Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Platonic Relationship/friendship

Is it so difficult to have a platonic relationship?
I put forth this question to a very good friend of mine. His answer to it is - Ideally speaking yes, but practically speaking NO. Such relationships might be possible but the percentage of it is way too minimum, to even be seen.

Can there not exist a relationship between a man and a woman that is devoid of physical desires in it? Why does the society show narrow mindedness when it sees a man and a woman together and brand their friendship as an ‘affair’ or say there sure is "something" going between the two?
Why should it mean that in a good friendship between two people, there is a hidden affair going on?
Does friendship between a man and a woman culminate only to satiate physical desires between the two? Does love between friends of opposite gender, only mean something to do with carnal cravings?

My views about a platonic relationship is not where the friends sit with each other for hours together, either face to face or chat over phone or internet and in the process neglect their family life or ignore their spouse. It is also not about a situation, where the friends feel missed if they don’t see each other or talk to each other, even for a day.

I do believe a platonic relationship between a man and a woman is possible. It is one of the sweetest friendship that one can ever experience.

If such friendship is fading away from our lives it is more so because of the possessive feeling of their spouse. The suspicious nature inherent in the spouse of the friends leads them to conceal this relationship. The fear that such a relationship can not be accepted or will be misunderstood or what the society may say, to such a friendship, which in turn affects their family life, leads them to hide this relationship. When a situation arises as to which to hold on to – family or friend, to ensure smooth running of the family, family seems to be the one they have to choose as they are committed to it. Thereby the friendship remains hidden, or nipped off in the bud stage itself.

Trust/faith/belief call it whatever you want, is the base that holds strong and tight any relationship. Marriage is based on this concrete foundation named trust. If that trust is not visible, then how can one ever lead a life with happiness and joy in it. The absence of trust makes one suspect the other in life. Injecting venom in the seeds planted will lead to the death of the plant even before the shoots show their face, the plant just withers and dies, because the venom has settled in the roots. Does the root survive? Never. Such is the disaster that is created because of venom in the form of suspicion in relationship.

Physical relationship between spouses is something that binds them together. And it is a form of expressing love between them. And in that love is the trust that they share between them. I cannot, in thoughts or deeds, imagine a person having physical relationship with someone other than their own spouse. The relationship that one shares with their spouse is totally different from those shared with friends. There is this component of love in both the relationships. They have their own way of being expressed.

If the heart and mind is pure, the relationship is genuine, the trust is incomparable, then just seek out with sincerity in heart, one is sure to find a friendship that has only pure love in it – platonic friendship .

'Tis the perception of the beautiful, A fine extension of the faculties, Platonic, universal, wonderful, Drawn from the stars, and filtered through the skies, Without which life would be extremely dull"
- Lory Byron


Shravan said...

didnt read the full stuff, only had an outline reading. good posting. i have often asked the same question to myself, why cant a man and woman, in my case, why cant a boy and girl be friends? why the society is acting wierd if there is any such relations..

and i didnt find the answer in me, but now for sure i am not going to leave my best friend alone for any reason.Proud to say, my best friend is the one of my opposite gender, and i hope, believe that we are not going to part.

good posting:)

Anonymous said...

wow! i agree there could a platonic relationship between a man n a woman... you have put it across beautifully :)

Vishwanath Seshadri said...

It is a good and idealistic concept.

I agree that it would work when two people are satisfied with their respective spouses and yet have a need for a friendship with another person. However, I must also caution that the very nature of human beings is that opposites attrract.. And unless the two individuals are really mature it could lead to complications.

In today's world where the western influence and media (TV / cinema) is so dominating, people tend to think that physical relationship between spouses is not sacrosanct. We even read about fathers abusing daughters and friends becoming fiends when opportunity presents itself. In these circumstances, platonic relationship becomes a rarity. And naturally, therefore, society tends to imagine things.

Also, our Hindu scriptures specifically state that contact between opposite sexes should be minimum. There is even a story of Brahma falling in love with his own daughter Sandhya to illustrate the vulnerability of such situations. Maya is so strong that even Shiva (the perfect Yogi) fell in love with Mohini (albeit for a brief period of time)knowing fully well that it was Narayana.

To conclude, I feel that while platonic relationships could and do exist between opposite sexes, these are exceptions not norms.