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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
William

Why we don’t do platonic relationships…

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Speaking on this subject might cause me to step on some toes, but I think it’s worth it. I’m gonna say some things that aren’t very popular, slightly controversial, and extremely dogmatic. That combination typically offends people; a lot of people. What is it that I want to say that could potentially invite fierce and unkind criticism of my character? This: I don’t have platonic friends, I don’t want platonic friends, and I don’t think anyone should have platonic friends.

 

But “what is a platonic friend?” some of you may ask. A platonic friend is an intimate friend of the opposite sex, who is a trusted confidant, and in whom is no sexual interest. I don’t think that type of relationship is beneficial. However, that’s not to say I don’t have friends of the opposite sex, I do, but I don’t entrust them with intimate secrets. I don’t call them on the phone late at night and tell them about my day. I don’t meet with them over coffee and discuss the latest gossip. I leave all that kind of intimate socialization for my trusted buddies; my guy friends. Guys like me.

 

So without further ado, let me give you some reasons for why I think it is dangerous to keep close friends of the opposite sex.

 

Divorce rates are soaring, is Facebook to blame?

 

Despite the fact that more people are getting divorced than ever, it still seems like only the most radical visionaries of us are looking at the trends and searching for causes and cures. Sources disagree over how best to calculate the statistics, but somewhere between 20-50% of all American marriages end in divorce. Cause? Well, at least 1 in 5 divorces are blamed on inappropriate Facebook socialization with the opposite sex. But if you add the number of divorces that ended due to inappropriate socialization in life outside of Facebook, the number would likely rise higher.

 

How does this happen? And why is it so common? Inappropriate cross gender conversation sometimes happens rapidly, sometimes gradually, but always because of the wickedness of the human heart. For those who would seek to protect their marriage, like us, and thwart adultery before it happens, it is necessary to understand: the causes of divorces, their red flags and warning signs, and ultimately how to avoid these marital land mines.

 

What does a platonic relationship look like in a marriage?

 

A married person who has a platonic friend typically:

 

Engages in private conversation with someone of the opposite sex, other than their spouse.

Shares intimate details about their lives.

Spends alone time with the opposite sex, as they would with someone of their own gender.

Talks about problems in the marriage with the platonic friend.

Insists that there is nothing sexual or inappropriate in the relationship.

 

The simple and yet disastrous reason that a platonic relationship can kill a marriage.

 

Let’s highlight the last point above. A married person who has a platonic friend typically insists that there is nothing sexual or inappropriate in the relationship. That may very well be true, but will it remain true? To find confidence in the self assurance of “it will never go too far” and “they’re just a friend, they’ll always be just a friend” and “this isn’t hurting my marriage” reveals a heart that is convinced that human beings are better than what they really are. That we as humans have more self control than what we really do. That we’re able to maintain control in situations in which we as humans aren’t equipped to maintain control.

 

The simple truth is this. Human beings find other humans sexually attractive. Period. End of story. In light of this single revelation, all of the bullet points above seem like critical shots being fired at the internal organs of a marriage by a crazy person. Human beings find other human beings sexually attractive, and when you add to that equation alone time and intimacy, things are bound to go down hill!

 

Find out just how bad these problems are with men, by reading Men are dogs. Let’s be open and honest about lust.

 

How “just friends” or “just a brother/sister” becomes “adulterer/adulteress.”

 

The story usually goes like this… The friend or the “brother/sister” remains in the picture when they shouldn’t. The marriage goes on with the platonic person in the auxiliary, “helping out” here and there with kids or finances or whatever. The guy or gal is confided in about everything, and when troubles arise in the marriage (as is always bound to happen), the reckless spouse confides in a member of the opposite sex about troubles with they’re having with their spouse.

 

That conversation turns into a hand on the shoulder. A reassuring smile. Perhaps a “if only he/she understood you like I understand you, then they would see that you’re such a great person.” That leads to a smile and a hug, and what was a moment ago just a friend or a sibling, has now filled the emotional space that your husband or wife is meant to fill. In essence the platonic friend has just replaced your spouse!

 

You have confided in that person concerning your troubles, as you would with someone of your own sex, but unlike a friend of your own sex, this person has something a little more to offer you! I would say, they offer you further death and turmoil, but the thrill of actually being understood and accepted will make you feel anything but… in that moment.

 

So that is why we avoid one on one platonic friendships like the plague, because they are a plague. A disastrous pitfall that should be avoided at all costs.

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  I also hear of stories that couples who hang out together a lot with other couples can fall victim to this mess.

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Very interesting.

A relationship like will cause at least one party to have inappropriate feelings eventually. 

 

And that's kinda like cheating in marriage, let alone the stress that would put on the spouse. 

