Finding value in platonic friendship

As a 20-year-old woman in a six-year relationship, it’s interesting to see how many people think the “excuse” of having a boyfriend doesn’t hold up when I reject them. But why?

The concept of the “friend zone” has always seemed silly to me. The term makes it seem like being in a platonic relationship lacks something. I think if our society valued platonic friendships more, then the friend zone wouldn’t seem so daunting (or seem like a punishment).

For some reason, we let sexual intercourse decide the value or level of our relationships. We see people completely disregarding their good friends because of one thing: sex. I’m not saying sex isn’t important …it’s just not as important as we think.

Oftentimes, people get into a relationship, and the promise of something new, exciting and sexual overshadows valuable platonic friendships.

Our culture limits most displays of affection to romantic relationships. It’s true, humans are tactile animals. We need to touch and be touched. But why can’t we derive that need from platonic friendships?

It really comes down to taboos. I’m not asking anyone to make out with their friends, but we could at least hug each other more. People that have been friend zoned could really benefit from a hug. However, it’s very likely those very people can take signs of affection as a sign of a romantic relationship.

Any prospective solution to this isn’t simple. We need to stop giving romantic relationships so much value. People shouldn’t feel like they’re missing out on something huge if they get friend zoned.

The U.S. is pretty conservative when it comes to customs surrounding friendship. We don’t kiss our friends like other cultures, and even a hug between two men can be seen as taboo. In order to change our perception of friendships and romance, we’ll need to support those around us and think of what we want out of a relationship – whether it’s platonic or romantic.

I’ve been on both sides of the friend zone. In my mind, keeping a person I love is more important than possibly getting laid. However, different people have different needs, and we need to respect that.

It’s very possible for someone to need affection shown through sex. However, those people are at the point when we just need to step back and look at others’ differences. If you’re chasing someone that doesn’t want to have sex with you, just stop hurting yourself by chasing after a target that was never meant for you. If you can’t handle “just” being their friend, then you’re simply being selfish.

In the end, we all need to value our friendships, whether sex is involved or not. Who knows, you could be 90 years old and wheelchair-bound at some point. Will you want sex, or someone who’s there for you at the high and low points of life?