How do you make the most of your platonic relationships?



They loved each other to death (or at least the Bible uses terms close to that) and the Bible is not apologetic about it. Let’s get the story right out of 1 Samuel 18:1-4: “After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family and Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow, and his belt.”Jonathan and David were young soldiers–the former a royal, the latter a common man–who made a covenant of love and friendship that bound them to death that even when Jonathan died in battle, many years later and David assumed the kingship of the Israel Kingdom,

David honoured that friendship by taking care of Jonathan’s only surviving son, Mephibosheth:“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.” (2 Samuel 9:7; NIV)In African traditional societies, individuals or families made pacts or covenants of blood (or ‘blood oaths’) to signify strong friendships and oneness.

These were the closest and most sacred and lasting of covenants.In such cases, the two friends let out blood into containers, exchanged it, and drank it. Some would cut into their skins and smeared each other’s blood into each other’s body cuts. This was done in the presence of witnesses and an officiating elder person. Such was the weight and depth of these platonic friendships.In modern times, however, friendships like those of David and Jonathan and those of the traditional African society, are few and far between.

For clarity purposes, what does a platonic love relationship look like? Here are some features:Mutual respect and sharing alias sacrifice for each other, understanding and appreciation of one another thoughts and feelings at a deeper level than superficially and honest communication because there is nothing to fear or hide.Other include openness, vulnerability, deep commitment to one another’s well-being and wishing the best for one another, loyalty, trust and companionship.

What is platonic love?Platonic love is named after the Greek philosopher, Plato, though he never used the term himself. It is love that is intimate, but devoid of sexual relations, bonded deeply at the soul with another. It can be one of the most fulfilling relationships one can ever have.It is akin to some friends we loosely call tights, besties or the inner circle. Some people swear it is possible, others mistrust any such relationships, and for good reasons.I know some marriages that do not have the level of intimacy and commitment that platonic relationships have.

Some are more committed to their friends than to their marriage partner. Why?Reasons are varied. Some marriage relationships also can lose some aspects of sexual intimacy and move towards platonic love, while some platonic relationships can move to sexual.Common valuesLook for people who are aligned with the same interests and purpose as you are. This reduces the clashes and stresses that come with differences because you have many things in common.They could be in the same spaces as you are. Are you a church person? You could meet some in your fellowships.

Are you an outgoing, fun-loving person? They could be found in the many hangouts and fraternities we have in this town. Or are you a physical fitness freak? They could be in that gym club. Or are you passionate about philanthropy? Whatever your interests are, there is a group of people who like similar things and would like to connect with you. Complementarily Look for people who compliment you.

They are weak when you are strong and they are strong when you are weak. People who buffer your weaknesses and bring out your strengths. You give them as much as you take away. It is a two-way street all in a non-romantic manner.Consistency in characterEvery good relationship is built on character. Smooth talkers, liars, pretenders, and hypocrites cannot make good friends. You want to find someone who says what they mean and they mean what they say.

These are dependable.Platonic relationships are usually enduring but can be broken just like other relationships and this is how Selfishness Good relationships are glued together by ‘others’; the care and concern for others. Mutual giving is good for psychological health for instance, it was established through research that people experience greater happiness when they spend money on others than when they spend on themselves. (Dunn et al, 2008a). Selfishness, on the other hand, is unhealthy for relationships. It has been known to be rooted in a lack of empathy for others.

Friends who take more out of a relationship than they return the same platonic favours are considered parasites and no one wants to be in a one-sided demand-supply relationship that boundary breaches. It is okay to be in each other’s faces, but there must be some degree of boundaries that provide personal space to the friends involved. Gossip and rumor-mongering are bad for relationships. Revealing confidence to others when it was entrusted to you breaks trust.Lies and deception and lies make it difficult to know the emotional feelings and thoughts of a person. Lies manifest in form of outright lies, half-truths, deliberate misinformation, playing down facts, and withholding information. Whatever form or shape lies take, they are lies and they injure the bond of trust in relationships.

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