Platonic Intimacy

You know your friends are essential, whether you’re a social butterfly with a wide circle or an introvert with one or two besties. But often it seems like friendships aren’t celebrated as much as romantic partnerships, even though our friends are our community, our mirrors, and our core support as adults – especially if our families of origin aren’t close.

“Just friends” is hardly “just”. In fact, friend networks are a human necessity – we need all kinds of intimacy and interconnectedness, both platonic and not, to be healthy and happy. 

In a time when more and more people report feeling lonely and isolated, how can we nurture those essential relationships?

At Foria, sexual intimacy and pleasure are our primary focus – but we’re thrilled to see that Galentine’s Day is becoming more popular. When intimate friendships are nourished, all kinds of intimacy have room to grow and thrive. 

So gather your besties close, and show them you love them truly, madly and deeply. (Maybe with a gift card from Foria?)

Friendship is Romance

The word “intimacy” often conjures ideas of sex and the physical. And plenty of us have very satisfying friendships that incorporate both those things – everyone knows what “Friends With Benefits” means these days, and polyamory is becoming a more widely-accepted lifestyle.

However, true friendships can be fiercely intimate even if you never touch each other beyond the occasional backrub. Intimacy is, above all, about interconnectedness – seeing each other clearly for who you are, growing together, caring for yourselves and each other and taking advantage of the best life has to offer, together.

And friendships have “love languages” just as much as conventional romances do. Some grow around common activities or collaborations, some bloom amidst long confessional conversations, some thrive with gift-giving, and so forth.

Like intimate relationships, great friendships thrive when you each understand what makes the other tick, where you’re fundamentally different, and where your basic needs lie.

Where my people at?

You might already have a core crew, and lucky you if you do – but you might also be wondering where everyone went! 

Making new platonic intimate connections can be challenging, especially at a phase of life when everyone is busy with work, kids, and non-platonic intimate connections.

But those are also times when we need them the most.

So how do you go about finding Your People, when it feels like tumbleweeds are blowing through the streets of your social life?

    • Mentorships. Cross-generational friendships are highly underrated. Older people have a lot to teach us, and we have a lot to teach the young – even if we feel barely capable of “adulting” ourselves. You may have overlooked groups and activities that attract different generations, but try seeking out that circle of elders, or that hobby you feel too old for, and see what happens.
  • Get local. Our own neighborhoods can be great places to meet new friends, and there’s often a surprising amount of productive social activity going on under the surface even in areas that don’t seem terribly social. Charitable or community work, casual sports leagues, book clubs, craft groups – if they’re specific to your area, you’ll have a chance to meet and mingle with people who are different from you, but share a common context.
  • Catch the Spirit. Even if we don’t belong to an organized religion, it’s easy to miss the role that houses of worship can play in fostering community and friendship. Consider checking out meditation groups or nondenominational spiritual organizations to be around new folks on a regular schedule.
  • New friends are silver, old friends are gold. Some friendships end for good reason. Some just seem to fall by the wayside, perhaps because you were in different phases of life at the time – but maybe you aren’t anymore! Try reaching out to someone you haven’t seen in years, and see what happens.
  • Keep it up-close and in-person. Find real-life, face-to-face interactions with common interests and activities to share, or make your own. Be wary of exclusively text-based communication, as a lot can get lost in translation. Online friendships can be true and real, but many people need faces, voices, touch, and human context for deep friendships to thrive.

  • Share the love.

    Up-and-coming generations value their friend groups as much if not more than their intimate partnerships, which is wise of them. These times are hard and unprecedented, and we need true communities like never before.

    Treat your friendships with the same care that you’d treat relationships with a lover – know each other’s love languages, show up for them even when it’s not a crisis, work towards common goals.

    And celebrate those treasured connections you’re so fortunate to have, every day of the year. They’re fortunate to have you too.

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