In the liberal world we live in today, the already fine line between a platonic friendship and a romantic one can sometimes get even more blurry and indistinct. We all have our doubts at times, about whether friends’ intentions towards each other are truly as innocent as they seem, or if each person’s constant seeking of the other’s company indicates something else altogether.
Fret not, for there are crystal clear ways to determine if the friendship you have is simply platonic, or if it points to something way more than that.
1. Prolonged eye contact doesn’t bother either of you
When you’re in a purely platonic friendship, you can hold each other’s gaze for a long time without feeling shy or flustered. Remember the feeling you get when your crush looks you in the eye? Making eye contact with your platonic friend will feel absolutely nothing like that and this should be your biggest cue that what the both of you share is nothing romantic. Perhaps you might accidentally catch each other’s eye while doing something mundane, like taking out the rubbish. However, neither of you will quickly look away and the two of you could even jump straight into a staring contest and no sparks will fly.
2. Their safety is not your utmost priority
It’s not really your concern whether they get home safely or not, period. If they do, then good for them. If they don’t, then well, someone else will be there to pick them up or drive them home. That person is not you and you can safely say that you do not want to be that person.
If you receive an SOS call or text from someone in the middle of the night and you jump up in excitement and leave the house at the drop of a hat, that person is someone you want to date. If you receive that same SOS call and you switch your phone to silent mode, that person is probably just a regular friend. You would, however, ring that friend up the next day to check if everything is alright. That’s the kind of concern you would show a platonic friend.
3. You don’t notice what they wear
You can see each other dressed in sexy, smashing outfits and not bat an eyelid. In fact, you might hardly even notice. Chances are, even if your friend parades around in their birthday suit, your attention will not be diverted from that exciting drama you’re binge-watching. If the thought of seeing your friend in the nude or some sexy underwear doesn’t turn you on even a bit, it’s friendzone time.
4. Distance doesn’t matter
Both of you can sit within a centimetre from each other, and not end up making out or having the urge to eat each other’s faces. If your heart doesn’t skip a beat when you get up close and personal with your friend, it’s one of the biggest telltale signs that there’ll be no romance in the air anytime soon for the both of you. Of course, if the both of you are separated by real distance measuring oceans and seas, the ache you feel will not be one of lusty companionship, but from the fact that your life has become more boring without them around.
5. They do not occupy your waking and sleeping thoughts
You’re not on each other’s minds first thing in the morning or last thing at night. You do not wake up thinking about what they will wear today or how they will smell. You also do not go to sleep at night fantasizing about your possible future together or the children you will eventually have. Or the house you will share. Or the delicious meals you will whip up together. Instead, you think about them when your partner stands you up. Or when you’re in need of an eating buddy. And it probably stops there.
6. You do not have any expectations of them
In your vocabulary bank with friends, the word “expectations” doesn’t exist. You do not need to spend a lot of time with each other, although when you do spend time together, it can be a ball of a time. You do not become emotionally needy or overly reliant on them. In other words, you can do with or without them. Not seeing or communicating with each other for one month should not spell the end of the world for either of you.
7. Jealousy is never in the equation
You don’t get mad jealous when you see your friend with a member of the opposite gender. They could be having the time of their lives flirting in front of you, or being touchy-feely with each other. Better still, they could be so engrossed in each other’s company that you completely fade into oblivion. Yet, you don’t feel the same constricting sensation in your heart you get when you see your crush dating someone else. You do not feel that stab of jealousy you get when you see the object of your affections so much as look in the direction of someone other than you. When your friend dates someone else or stares lustily at another, you frankly just don’t care.
8. Skinship does not interest you
You don’t feel any urges to be physically close to your friend. You do not time your walk down to the second so you end up sitting beside your friend when a group of you go to the movies together. You do not stand as close to your friend as possible, so that your arms will touch. You do not map out your route so that every time you sit down, you are sitting beside your friend. In fact, you actually value your space around them and feeling their touch on your skin or your touch on theirs doesn’t interest you one bit. In fact, the thought of it might even put you off breakfast, or lunch, or dinner, or all three meals.
9. Good mornings and goodnights are not on your agenda
You do not say good morning and goodnight to your friend every day without fail. Neither do you want to. Those words are saved for someone you actually want to be intimate with. They connote such a sense of intimacy that even on the rare occasions you do say it to your friend, you wince and cringe. You and your friend talk about other things, more important things, like if the waffles at your favourite store have been sold out.
10. You don’t put them on a pedestal
You look at your friend and you see, well, a human being. You don’t see a goddess, a prince charming or anything to that effect. To you, your friend is just a friend, plain as day. Nothing more, nothing less.