What is a "platonic" relationship?
A "platonic relationship" is a friendship or love relationship that is separate from any genital, sexual expression. In common use, this is all that the expression means: namely, that the two friends, whether of different sexes or of the same sex, are not involved with each other carnally.
Yet in the philosophical and moral tradition of the West, this expression implies more. A Platonic relationship is one in which the persons who love each other see each other as expressions of the goodness and beauty for which they strive together spiritually. They begin with bodily beauty and rise to the goods of virtue and the soul and the community and finally together to God. This is the way Plato describes in his dialogue Symposium. This concept could be helpful in today's context, where, sadly, practically any intimate friendship is imagined to be open to sexual relations.
Chaste friendship is for Christians the normal ideal of a relationship: we affirm the beauty and attractiveness of our friend but in order to rise with him or her to an even higher beauty and goodness in the practice of virtue and in union with God.The lives of the saints are filled with this kind of friendship.