Platonic Relationships

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  • #599345

    Can something like a platonic relationship exist? Amongst family members (outside of siblings obviously)?

    #810051

    Sam2
    Participant

    Some believe platonic relationships can exist even with non-family. A lot of people think they can’t. Some would be appalled at the idea that cousins of opposite genders can be friends while others would be appalled at the idea that they can’t. It depends on the community and the people.

    #810053

    Then what can be done when feelings develop as a result of a platonic relationship for a family member?

    #810054

    Sam2
    Participant

    I don’t know. Our extended family has always been very close and no one has ever had a problem. We have one super frummy cousin who stopped talking to his female cousins and is now the butt of all the family jokes for it. He takes it well though.

    #810055

    GeshmakMan
    Participant

    If feelings have/are developed, then clearly it is NOT platonic.

    Now you have one of two choices, either build on the feelings that you or your “friend” have for their relative, or just stop cold turkey. Clearly there is no middle ground here.

    Can you share more details/specifics?

    #810056

    postsemgirl
    Member

    lovinghalacha – been there, done that. It’s not a simple thing and it’s certainly not a good feeling.

    #810057

    That’s why there are certain halachos regarding contact with imediate opposite gender relatives.. Read up on some of the halachos!! Maybe subscribe for the halacha a day email. The subject is currently on tznius.

    #810058

    Jam
    Participant

    There is NO such thing as platonic relationships. Simple as that!

    I highly recommend you listen to R’ Orlofsky’s speech on platonic relationships. It is very informative ( it was for me) and entertaining. You can find it on his website and its free.

    #810059

    kapusta
    Participant

    I second what Jam said about the speech from Rabbi Orlofsky. I think its also available on TorahAnytime.com

    Basically (as I am told) a platonic relationship can not exist.

    If you google, there is a list online of 71 reasons not to talk to guys. I would think that if they’re family it would only make it harder at some point down the road.

    Hatzlacha

    *kapusta*

    #810060

    reba
    Member

    Rabbi Orlofsky’s shiur is amazing and puts the whole issue in perspective. It is informative and of course really entertaining.

    #810061

    real sources
    Member

    When men talk about platonic relationships they almost always don’t mean what they are saying. When women talk about them, they are being naive.

    Regardless ??? ?????? ????? ???

    there is no heter in halacha for such relationships.

    #810062

    real sources
    Member

    When men talk about platonic relationships they almost always don’t mean what they are saying. When women talk about them, they are being naive.

    Regardless ??? ?????? ????? ???

    There is no heter in halacha for such relationships with women.

    When it comes to a first cousin, (especially if the families are close) I don’t think you have to treat him or her as a total stranger. However there can be attraction (cousins marry sometimes) and you should use common sense and not become “friends”.

    .

    #810063

    Thanks for all the advice, I think the situation did spiral out of hand when it went from a friendship to possibly something more then what it was initially supposed to be. If that is the case, what would the next steps be?

    #810064

    real sources
    Member

    You have to reat it like you would someone you went ou with many times and decided not to marry each other. In such case people break away cold turkey and totally avoid each other. You can tell him that your relationhip is a problem, and its not healthy to continue it.

    In the unlikely event that there is a posibility to marry each other, you can tell him that it can only continue in a manner would lead to marrige.

    As a rule such questions need to go to a rav or rebbetzin you trust and not go online.

    #810065

    mommamia22
    Participant

    Cousins can marry. My first cousin was suggested to me as a shidduch.

    I know of a chashuv rav in boro park who has at least one child, if not more, who married a cousin.

    There is no such thing as a platonic relationship. At some point or another, one or both will begin to see the other as the opposite gender, not just family. If you’re interested, pursue it; if not, make it clear. Be friendly, but not close.

    #810066

    rikki2
    Member

    You sound like you would consider marrying him. Find out how he feels about you. If he’s old enough and interested I wouldn’t discourage a shidduch like that.

