual relations, and you don't see them as a basis for this type of relationship with your 'other'.

    If you swap 'relationship' with 'love', then you could say familial love is a form of platonic love, like with your parents or siblings.

    Romantic Relationship = Everything from a 'Platonic Relationship' +sexual relations, and/or +strong desire to always be close to your 'other'.
    Wanting to bond physically (sexually or non-sexually eg. hugging, touching, hand-holding),
    and emotionally (know everything about your other inside-out, share deep feelings). Emotionally like a Platonic Relationship, but with an even greater focus on being together 'as one'.

    ^My take on the 3.
    You could probably Wiki the 3 for a more objective and detailed meaning of the 3.

    ---

    Or in short terms:

    Friendship = Like to chat and hang out often, you don't hate each other. Can be had with multiple people.
    Platonic R. = Dating or close-interaction between 2 people without sex. Usually for just 1 person at a time(word: relationship)
    Romantic R.= Dating or close-interaction between 2 people with sex. Usually for just 1 person at a time(word: relationship)

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    @Drizzy With regard to "when you make plans for the future", you could always plan it with others as well. I have a group of guy friends who I'm really close with, and we've had pacts like, "Let's build our houses side by side in the future", to the extent that we've even thought about the interior design together.

    And that physical arousal thing... you could also be turned on by people you're in love with too, right? I do agree with your points, but they aren't clarifying the difference to me. :K


    @Mint The way you phrased it reflected my thoughts, but really, is the confession all to it? Then you change your facebook status... Movies usually only show the arduous courtship and don't show the 'after they agree to be together' part. Could you share what happens after that?

    @Mod Thanks for the structured answers! What do you mean by "as one"? I've met couples who agree with each other on everything or use "We think" in conversations instead of "I think" -- if that's being "as one", then blah, I'm never gonna be in a romantic relationship....

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    @watersniper Well, I'd say you'd keep doin what you doin and stay best friends. That's what I've been doing anyway.
    + The whole physical intimacy thing, which brings us to Mod's point.

    Really, it's hard to explain love (in the romantic way) as it is, since it's different for everyone xD
    I'm gonna have to say that the kissing/cuddles/holding hands thing comes afterward which is a stage you don't really reach with the most close close guy friends without 'em falling for you. Or vice versa...then when that happens it ain't platonic anymore haha @watersniper

    Sounds kinda sucky when you say it like "physical intimacy = romantic" but imo thats just a slice of what romance is, since LDRs exist and all that
    I guess it's the tip of the iceberg; the "changing point" so to speak
    Cause even people in LDRS intend to touch each other lulz
    Last edited by Mint; 09-29-2013 at 11:07 AM.

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    For me, the difference between a friendship and a romantic relationship (without the physical stuff) is the emotional part; if you both confess that you have a romantic attraction to each other and want to be together then it's a romantic relationship. On the flip side, you be friends with benefits or hookup buddies or whatever with someone and just have sex without the emotional part - sex doesn't necessarily mean romance.

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    ....a romantic relationship is a relationship where romance is involved. To steal a definition directly from a dictionary: Ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people; love

    and platonic:free from sensual desire; purely spiritual

    in other words, you can be sexually attracted to somebody and NOT be sexually intimate. It doesn't mean you wouldn't want to at some point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by watersniper View Post
    What do you mean by "as one"? I've met couples who agree with each other on everything or use "We think" in conversations instead of "I think" -- if that's being "as one", then blah, I'm never gonna be in a romantic relationship....
    That is one way to put it, but not the best definition of "as one".
    Y'know, it's easy to know the feel, but hard to describe in words.

    Like others have said, a type of "spiritual" bond. Don't ask me how to define that either, just think of what the term means to you.
    It's like wanting to be emotionally connected and feeling a very intense feeling of compassion and positivity that surpasses the levels of interaction you would have with other people.

    You just want to be with them every step of the way, help them whenever they need it - and even when they don't. They think the same of you.
    "As one", you could say is being as close to someone as you realistically can in a kind way (as opposed to enemies, stalkers, or killers).

    ---

    You probably already know the meaning and feeling, you just don't realize it.
    Take the guy (or girl) you've had the biggest crush on; one beyond looks, the one you want to be with all the time and make everything right for them. That's what I mean by "as one".

    ^When one person feels that way, it's a crush, or infatuation.
    When both people feel that way, it's a relationship (platonic & romantic - but more likely romantic).


    Quote Originally Posted by Mint View Post
    a stage you don't really reach with the most close close guy friends without 'em falling for you. Or vice versa...then when that happens it ain't platonic anymore
    Wiser words have never been spoken by my little Minty since...at least yesterday; I don't fckin' remember.

    When I pass on, it's gonna be up to you to make the big decisions in the family name.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mod View Post
    Wiser words have never been spoken by my little Minty since...at least yesterday; I don't fckin' remember.
    I channel only the best

    Quote Originally Posted by Mod View Post
    When I pass on,
    Father!! Don't say such things. Too soon, too soon!

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