Platonic Relationships: Can Males and Girls Be Pals? Exploring on Apple TV

Platonic follows Will and Sylvia – two former finest mates (Image: AP – Apple TV+)

It’s a query that’s been contemplated by nice minds (Nora Ephron, rise) for a lot of many years: Can women and men ever really simply be platonic friends, or is there all the time one thing extra on the horizon?

From 1989’s basic smash rom-com When Harry Met Sally to Apple TV+’s model new Platonic, it’s the age-old debate that can by no means die.

In TV’s newest providing, the premise follows Will (Seth Rogan) and Sylvia (Rose Byrne), who reconnect after years aside – however their straightforward chemistry belies a possible undercurrent of feeling. Platonic reveals opposites appeal to – Sylvia is the busy mum of three caught doing housewife duties, whereas Will refuses to develop up. Their closeness confuses individuals, main these round them to query if it’s actually simply friendship between them.

So what does workforce take into consideration all this? Right here, two of our writers go face to face.

I’ve slept with male mates and I’ve not regretted it for a second

Kimberley Bond, 29, is a options author at

Friendship between men and women can lead to more - but boundaries need to be put in place (Picture: Supplied)

Friendship between women and men can result in extra – however boundaries must be put in place (Image: Equipped)

Hitting in your mates is a harmful recreation. To swap saliva with somebody you’ve ever traded straightforward banter with beforehand might lead to compromising the fragility of a friendship.

The chance of swooping in on a pal can usually be excessive, with the one assure being that it’ll lead to a second that can maintain you up at night time; although whether or not you’re doubled over in cheek-flushing embarrassment or screaming in pleasure stays to be seen.

I’ll be frank – I’ve struggled to maintain the overwhelming majority of my friendships with male mates strictly platonic. Even when we by no means ended up in flagrante, I’d be mendacity if I stated I hadn’t mentally toyed with the thought, a lot to my disgrace.

Why? I believe it’s as a result of I worth emotional connection, and the extra I get to know somebody, the extra I begin to fancy them. It’s the easiness this familiarity brings with a variety of my male mates which has resulted in intimacy – as an alternative of getting to barter awkward conversations over Tinder dates and an excessive amount of wine, I really feel safer with somebody I’ve already established a agency basis of friendship with. What’s incorrect if that results in slightly extra?

Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Castle Rock/Nelson/Columbia/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5883899q) Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan When Harry Met Sally - 1989 Director: Rob Reiner Castle Rock/Nelson/Columbia USA Scene Still Comedy Quand Harry rencontre Sally

When Harry Met Sally requested the query of whether or not women and men might be mates (Image: Fort Rock/Nelson/Columbia/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

The primary time it occurred was at college with a detailed buddy who I discovered myself spending an growing period of time with. After a tough day and an argument with somebody, I sought solace in his firm, consuming additional giant pizzas and watching Simon Pegg motion pictures. A comforting hug ended up escalating, I believe to the shock of each of us.

I assumed this might imply the top of the friendship, and I prevented any contact with him for just a few days. When he finally nailed me down (poor selection of phrases right here, however you catch my drift), we established that this was a one time factor, a pleasant encounter however nothing extra. As soon as we’d batted off any preliminary discomfort, we have been again consuming stuffed crust and watching movies with none additional qualms or point out of it. The actual fact we’d slept collectively was virtually like a punchline to an ongoing personal joke. 

Whether or not (and it must be famous – this can be a quandary for straight individuals) women and men can really simply be mates was a subject of dialog I had with a male buddy (and, former fling, clearly) at Christmas. Over slugs of whisky, he introduced how, when he lastly will get a girlfriend, he was going to chop all his earlier flings out his life.

Will and Sylvia’s straightforward chemistry makes some query their friendship (Image: AP – Apple TV+)

‘It will be disloyal to my girlfriend to stay on talking phrases with somebody I’ve had intercourse with,’ he stated pompously.

I used to be mocking of his incapacity to suppose exterior his trousers, however then once I obtained residence I realised that not many individuals can distinguish between intimacy out of attraction, and intimacy for intimacy’s sake.

I recognize I could also be considerably of an anomaly; all of the intercourse I’ve had with male mates for no matter motive, I can separate from the idea of our friendship. We’ve additionally been clear with the boundaries and that any intimate second is successfully meaningless.