    If that is not the case then you better stay away before you find yourself in a lot more trouble.

    #810067

    “Then what can be done when feelings develop as a result of a platonic relationship for a family member?”

    with your cousin? yuck

    #810068

    justsimcha
    Member

    ive been there done that, also. the way hashem made us is that no matter what, sooner or later the 2 of you are not gonna know what happened.(in a not so good way)Guaranteed!

    advice)

    1)say im sorry this isnt working out (if you were dating) ,no hard feelings

    2)or im really sorry but im really working on myself and feel id do better if i stopped talking to boys/girls. if they really like you at all (and its not at the point of “lustful type” relationship), they will say im gonna miss u, but i support your decision

    Hatzlocha doing the right things!

    PS its elul so you have a bonus reason!

    #810069

    aries2756
    Participant

    It is not advisable (genetically) for first cousins to marry. There could be many medical and genetic issues involved. However it is not assur.

    As far as family is concerned, it is not so black and white and simple as one might think. If you come from a holocaust survivor background family is a huge inyan. parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. are all part of a puzzle of quilt that grows and each piece is a very huge part and parcel of the fabric of the outcome. For cousins not to speak or not to get along is stab in the heart to the survivors. They want to gather as many as they can and see the results of their efforts and the affirmation of why they survived.

    Like my mother a”h would say “you are NOT talking to my shvester’s knit?” you are not speaking to my sister’s child? That would kill her because her sisters children were just like her own.

    #810070

    Health
    Participant

    You can be friendly to your cousins without having a relationship. There is nothing wrong with this. Once you use the word “platonic relationship”, there is No such thing. A relationship to opposite genders is never platonic unless you are a Toievanik!

    #810071

    bpt
    Participant

    Did’nt we already discuss this?

    Ok, round 2:

    Women may think the relationship is platonic

    Men are uncapable of such a thing.

    As Rabbi Wallerstein says, until you have a ring on your finger, and a kesubah in your hand, you have nothing.

    #810072

    Queen Bee
    Member

    bpt, for once I actually agree with you! 🙂

    #810073

    kapusta
    Participant

    OP: I’ll leave the advice part to the other CR folks, but just wanted to wish you Hatzlacha. One thing, you’re a human being with normal emotions and take time for whatever emotional healing may be necessary.

    A relationship to opposite genders is never platonic unless you are a Toievanik!

    I always wondered about that… (Joking. Not that such things are funny.)

    As Rabbi Wallerstein says, until you have a ring on your finger, and a kesubah in your hand, you have nothing.

    Good quote. Was that from the magic touch Shiur? (OP, thats a great Shiur btw, you may want to give a listen.)

    *kapusta*

    #810074

    adorable
    Participant

    i second that. the shiur is amazing!!!

    #810075

    aries2756
    Participant

    It is never a good idea to start a platonic relationship with members of the opposite gender. That is usually a recipe for disaster. There is a reason why we wait till kids are of dating and marriageable age. Until them, no matter how mature a child thinks they are, they really aren’t. The minds and emotions are just not capable of handling a relationship with the common sense and protection such a relationship requires.

    Kids are too susceptible to reading into the relationships and fantasizing about what could be and when they discuss the other party with their friends it only makes it worse. Either their friends buy into the fantasy and support it which makes the emotional rejections worse in the end, or they yenta about it and get the kids into trouble. It is just not the right time of life to be involved with the opposite gender. Once one is ready to date, they are forced into reality and the responsibilities involved……if you choose this person……you will be married to this person for life…….you will be responsible for this person…………it is no longer about what you want and need there are two of you in the equation………..you will have to handle your own finances………..this is not for fun we are talking about real life here.

    As far as relatives speaking to one and other, I believe relatives should always be connected and care for each other, and always be there to help and offer advice, check out prospects for you, be a sounding board, etc. Because they will always love you and care for you as family does.

