"Like a light switch. Just go 'click!'
It's a cool little Mormon trick!
Turn it off. Turn it off!" -Book of Mormon the Musical
This quote is from the Book of Mormon the Musical and it focuses on LDS (Mormon) attitudes on homosexual feelings; that the best way to handle homosexuality is by simply turning it off.
No I am not gay. My purpose right now isn't to reveal some underlying sexuality or anything like that. I'm here to show the similarity of that quote with our views on platonic friendships or to find peace in being a platonic friendship.
Question: do platonic relationships exist?
Before I start I need to define what this means, just in case. Platonic describes a relationship that is purely spiritual and not physical. If a boy and a girl hangs out all the time and are not dating, or does not have an intimate physical aspect, then they'd describe their relationship as platonic.
They do exist! It's a bit rare but imagine being in the friend-zone and being happy to be there. That's what being platonic is all about. I only know of a few existing right now and to be honest, even then it's not that perfect sometimes.
Follow-up Question: how do they form?
I can think of 3 ways that they can form. Either it was natural, it took some time, or it was forced by one of them. It was natural. There are some people that I meet who I just have no physical feelings for whatsoever. They may be pretty cute or even the perfect girl but somehow any physical aspect becomes so taboo it's avoided like those inherently evil crimes such as incest. And because of that they will always be just a friend, no matter what.
There are some platonic relationships that simply took their time. Maybe I had feelings for her or vice versa but over time it just disappeared. And that's not wrong or anything. It happens. Sometimes though it's because someone was rejected. Lemme tell you a story. Imagine a boy named Wilson asked Ari on a date. Ari, believing it was an innocent friend date, agrees. On the other hand, Wilson is actually in love with Ari for their whole friendship. During the date Wilson admits to his feelings and Ari does not reciprocate. At this point they have a choice... to either end their friendship due to complications and sheer awkwardness, or to make it platonic (or at least visually platonic) to continue the friendship.
Follow-up Question: do you want platonic relationships to exist?
Sometimes yes. Almost exclusively this happens when it's forced. In the last few months I've had a few opportunities to date around or to form an actual deep relationship. To be honest, I would love to do that. I wouldn't mind dating my friend and quite frankly I really miss cuddling. But I know I can't. My focus shouldn't be on girls... it should be on academics or on serving others. I can't have my mind in the gutter and hope to love or marry a girl (who let's be real is waaaaaaaayyyy out of my league). Maybe later... but it's not the right time...
So I turned it off... I told myself to keep it platonic. I'm doing my best to avoid flirting and if I do, I'll apologize. I know I'm not perfect and I might slip up... but I can't stop now. My calling isn't to serve with the intention to marry whoever's writing to me. My calling is to serve selflessly and by sacrificing those other worldly things. So I tell myself to keep it that way. That if I do form feelings for someone, I just need to remind myself that "it's best that I'm alone," or "it's not your time yet," or "your emotional needs are not as important as the needs of others."
"Isn't that a bit harsh?" -an old friend
Yeah... you can argue that hiding what you actually feel is unhealthy. You can argue that what I'm doing is wrong. You can argue that I'm only hurting myself. You can argue that sacrificing your personal needs are just too much...
But somehow... It'll all workout. Even if it's not something I fully want to do. Letting go of what I emotionally want is what I need to do right now...
Besides... it's not like there's another option anyway.
It's not what you want. It's not what you deserve. But it's what you need to do.