I have to credit my friend Harry for pointing out this distinction verbally. I’ve always been aware of it but never considered that some people might not understand the difference. I always use my intuition and you can too to feel out the situation. For some reason, as soon as there is warmth or sex involved or the suggestion of sex, either or both parties may start to assume that they are in a relationship or moving toward one. That is incorrect. Or, as soon as a service is rendered or money is exchanged they assume it’s a relationship. It’s not. Some may say they have a professional relationship if money is exchanged. I would agree to that only if they return for the service which many times, it’s only a one time deal, humans being the way they are; fickle.
Right there you can see a connection between platonic philia and platonic eros. If THERE IS A RETURN for connection either for service (philia) or sexually (eros) you could start to conjecture that there is a relationship. You wouldn’t return to someone unless there was an affinity for service or for emotional intimacy. Most people really want that. Well, women do. I’m not at all sure men do, but maybe. When they say the words emotional or the word intimacy, they mean something different than we do.
A relationship means that you can relate to one another and actively do either by just talking if you’re at a distance or see one another at whatever variable you wish. Just because your genitals relate to one another doesn’t mean that your mind and your heart relate to one another and this seems to be the big confusion for some people. I am of the persuasion that I have to have a friendship bond with a man before I’ll have sex with him. In no way is that possession or a relationship. It’s lover and friend status. It could be more though! It depends on what everyone wants.
The other big confusion is some people pride themselves on seeming invulnerable, perfectly rational, a closed book, never letting anyone see their true heart and not loving intimately, ever. They feel more powerful if they never love when in fact they are weaker. The heart is closed and needs to break to release past trauma. I promise you! I do it for a living and I am a safe person to be with if you have a broken heart while I run Reiki in the heart chakra. I remain detached but Love. There is always a reason from their past for that, likely a broken heart as a child. That can heal.
But there are millions of lightworkers like me that love at all times. I literally love everyone and I am very honest about how I feel. For the most part, I run agape platonic love. For a few men that I date and DO NOT see professionally, that turns into eros and I let them know but I never confuse the two. Still, in all my relationships, I love. Those platonic levels of love are important to know since we are called to love at all times in this world. One of my most recent blogs discusses it. That doesn’t mean I’m in a relationship with anyone nor do I necessarily want to be; especially if they pride themselves on using others and not loving. That will ruin the mind eventually.
If you don’t know one another and have no emotional or spiritual bond or affinity, then sex is just usage. If you don’t know one another and have no emotional or spiritual bond or affinity than ANY action you do together is just usage. What comes into play here are the roles you’re playing in an activity.
For those of us whose love language is touch, we consider talking all the time to be usage and body contact to be more regular or normal, meaning hugging, meeting in person, one-on-one, or if you’re intimate; actual sex. My love language is touch so I communicate best intimately that way, not talking over media. Some people are the opposite. In our culture of confused physical boundaries, it’s important not to judge those that prefer the love language of touch. For us, it’s like breathing. Professionally, I’m a bodyworker with very clear boundaries and communicate with my hands the best more than talk therapy.
Any service you do with one another in a particular role is just usage. If there is money exchanged you’ve paid for the usage or service. That’s a good thing! Everyone wants to be useful and needs meaningful work. Hopefully, it’s all clear.