    #810076

    rikki2
    Member

    mikehall12382

    1. Not all relatives are first cousins.(It may be a cousin once removed or a second cousin)

    2. Attraction can vary depending on many factors, not eveyone says yuk about their cousins.

    3. The genetic risks of cousins marryng is low, and is further lowered by the many tests done by Dor Yeshorim for compatability.

    #810077

    aries2756
    Participant

    rikki, why risk it if you have other options? If you find yourself in the situation then work it out to the best outcome possible. But the general consensus is don’t start platonic relationships because if you are not old enough or mature enough to get married you are not old enough or mature enough to handle it.

    #810078

    rikki2
    Member

    Of course she shouldn’t have started one. Her question was what to do now. .

    #810079

    real sources
    Member

    This is what Rav Moshe Feinstein has to say about platonic relationships.(besides saying its assur he says that the boy’s reason for the relationship is obviously not platonic.

    ????? ??? ??? ? ???? ?

    ??? ??? ????? ????? ?? ????????? ????? ????? ???? ??? ???? ?? ???? ??? ?? ???? ????? ????? ?????? ????? ???? ?? ????? ??? ???? ??? ??? ???? ??? ????? ??? ?????????? ??, ??? ????”? ????? ????? ???? ?? ?????? ??? ??”? ??? ????? ???? ????? ?????? ????? ?????? ?”? ??? ?????. ??? ???? ????? ???? ?? ???? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ?? ???? ????? ???? ???? ??? ???? ?? ?? ????? ??????? ???? ?? ????? ??? ????? ???? ?? ???? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???? ???? ??? ??? ????? ??? ???? ???, ??? ???? ????? ??? ??? ??? ???? ???? ????”? =?????? ??????= ????? ??? ???? ????? ?? ???? ??? ??? ???? ?????? ?? ???? ??? ?????? ??? ?? ????? ?????? ?? ????? ?”? ???? ????? ??? ????? ?? ??????.

    ??? ????? ???????? ?? ???? ????? ????? ??? ?? ???? ??????? ?? ????? ???? ??? ??? ???????? ??????? ??? ????? ??? ??? ????? ??? ???? ???? ?????? ?? ????? ????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ??”? ???? ???? ??????? ??? ?? ??? ??? ???? ?’ ???? ?? ???? ??????? ?? ?”? ?”? ???? ??? ???? ?????? ?????? ???? ??? ?? ?? ?? ???? ???? ????? ???? ???? ????? ?????? ???? ??? ???????? ?? ?? ????? ??? ???? ??? ??”? ????? ??? ??? ??”? ?????? ??? ??? ??? ????? ???? ????? ???? ?????? ???? ??, ????? ?”? ???? ?”? ???? ????? ??? ?”? ??? ?? ??????? ???? ?”? ???? ??? ???? ???????? ??? ????? ????? ???? ???? ??”? ????.

    #810081

    bein_hasdorim
    Participant

    lovinghalacha; with opposite genders?

    It cannot exist, without compromising Halacha.

    It is like playing with fire.

    Very dangerous and someone is bound to get burned sooner or later.

    Even if it does not amount to action, it will still cause strife

    among the people involved directly or loved ones of these people.

    Not very wise….

    #810082

    Tums
    Member

    Sam2: IOW, you are trying to tell us that Rav Moshe was only against boy/girl relationships cause Rav Moshe was a New Yorker?

    And out-of-towners are better at maintaining so-called “platonic relationships”?

    I must admit I got a good chuckle out of those theories.

    #810083

    reba
    Member

    Sam2 – R. Moshe’s psak came from straight halacha – not his opinion regarding what actually happens in the relationship.

    ??? ????????? ?????? – this is halacha. Noone is trustworth when it comes to this issue.

    #810086

    Sam2
    Participant

    Please let this comment through mods. I am trying to temper my original one because I realize it could have come across as much more radical than I intended it to be.

