Platonic relationships are emotionally intimate relationships without sex. Here we will explore the pros and cons of practicing sexual abstinence and maintaining a platonic emotionally intimate relationship with a spouse or someone you are dating with the goal of selecting a mate to marry.
Let’s examine why a person would want to be in an emotionally intimate platonic relationship without sex.
1. Religious beliefs and the law
Many people are practicing sexual abstinence before marriage because of religious beliefs. In some countries, it is illegal for couples to engage in sex before marriage, hence platonic intimacy is the only option remaining for such couples.
2. Medical reasons
Some people have medical reasons for practicing abstinence while married. For example, a married person may have been in a car accident and the doctor may have advised their patient to not engage in any strenuous activity including sex until further notice. Such couples learn how to practice abstinence in a relationship. Participants starting a 12 step recovery program are usually advised not to engage in sexual relationships for a certain amount of time in order to stay focused on the program.
3. Psychological reasons
Then there are persons vowing celibacy for psychological reasons. One, in order to develop a new way of thinking to change aspects of their lives or take time to recover from a past relationship. Many single parents commit to sexual abstinence and learn how to stay abstinent in a relationship just to raise children.
4. Social reasons
The well-known modern “three month rule” is a classic social example of a platonic relationship. Such platonic relationship rules give enough liberty to the women who are advised to date and enjoy the companionship of their male partners, but wait at least three months before getting sexually intimate with their partner because it establishes many relationship benefits.
Regardless of the reasons a person may choose sexual abstinence, it does not mean that the person does not want companionship. They still have the need to intimately and emotionally stay connected and date but with the understanding that there will be no sex. Many people maintain intimate platonic relationships for months and some for years before committing to marriage.
Couples learn how to deal with abstinence in a relationship since platonic relationships have their own share of benefits. But, one needs to understand the pros and cons of abstinence before committing themselves into an abstinence relationship.
- Taking the time to get to know someone before having sex means you are not dating with rose colored glasses on. Therefore, you will not easily misinterpret unacceptable behavior to be acceptable. For example, a person you may think is just concerned about you may actually be a control freak. The behavior of being concern is acceptable, but the behavior of a control freak is a deal breaker.
- Taking the time to get to know someone before having sex will give you the time to talk about secrets. Your talks will reveal information about STD’s (Sexual Transmitted Diseases) diagnosis or a genetic family medical history you need to know about. Especially, if you want to have children and start a family. In addition, you could find out you are related by blood.
- Married people refrain from sex periodically when they are repairing their relationship from trust, respect, and commitment issues. Gaining trust, respect, and commitment are the main benefits of the “three month rule”. Abstinence in marriage is a rule that advises men and women not to have sex with a prospective partner for at least three months. The idea is to weed out insincere persons and find out about deal breaking habits or secrets. Many people won’t stick around if they do not have sex quickly because they are not really looking for a serious relationship. Taking the time to get to know someone before having sex will establish a level of trust, respect, and commitment. Even though, they may have said otherwise to get the goods. They could be married. In this situation, you would not have invested all of you, therefore lose the baggage. Therefore, platonic marriage is probably a good idea to maintain your self-respect and self-esteem.
- More than one friend. If boundaries are not set, your partner can get involved in more than one platonic intimate emotional relationship with the thinking that they are not having sex. Therefore, they can have many friends. The problem is a lack of commitment and self-restraint. One of those friends could become a “friend with benefits”.
- The fire is gone. If the emotionally intimate platonic relationship does not develop a sexual attraction that is shared by both parties involved, the relationship will not go to the next level. You may become more like family or part ways.
- Breaking the sexual abstinence. If the couple is married, one spouse’s sexual needs may be stronger than the other, forcing one spouse to go outside the relationship for sex. Marriage is not designed to be an emotionally intimate platonic relationship with sexual abstinence even if it is necessary to do so for a short period of time.
In conclusion, there are medical, religious, psychological, and social reasons why people choose to engage in platonic relationships with sexual abstinence. The benefits of platonic relationships without sex give partners time to establish and strengthen trust, respect, and commitment to the relationship. On the other hand, it can introduce several partners into the relationship if boundaries are not set. In addition, sexual attraction can die out and the relationship doesn’t progress to the next level. These type of relationships may not be the best option for marriages unless a professional doctor has mentored it.