Ask Aviva: Why can’t we be friends?


Dear Aviva,

What is your take on platonic relationships? I’m in the dating scene, and while I am marriage minded, I really appreciate my close friendships, even though they are inter-gender. The problem is that people keep telling me that I give off mixed signals. I’m just someone who appreciates close relationships, even if I wouldn’t want a particular person to be my spouse.

Is friendship so bad?


Dear  Buddy,

You know, “platonic” doesn’t mean “love-less”. “Platonic love” is actually referring to a relationship in its purest form, which inspires one to focus that love toward the Divine (or “divine”, according to the Greeks). Now, while this Greek philosophy sounds almost aligned with Judaic thought, it actually runs in utter contrast to our beliefs. Love directed from a man to a woman was seen as hormonally driven, therefore greedy, while the purest, most spiritual love was actually from man, directed toward his young apprentice, who just so happened to share the same gender. Sounds like grounds for imprisonment, right? Yuck!

So let’s figure out what today’s version of a platonic relationship is, because American society definitely looks down upon the Greek version. And in our Jewish view of love, we believe that the hormonally driven sort of love is not something greedy, as long as it is driving along-side the spiritual love, and directed at a single person, namely your spouse.

A platonic relationship is a relationship between you and a member of the opposite gender. The relationship is made up of a high comfort level, mutual respect, and meeting each other’s emotional needs. Some platonic relationships superficially meet the above criteria (you hang out once every six weeks), and some meet it on a much deeper level (you two are literally best friends).

Now for the attraction scale: some platonic relationships have zero physical attraction toward each other, some have it, but gloss over it. And others have it skewed, where one is attracted to the other in an unrequited kinda way.

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