    I would never, Chas V’shalom, ever claim that R’ Moshe’s P’sak would have been any different or that it doesn’t apply. No one ever has the right to say that. My only thought is that he may not have written about it in as strong a language if he had ever seen a working platonic relationship. It was just a thought I have had, nothing more, and definitely nothing near a Halachic argument.

    #810087

    Health
    Participant

    I think people would be more receptive to Sam’s post if he wouldn’t have used the word – relationship. If he would have posted that in some OOT comunities -some families are very close and their kids are friendly to each other, even when this is with opposite genders, this isn’t Ossur; most posters wouldn’t have a problem with this.

    #810088

    aries2756
    Participant

    lovinghalacha, you didn’t mention if the two of you are of marriageable age. If you are then you should come clean with your parents and see if the feelings are real enough and strong enough to make it to the Chupah.

    If you are NOT marriageable age, you should come clean to your parents and allow them to guide you away from each other before you do things you will regret. You are both going to get hurt and you want to minimize the hurt to the degree that you wont be hurting each other. Look for comfort from those that can offer it to you without causing any harm to either of you. Don’t confide in friends who can wind up being yentas and spread your story and also add salt and pepper to your story and fuel to the fire. Be as quiet and discreet as possible. Keep “damage control” in mind. I am sorry that is my advise I know it hurts to think about breaking up, but unless you come from a very modern society where dating at a young age is not frowned upon I don’t see any way around it.

    There is one other way I can think of. If you come from a very Frum background and you come clean with both sets of parents and they agree to this shidduch, then you will have to abide by the rules they set up for you. Basically that would have to be something on the guidelines of not being alone with one and other and always having a chaperone along with you so you abide by the rules of negiah and Yichud.

    #810089

    adorable
    Participant

    before walking to the chuppa though make sure you are really ready to commit to this guy and its not just fake love now. you can hurt lots of people and break up families. but its not unheard of for cousins to marry each other.

    #810090

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Can something like a platonic relationship exist?

    Yes and no. As everyone has pointed out, a “BFF” friendship is not possible, as it will cause feelings to develop.

    However, there are multiple levels of relationship. I have a “working” relationship with many of my coworkers, both male & female. Such a relationship does not develop “feelings” (B’derech K’lal), as the guiding rule is to keep it business-like.

    I think you can use the same idea here as well. If there are ground rules, and you (both) agree not to attempt to develop the relationship into something else, then you can move forward. Otherwise, watch out.

    Hatzlacha either way. You are in a tough situation.

    #810091

    adorable
    Participant

    either way its not ideal, thats for sure!

    #810092

    A small irksome item. the word “gender” is not used when refering to people. “gender applys to grammar as in masculine or feminine “gender”. “Opposite gender” in incorrect.

    Edited

    You may be correct, nevertheless we prefer that the term gender be used here, archaic and prudish as we may be

    #810093

    Oh, yeah. There is no such thing as a platonic friendship between members of the opposite gender. Between members of the same gender, the term does not apply, unless you’re Plato.

    Edited

    #810094

    lolface
    Member

    lovinghalacha

    Member

    Can something like a platonic relationship exist? Amongst family members (outside of siblings obviously)?

    POSTED 1 DAY AGO #

    Sam2

    Member

    Some believe platonic relationships can exist even with non-family. A lot of people think they can’t. Some would be appalled at the idea that cousins of opposite genders can be friends while others would be appalled at the idea that they can’t. It depends on the community and the people.

    how interesting. here’s a little tidbit for you. when the torah was given at har sinai, one of the psukim mentions the word bechi, which means crying. the meforshim explain (there are other explanations given) that even though the simcha was so great, many marriages had to be dissolved because of the issurei haarayos that were given at matan torah! can you imagine? all those forbidden relationships existed!

    now, maybe you will say, yes but surely it wasn’t commonplace!

