Can you tell the difference between love and friendship? On the one hand, It may seem easy but, in reality, it is not. Many of you probably think that love and friendship can exist at the same time. Or, that there can be no friendship without love. But what can be said about these beliefs? On the other hand, love and friendship are two very strong feelings that are both similar and distinct.
Maybe you have feelings of love for your friend or maybe you only have friendship for your little friend…
It’s hard to be sure when you do not really know the difference between love and friendship. Whether in friendship or in love, the feelings are indeed present, and they are strong.
We love this person, we want to spend time with her and keep these links so strong. But here, how far can we speak of friendship, and from what moment is it more a question of love? How do differentiate love from friendship?
If you ask yourself this question, it may be because you do not really know if you are experiencing love or friendship for her, or for him.
I – Love: The Word with a Thousand Faces
“Love” is a word loaded with extremely varied meanings. Explaining it rigorously is not easy because abuses are often committed when it is defined. Several senses mingle and it is, therefore, appropriate to qualify them.
The use, abuse, falsification, manipulation, and adulteration of the term “love” require a special effort to prevent it from being trivialized. For this, we must rediscover its true grandeur, but also its requirements.
Love is a fundamental theme in human life. However, today it has become an industry product and, more specifically, heart reviews. In the latter, we talk a lot about the affective, physical, and contact relationships, but we hardly dwell on love and its true meaning.
This word derives from the Latin amor, -oris, but also from amare, on one side, and from caritas on the other. Amare comes from the Etruscan term amino and applies indistinctly to animals and men. It has a very broad meaning: “to love by inclination, by sympathy” because it is born of an interior movement. His opposite is odi (hate).
In French, the perimeter of the term “love” shows great wealth: love, tenderness, esteem, predilection, love at first sight, propensity, enthusiasm, ecstasy, fervor, admiration, effusion, veneration …
One thing is constantly repeated in all these terms. It is neither more nor less than the tendency based on the choice of something that makes us desire his company and his good. This dimension of “tending towards” is nothing more than a predilection: to prefer, to select, to choose a valid thing for this person among many others.
1 – The Obvious Signs of Love
In love, there are signs that do not deceive. One of the characteristics is to feel a physical desire for the other. Other, which is not the case in friendship. In love, there is a burning desire that is difficult to contain. You project yourself into the future with him having a ton of projects and desires to achieve. You often feel jealous of other women, be they old conquests or colleagues around you. When you are with him, you pay particular attention to your appearance. You like to be primed and beautiful for him. With friends, you can not be made up and it does not matter. If you hesitate between love and friendship, tell yourself that if you want to kiss him, if you laugh at all his jokes, if your heartbeat is accelerating, if you want to look pretty, and if you think of him all the time, there is a good chance that you are in love. By definition, love is an “inclination of one person for another, passionate and/or sexual”.
2 – The Love of Friendship
Love also refers to the relationship of friendship or sympathy that arises with respect to another person. In the words of Enrique Rojas, “it must be of a certain intensity, which supposes a level of ideological and functional understanding”.
The love of friendship is considered one of the greatest gifts of life. Thanks to him, we can perceive human relationships as close, intimate, and full of understanding. Laín Entralgo has defined it as “a special love relationship that involves confidence and self-sacrifice”.
According to him, friendship is psychologically constituted of a succession of acts of benevolence, beneficence, and trust which gives a material proper to communication. In friendship, there is not as much intensity as love.
3 – The Values of Love
When you’re in love, you share the values of friendship with a few more things. That is why it is sometimes difficult to know what is expected of the other, yet love is easily translated. You feel the need to be with the other. Not only to find yourself in his presence to play the console but to touch him, to kiss him, to be in his arms, and to stay there. You can cuddle and be close to your friends, but that’s not the most important thing, it’s not a need, but a little extra.
When you are in love, you are physically attracted to him/her and desire him/her. He/she nourishes your fantasies because you wish to do more than one with him/her, both physically and mentally. You plan with him, you do not want to share it. However, commitment is only possible if you are both on the same wavelength.
II – Friendship, a Form of Love?
Friendship is a form of love as it is similar in many ways. You have affection for your friends, without the feeling of the possession often characteristic of the sentiment in love. Friendship does not seek to possess, it leaves free. Friendship is usually a spiritual union based on the encounter of two people with the same values. Friends take an important place in life, just like family. In contrast, “we do not choose his family, but we choose his friends”. Over the years, friends become witnesses to your marriage or the godfathers of your children. You make projects together, from the simple exit to the cinema to the warm holidays. You worry about them if they have problems or are unhappy. You are present for them in good times and bad because you love them. You’re here for a birthday party, a move, or a moment of post-breakup depression.
Of the values common to these two relationships (between love and friendship), the most important are complicity and support. It will translate into encouragement and attention, the pleasure of being together, laughing and crying together. There is also the curiosity of the other, our similarities and our complementarity at the same time … One also finds, the confidence and the respect necessary to any relation!
1 – The Values of Friendship
Your best friend is the one who will be there in all circumstances, who will be your shoulder when you need it because of an asshole or bitch, who will advise you without judging you. You will share both the best and the worst moments of your lives, no matter how much time passes. The most important thing for you is that he will be happy if he/she is far away. Friendship can last as long as love and sometimes even more.
2 – Friendship: What Does Not Deceive?
According to Robert, friendship is a “mutual feeling of affection that is not based on blood ties or sexual attraction”. This does not prevent some friends from acting when they are single! But in general, there is no physical desire between two friends.
