Do you believe in platonic relationships?

WHEN it comes to the opposite sex, how many times have you heard friends chime, “Oh, we’re just friends”. Marcella Purnama explores the topic of platonic relationships and explains why she is a skeptic.

Photo: Andrejs Pidjass

Platonic relationships form when boy meets girl and they become best friends. While some believe it can happen, others are a bit skeptical about their existence… including me.

For girls, the norm is to have another girl as your best friend. For boys, it’s pretty much the same, which makes life difficult for girls (like me) who have boys (like them) as best friends.

I’ve always liked to be friends with boys. Why? Gosh, their lives are so simple! No gossip, no celebrities, no fashion. It’s more about sports, fun and games.

When I hang out with the boys, I don’t need to pretend to look excited at their new notebook and say things like, “Aww, that’s so cute.” I don’t even need to think about not hurting their feelings. If I don’t like it, I’ll just say it, and somehow, guys can handle that kind of honesty better than girls.

I can challenge them to a game of Mario Kart, talk about superhero movies and argue over the latest match between Federer and Nadal without even trying to remember who the hell Kim Kardashian is.

You can be as frank as you want and they won’t backstab you because boys usually don’t want to talk about private stuff. There’s no messaging, no chatting on a day-to-day basis with other boys, unlike girls, so the secrets you share are safe(r) with them.

Boys use logic, so when I am clouded by my emotional blues of sadness, their words strike me like lightning.

And for a girl (like me) who doesn’t want to know about the latest trend in fashion, be in touch with America’s Next Top Model or gossip about the dress Jessica Alba wore to the Academy Awards, boys are just plain easier to get along with.

I love playing badminton, but sadly none of the girls in my friendship circle play, so I end up playing with the boys. I love playing table tennis, but it’s hard to find girls who will agree to doing anything other than grabbing a cup of coffee or window shopping, so I end up playing with the boys.

I love doing outdoor activities, but not many girls do. So when the choice is between going to the shops and going to Seaworld, the shops will always win for girls… every single time. So I end up going to Seaworld, theme parks and the zoo with the boys (again).

In a sense, boys are easier to talk to and easier to handle (boyfriends are different stories, but don’t get me started). They won’t comment on your weird sense of fashion (at least not out loud), your branded or unbranded bags or how much weight you’ve gained during the weekend.

But is there such a thing as a platonic relationship?

In my humblest opinion, when you befriend the opposite sex, it’s either because you’re just “sometimes-friends” who occasionally go out in groups and chat about random topics or you’re lovers. You can’t really be best friends with the opposite sex. On what do I base this belief? Personal experiences, mainly, but the opinions of my guy friends too.

When boy meets girl and they spend too much time together talking about private matters, sharing too many laughs and exchanging too many smiles, one or the other will end up having amorous feelings and the friendship will crumble. And then you can’t go back to being friends once more.

Looking back, every single one of the male friends I considered to be my best friend eventually did something to destroy that platonic relationship. One gave me a flower on Valentine’s Day. One gave me a love poem, twice. Another asked me out on a dinner date. The other gave me a bouquet of roses after prom night.

As yet, up until this time last year, I was still a believer in the platonic relationship. Then I had dinner with some skeptical guys who were convinced friendships between boys and girls do not exist. I began to question my belief as well. When they asked me, “Do you have a good male friend who has never fallen for you before? Or vice versa?” I couldn’t say yes.

And so today, my relationships with the opposite sex can never cross that level into becoming good friends. It’s either being just friends or being more than friends. It’s harsh, but it’s completely and utterly true.

Do you believe in platonic relationships? Share your views in the comments box below!

There are 16 comments

  1. Steven

    Probably a bit naiive, but yes, i believe in platonic relationships. After all, love takes many forms, not just romantic.

    1. sean

      my best friend is a girl, do i believe in the platonic relationship? yes, do i have feelings for my best friend? yes, does she have feelings for me? no, or at least that’s what she says, she cares for me, but not in that way, but is she still my bestest friend? yes, she’s helped me out, quite a few times, as a confidant, and adviser

  2. Chanting

    Can totally relate. Like you, I’m a lot more outdoorsy, and could care less about how I dress. Of course, I’m a lot careful with that now, but I’m quite lazy for a girl so I’m always in a ‘can’t be bothered’ mood. Hahahahah

    I have a great guy friend I get along with as well, but he ended up telling me he liked me. =S It wasn’t a great timing since I don’t think I’ll be ready for another relationship after my first one ended last year (a crappy one at that I might add, urgh). Nor do I feel like committing to anyone at the moment and prefer some me-time.

    We’re still OK I guess, though we’re each busy with our own things that we don’t catch up/talk that often as before.

  3. Grace

    Very nice reading your article, even if I suspect that my three or four good friends (who happen to be dudes, that is) often forget I exist, so I admittedly haven’t got a lot of relatable experience here. But you do raise logical points about friendship for both genders, especially the bit about ladies commenting on fashion sense. *mourn*

    Though I’m slightly confused by one point. It’s completely possible to enjoy both activities, but who picks shopping over Seaworld and superhero movies?

  4. Marcella Purnama

    Steven and Leon, well, I think we can agree to disagree? =D.

    And Chanting, I totally get you… I have some personal experiences regarding that matter as well. Oh well, we are still friends, but I may say our friendship has turned a bit towards the ‘awkward’ zone.

    And Grace, during my high school years, I have suggested my friends to go to the zoo or theme park or seaworld during holiday. The girls ended up being not motivated, and cancel everything on the last minute. The boys, on the other hand, looked more excited. It may only happen to me though lol.

  5. Christine

    This is a well written article. But I have to say, it’s kind of frustrating to see women who are harsh on other members of their own sex. It sounds as if all your girlfriends are really shallow and petty while all your guy friends are better somehow; logical and brusque. Sorry, but it’s just not fair to the girls who don’t perpetuate the gender stereotype. And even if some girls are into fashion or like watching the Kardashians, I don’t believe that’s all there is to them. Should pick your friends based on gender? At the end of the day, we’re all just human.


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  7. Rocco

    Its only possible if both of them are gay.

    If not, it will end up just to be friends (not best), or
    It will end up with what i like most..fuckbuddies..


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