Are platonic relationships like fairy tales and wishing wells: real only in the mind? Some say it is possible for men and women to be just friends as long as bodies don’t collide and minds don’t wander down dark halls trying the knobs on locked doors…wondering…Nope. Don’t wander, they say. Stay in the front room and keep your hands where they can be seen. Singularly focus on his/her funny conversation, winning charm, (Isn’t that what’s so great about him anyway?), the highlights from the game last night and the favorite movies you both love. You can do it with a little bit of mind control. But is it a matter of control or pure naivety without measure to think this way?
Others say, Impossible. Once you start trying to forge those kinds of friendships, doors swing open like the automatic ones at supermarkets, sucking you in in cyclonic fashion. (I guess that’s where that term, It just happened derived) My hubby swears it just can’t be done and it’s a clear violation of everything manly to even try because, a man is just going to be a man—sigh. Now he’s not saying that friendships strictly at work are not possible. (He’d better not be saying it.) But after work activities like catching a flick, an evening meal or just hanging out with no end to a means is not doable without things getting…sticky.
Jacqui Barnes the main character of my novel, In Three Days will soon tell you her experience, in March. All 6’2 of her friend, Curtis Carter is there for the taking—that is, for his wife, which, she is not. So she must settle for that good old platonic relationship. Although she’s had a thing for Curtis in years past the distance between them has allowed a mature and sensible Jacqui to emerge; one who respects the vows of marriage and would not dare venture out with a man wearing a band–at least this is what we’re rooting for. You see, they have more in common than he and the wife. Both are steadily climbing the corporate ladder, often skipping a rung or two. Both have recently experienced the pangs of difficult relationships—Jacqui’s a divorcee of two years, Curtis is struggling to keep his marriage together– stitch by stitch. But doesn’t everybody need a little solace now and then from someone whose only commitment is being there; there’s no judging, fighting, no angry voices? They need someone who builds their self-worth reminding them that they are fine just as they are and that he or she was a fool for leaving anyway. How do you maintain this fine balance?
According to renowned psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw, platonic relationships like this only work if boundaries are set:
- Don’t share personal information with that person
- Don’t talk to them about your marriage/problems in your marriage
- Don’t throw alcohol into the equation, because things can get murky indeed.
There is always the lingering question as to whether or not both sides are truly committed to being platonic. What do you think? Please share your thoughts.