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On ‎3‎/‎16‎/‎2015 at 7:37 PM, William said:

Speaking on this subject might cause me to step on some toes, but I think it’s worth it. I’m gonna say some things that aren’t very popular, slightly controversial, and extremely dogmatic. That combination typically offends people; a lot of people. What is it that I want to say that could potentially invite fierce and unkind criticism of my character? This: I don’t have platonic friends, I don’t want platonic friends, and I don’t think anyone should have platonic friends.

 

But “what is a platonic friend?” some of you may ask. A platonic friend is an intimate friend of the opposite sex, who is a trusted confidant, and in whom is no sexual interest. I don’t think that type of relationship is beneficial. However, that’s not to say I don’t have friends of the opposite sex, I do, but I don’t entrust them with intimate secrets. I don’t call them on the phone late at night and tell them about my day. I don’t meet with them over coffee and discuss the latest gossip. I leave all that kind of intimate socialization for my trusted buddies; my guy friends. Guys like me.

 

So without further ado, let me give you some reasons for why I think it is dangerous to keep close friends of the opposite sex.

 

Divorce rates are soaring, is Facebook to blame?

 

Despite the fact that more people are getting divorced than ever, it still seems like only the most radical visionaries of us are looking at the trends and searching for causes and cures. Sources disagree over how best to calculate the statistics, but somewhere between 20-50% of all American marriages end in divorce. Cause? Well, at least 1 in 5 divorces are blamed on inappropriate Facebook socialization with the opposite sex. But if you add the number of divorces that ended due to inappropriate socialization in life outside of Facebook, the number would likely rise higher.

 

How does this happen? And why is it so common? Inappropriate cross gender conversation sometimes happens rapidly, sometimes gradually, but always because of the wickedness of the human heart. For those who would seek to protect their marriage, like us, and thwart adultery before it happens, it is necessary to understand: the causes of divorces, their red flags and warning signs, and ultimately how to avoid these marital land mines.

 

What does a platonic relationship look like in a marriage?

 

A married person who has a platonic friend typically:

 

Engages in private conversation with someone of the opposite sex, other than their spouse.

Shares intimate details about their lives.

Spends alone time with the opposite sex, as they would with someone of their own gender.

Talks about problems in the marriage with the platonic friend.

Insists that there is nothing sexual or inappropriate in the relationship.

 

The simple and yet disastrous reason that a platonic relationship can kill a marriage.

 

Let’s highlight the last point above. A married person who has a platonic friend typically insists that there is nothing sexual or inappropriate in the relationship. That may very well be true, but will it remain true? To find confidence in the self assurance of “it will never go too far” and “they’re just a friend, they’ll always be just a friend” and “this isn’t hurting my marriage” reveals a heart that is convinced that human beings are better than what they really are. That we as humans have more self control than what we really do. That we’re able to maintain control in situations in which we as humans aren’t equipped to maintain control.

 

The simple truth is this. Human beings find other humans sexually attractive. Period. End of story. In light of this single revelation, all of the bullet points above seem like critical shots being fired at the internal organs of a marriage by a crazy person. Human beings find other human beings sexually attractive, and when you add to that equation alone time and intimacy, things are bound to go down hill!

 

Find out just how bad these problems are with men, by reading Men are dogs. Let’s be open and honest about lust.

 

How “just friends” or “just a brother/sister” becomes “adulterer/adulteress.”

 

The story usually goes like this… The friend or the “brother/sister” remains in the picture when they shouldn’t. The marriage goes on with the platonic person in the auxiliary, “helping out” here and there with kids or finances or whatever. The guy or gal is confided in about everything, and when troubles arise in the marriage (as is always bound to happen), the reckless spouse confides in a member of the opposite sex about troubles with they’re having with their spouse.

 

That conversation turns into a hand on the shoulder. A reassuring smile. Perhaps a “if only he/she understood you like I understand you, then they would see that you’re such a great person.” That leads to a smile and a hug, and what was a moment ago just a friend or a sibling, has now filled the emotional space that your husband or wife is meant to fill. In essence the platonic friend has just replaced your spouse!

 

You have confided in that person concerning your troubles, as you would with someone of your own sex, but unlike a friend of your own sex, this person has something a little more to offer you! I would say, they offer you further death and turmoil, but the thrill of actually being understood and accepted will make you feel anything but… in that moment.

 

So that is why we avoid one on one platonic friendships like the plague, because they are a plague. A disastrous pitfall that should be avoided at all costs.

Excellent essay, William. Over the years some of the relationship issues that have been aired in various small fellowship groups I have been involved in have been extremely sensitive and emotionally charged. The boundary between godly fellowship for exhortation and edification and carnal fellowship for mutual admiration becomes blurred if not maintained with pure motives. 

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Staff

From the female side of life . Very well said @William very well. 

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