There’s a history here, and it’s a surprisingly political one. Friendship between the sexes was more or less unknown in traditional society. Men and women occupied different spheres, and women were regarded as inferior in any case. A few epistolary friendships between monastics, a few relationships in literary and court circles, but beyond that, cross-sex friendship was as unthinkable in Western society as it still is in many cultures.
From his own personal experience, the author concludes:
Consult your own experience, but as I look around, I don’t see that platonic friendships are actually rare at all or worthy of a lot of winks and nudges. Which is why you don’t much hear the term anymore. Platonic friendships now are simply friendships.
The one portion I disagree with:
Friendship isn’t courtship. It doesn’t have a beginning, a middle and an end.
Friendships can begin and end as easily as romantic relationships. Your thoughts?
Related: a must-read on solitude and leadership, also by William Deresiewicz.