    well then. some meforshim further explain that in fact it’s puzzling, why DID the torah assur the arayos? (obviously genetics isn’t the answer, as people had been doing it for many generations. indeed, most of the early generations of klal yisroel married blood relatives. it would seem that the genetics issue must have come about at a later time (or perhaps are a result of the issur? but thats a little mystical. not my style.). in any case, it isn’t the answer the rishonim give, so it is a moot point.) some take the question even further and ask (read carefully) that indeed this would seem to contradict logic, as the most sensible person for you to marry would be a close relation, SUCH AS A BROTHER MARRYING A SISTER! the reasons are obvious – they are from the same family, so they would be familiar with each others habits which would facilitate the developement of the relationship, in derech of avodas hashem they would have similar haskafic outlooks, and there are many other “minor” reasons it would be beneficial as well (inheritance, etc.) in addition, close family would be the natural first place to look, even outside the brother-sister relationship. meaning, one would naturally pair together a boy with his aunt if his sister wasn’t an option, for the same reasons mentioned above.

    now isn’t that fascinating? (puts a whole new spin on why touching derech chiba is, according to (i believe most if not all) poskim, strictly forbidden outside of your mother and father.

    the answer the rishonim give is that since people are biased, it could possibly happen that there would be a non-related girl who would really be better suited as an ezer kinegdo, but a man might still rather take his sister, because this way he can avoid a lengthy search for the right person (what about zivug? good question, i dont know, clearly the rishonim were dealing with the question in terms of our hishtadlus), and he already has a relationship with his sister so it’s much easier (or vica versa for girls). THUS hashem insured that we would always enter into a search for the “right” zivug, resulting in the appropriate level of hishtadlus leading up to marriage.

    now that doesn’t sound platonic to me.

    halacha, incidentally, reflects this to a degree. without parents in the house, it is assur for a brother and sister to live together for more than a week or two (the exact time frame is debated by poskim).

    A BROTHER AND SISTER???? can you imagine? well halacha can.

    just my two cents ^_^

    #810095

    CR 1
    Member

    Real Source – Can you please translate

    #810096

    real sources
    Member

    This is what the Shaulchan Aruch says about relationships wtith women.??? ???? ???? ?”?

    ???? ?

    ???? ??? ?????? ?????? ??? ??? ????? ????? ????? ?? ?????? ?????? ?????? ???? ???????. ????? ????? ???, ???? ???? ????? ?? ????? ??????. ?????? ????? ?????? ????? ????. ????? ?????? ????? ??????? ?? ??????. ????? ?????? ????? ??????? ?? ??? ???? ?????, ???’ ???? ????, ??? ??? ????? ??. ??? ??? ????, ???? ???? ?????, ??? ?? ?????? ?????? ?? ??????. ??? ????? ???? ??? ????, ????? ????? ???? ????. ??????? ????? ????? ???? ?? ??? ??????? ?????? ????, ???? ????? ???? ????? (??’ ????) ???. ????? ????? ??? ???? ?? ????? ????. ???????? ???? ???? ??????, ???? ???? ??? ?????. ???? ?????? ?????? ?? ?????? ?????.

    ???? ?

    ??? ?????? ????? ??? ???, ????? ?”? ????, ????’ ?”? ???? ???? ????? ?? ???? ??????. ??? ???? ????? ????? ??? ?????.

    Will those who justfy any type of relationship please explain how they aren’t going against the Shulchan Aruch?

    A business relationship has to be just that. Nothing personal.

    You can be polite, cordial but not friendly.

    #810097

    real sources
    Member

    CR 1

    The questioner wanted to know if there is any prohibition against having a platonic relationship with a woman. He only wants to know the strict halacha and no chumros.(The question was not quoted in the above post,see entire original responsa.)

    Rav Moshe says there is are several severe biblical prohibitions with such a relationship even if there is no physical contact.

    #810098

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    A business relationship has to be just that. Nothing personal.

    You can be polite, cordial but not friendly.

    Depends on what “but” means, but basically correct. Not “personal”.