I’m fortunate that for essentially the most half, I’m nonetheless good mates with a lot of the males I’ve slept with. Not each friendship can face up to the burden of two individuals having intercourse on it, particularly if one particular person is being coy about having deeper emotions.

That’s to not say I’m prepared and raring to go together with each male buddy I’ve – notably as I’ve a boyfriend (who’s grownup and open-minded sufficient to grasp that whereas I’ve slept with male mates, it’s not going to occur once more whereas we’re collectively). There are additionally some which are strictly off-limits – those I work with, for instance.

However for essentially the most half, the intercourse I’ve had with male mates has solely been useful. It’s helped me be extra emotionally open with them; in any case, should you can talk with somebody in intercourse, you possibly can talk in another context. It lends itself to a lot deeper, extra significant friendships – and I don’t remorse the intimate moments in any respect.

It’s ridiculous to recommend that women and men can’t have platonic friendships

Emmie Harrison-West, 30, is a contract journalist and Metro columnist

For Emmie, the thought of sleeping with her male friends makes her feel nauseous (Picture: Supplied)

For Emmie, the considered sleeping together with her male mates makes her really feel nauseous (Image: Equipped)

I bear in mind kissing my finest buddy, let’s known as him Jake*, once I was 13.

We have been confused youngsters, hanging out beneath a bunk mattress in my vivid pink bed room – the partitions (and ceiling) peppered with Kerrang posters of floppy-haired grownup males who sang unhappy songs for younger ladies.

The kiss was disgusting. It was precisely like that second in Imply Ladies when BFFs Janis and Damian kiss on the dance. Jake and I finished after seconds and laughed, gagging – vowing by no means to do it once more.

We’ve been finest mates ever since – supporting one another via huge life adjustments, shifting cities, nations and navigating break-ups. He got here to my wedding ceremony, main the loudest applause. And we haven’t kissed since – or slept collectively (gross).

In truth, the considered sleeping with him makes me really feel slightly nauseous. 

A man and a woman look relaxed as they have a lighthearted conversation.

Popular culture has exacerbated the concept women and men can’t have platonic relationships (Image: Getty Pictures)

As teenagers, it was a complicated idea that women and men could possibly be mates – with out sleeping with, or fancying one another. Fueled with pre-pubescent sexual curiosity, and not sure of what to do with it, and who to do it with. 

We didn’t know again then that girls and boys might have real-life, platonic relationships, like we do now.

In popular culture, boys have been solely mates with ladies if one half of them was homosexual. And women and men solely appeared reverse one another, not as mates, however as vying for the opposite’s love, consideration and genitals – not friendship.

There’s no sexual chemistry between Jake and I, why would there be? There by no means has been, and there by no means might be. We’re actually simply mates, who occur to be of the other intercourse.

I do know he’s a lovely bloke – he’s clever, comes from an important household, has a superb sense of humour, loves canine and has good tooth. Nevertheless it doesn’t imply I’m drawn to him, or wish to f*ck him. 

Platonic sidesteps rom-com cliches and dives into the matter at hand (Image: Paul Sarkis/Apple TV+)

And I do know he feels the identical about me – in all probability feeling bodily repulsed on the thought.

You may’t be BFFs with somebody you have got any attraction to, or sexual chemistry with. It simply doesn’t work like that. It’s not purported to. I believe individuals usually confuse platonic affection between mates with sexual attraction, when it’s not the case in any respect.

So, the concept women and men can’t be mates with out desirous to sleep with one another is ridiculous – and, Christ, not each girl needs to sleep with each man. And vice versa, I’m certain.

Intercourse simply makes it messy – such as you’re crossing an invisible line that you could by no means take again. It’s irreversible. 

Apple TV+’s new comedy, Platonic, retains coming again to life’s overarching query of if a straight girl and straight man can have a platonic relationship. The reply? Sure, completely.

It’s absurd to recommend that it’s an expectation of male-female friendships to fancy one another, even slightly, and fantasise about having intercourse with them – or truly sleeping collectively. 

If you wish to f*ck your buddy, you then’re not likely mates, are you? Probably not. Sure, I usually depend my husband as my finest buddy now – however we weren’t mates once we first met. There was attraction, earlier than there was affection and friendship. 

We’re soulmates, not platonic companions – and there’s a stark distinction.

They’re two items of two completely different jigsaws that don’t match – and aren’t purported to. Maybe it’s as much as us to cease forcing them collectively.