    Definition of FRIENDLY (webster)

    1: of, relating to, or befitting a friend: as a : showing kindly interest and goodwill b : not hostile ; also : involving or coming from actions of one’s own forces <friendly fire> c : cheerful, comforting <the friendly glow of the fire>

    2: serving a beneficial or helpful purpose

    I see no issue in “showing kindly interest and goodwill” with co-workers whom with you work. One should certainly be “cheerful”, and perhaps even “comforting” at appropriate times.

    #810099

    Sam2
    Participant

    Real sources: Notice what is missing from the list of things that are Assur.

    #810100

    Tums
    Member

    Sam: What is missing?

    #810101

    Sam2
    Participant

    Talking is not on the list. Now, any relationship which is relatively close will have serious problems with the others, but having conversations with members of the opposite gender is not one of the things the Shulchan Aruch says are Assur. (And yes, I know Pirkei Avos.)

    #810102

    lolface
    Member

    ????? ????? ???, ???? ???? ?????

    sounds like talking to me, unless all conversation is “striclty professional” i don’t have any friends with whom i dont have casual conversation, light banter, and the occasion humorous exchange.

    pretty sure thats covered.

    ^_^

    incidentally, i once heard a rav ask (very seriously, he wasn’t being facetious at all) why does the shulchan aruch say ??? ??? ? wouldn’t one ??? have been enough? after all, the word ??? already exists to provide emphasis, it doesn’t add to the halacha at all. he said this lashon is extremely rare in shulchan aruch.

    he answered that the first ??? is there because some people will say, ok but not me i can handle it, i am capable of platonic relationships. to that person we say ??? ! STAY AWAY! so why the second ??? ? because there will STILL be people EVEN AFTER we said STAY AWAY ??? who will say, but i have a rationalization! we only talk/we are cousins/we grew up together/etc!!!! therefore says the shulchan aruch ??? ??? EVEN WHEN YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL RATIONALE, JUST STAY AWAY! VERY FAR AWAY!

    yep.

    #810103

    Health
    Participant

    lolface -“now that doesn’t sound platonic to me.

    halacha, incidentally, reflects this to a degree. without parents in the house, it is assur for a brother and sister to live together for more than a week or two (the exact time frame is debated by poskim).

    A BROTHER AND SISTER???? can you imagine? well halacha can”

    I’m sorry I have to make a Machoh. It’s hard to tell the way you go back and forth, but it seems that you hold you can’t have a platonic relationship with your siblings. You will have to forgive me if this isn’t what you meant. But this is the impression I got from you. If this is what you’re saying, then you should know you are being Megaleh Ponim B’Torah Shelo K’Halacha. You know what Chazal say about this, don’t you?

    You seem to be bringing a Rayah from the Chumash for Halacha. I just recently posted you can’t do that.

    “as the most sensible person for you to marry would be a close relation, SUCH AS A BROTHER MARRYING A SISTER!”

    You put it all in Capitals, like it is a Chiddush. Well any learned person knows this was commonly done before Matan Torah. I’m pretty sure it says the Shefotim were all born with a female twin, so they had whom to marry.

    “now isn’t that fascinating? (puts a whole new spin on why touching derech chiba is, according to (i believe most if not all) poskim, strictly forbidden outside of your mother and father.”

    This implies (again it’s possible this isn’t what you mean) that there is some sort of Yetzer Hora for your siblings. This is totally wrong!

    This is what I got from your whole post -that people have Yetzer Horas for their siblings. From the crying part (Bocheh L’Mishpichsove) and from the Yichud part. This seems to be your agenda. If it is, you should know – this is totally Am Haratzos! I’ll explain why -the Gemorrah says they blinded the Yetzer Hora for Arayos, which damaged it to create no more Yetzer Hora for relatives. Also the SA says in black and white – why you can’t have that Chiba with others besides parents to children & kids to parents, even though there are no feelings, because we don’t come close to Arayos period!

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