You cannot imagine one second finding yourself with him in a bed. If you are both looking for a soul mate, it is not uncommon for you to do your research together by registering on a dating site for example. If you do not feel any jealousy with regard to possible conquests, it is certainly a question of friendship, and not of love.
Often, you also become friends with her girlfriends. You do not care about your appearance; you do not have to be on your 31 to see it. If you depress, it is not uncommon for him to come home with a pot of ice in his hands, pajamas not glamorous watching the love movie par excellence “Never forget”. You do not have the requirement that you would have with your sweetheart. Your friend has the right to be late or not to answer your SMS in the second, it does not matter!
III – Difference Between Love and Friendship
Is there a difference between loving a person and being his friend? To love a person means to need her, to seek her, to wish her the best, to want to share everything with her. Love has a vocation of the absolute. Intimate and mysterious communication is born from this meeting because to love someone means to communicate in a deeper way.
Love produces a kind of enchantment. The personality of the other rubs on ours and we begin to live in him – From him. Time seems to stop and we feel the need to share everything: words, facts, memories, thoughts… Every moment with the loved one is intense, lively, and complete.
In addition, having a friend is not the same as having a spouse. In fact, having a good friend means possessing an extremely valuable treasure that is compatible with the relationship. However, it is possible to confuse the feelings of love and friendship because there are love relationships that arise from a friendship.
IV – Is It Friendship or Am I Falling in Love?
A couple’s love includes friendship but the relationship of friendship does not include a relationship. It is not uncommon to see couples who also feel a deep friendship.
When we face love, we share more time and more intimacy than with friendship. With a friend, we also live perfect moments as with our spouse but these are moments external to the cohabitation in the home.
Finally, we can say that, in the couple, there are enemies who do not appear in the same way as in a relationship of friendship. In a couple’s love, we find jealousy, routine, fear of abandonment, being without the other person, loss of passion, sex, infidelity, etc.
As we see, making the difference between love and friendship is not easy. It all depends on how we define love. However, there are so many possible definitions that the task becomes extremely complex. One thing seems clear: friendship is very different from a relationship. We are certain … Or maybe not?
IV – How to Understand the Difference Between Love and Friendship?
As said above, what differentiates most of the love of friendship is the sexual dimension between the two people.
In friendship, there is no sexual desire while in love, there is. In love, we want to make plans with each other, to advance to two, to do everything together.
We want to take care of ourselves to please the other and continue to seduce. With friends, we do not care about going out with no hair or make-up.
And then the idea of imagining yourself in bed with this friend makes you laugh more than anything else (or even disgusts you). And you are certainly less demanding with your friend than with the person you love lovingly. For example, with a delay or a missed call … I know you see what I’m talking about!
So yes, friendship can be considered as a form of love but, again, without the dimension of seduction and sexuality.
And sometimes you can also think that you have feelings of love for your friend when in fact, if you try the love experience, you realize that it was the only passenger.
This can happen and all the better if both people realize the same thing at the same time. That’s enough to tell a few anecdotes for later. In any case, it is better that two people are on the same wavelength. Otherwise, it is likely to cause pain and discomfort in the relationship.
**** Some questions to ask yourself
These are some tips that can help you tell the difference between love and friendship. Try to answer the following questions, it may allow you to see a little more clearly:
– Do you like him when he (she) hugs you? Do you like him all the way to his voice, his smell, his eyes?
When we love each other, we feel that we can be comfortable with each other in all we are. If you have a physical block with the other, it is very likely that your relationship does not go beyond friendship.
– Do you want to share everything with him (her)?
You must want to share your body, but also your feelings, your daily life, your future, and the person you are. Is all your will for this specific purpose of wanting happiness, building a future together? In love, it is not only the present that counts but also the future.
*** Possible pitfalls in love and friendship
In love or friendship, there are pitfalls that are best avoided. It is not necessarily easy and it sometimes requires taking on oneself to avoid falling into it.
Jealousy can rot a relationship; conformism can be a razor in the long run; peer pressure can undermine your story.
For love, we can give in to many addictions to be like the other and to be accepted (alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, porn). It is important that you do not do what goes against you and your own values, because a sincere person will accept you as you are.
A relationship will inevitably be subject to certain difficulties that will have to be overcome. That’s the strength of your friendship/couple.
*** And friendship with sex are possible?
Sometimes we think those sex friends are the solution. Because the situation is ambiguous (one is attracted to the other without having feelings) or for X reasons! We say to ourselves that this is the perfect solution while waiting for better and to avoid any relationship taken head. In truth, it is a dead-end because it is difficult to mix two things so contradictory in a relationship. After some time together, it is possible that one of them falls in love. If the other is not on the same trip, it will be impossible to establish a romantic relationship and difficult to find the friendly complicity of the beginning. It is, therefore, best to be clear from the beginning about your intentions so that the line between love and friendship is defined.
So if you’re in love with him and he/she does not, just throw yourself in there. If you hope that the situation will evolve on its side, say that there is little chance that this is the case. This is clearly not the solution, but the best way to suffer.
V – By Way of Conclusion: What to Do in the Embarrassment Between Love and Friendship?
The most important thing before all these steps is to know yourself first. It is thanks to that that you will manage to unravel your feelings a little confused. Take the time to build yourself, to know who you are, and trust in yourself. That’s what will help you know what you really want, and what’s right for you.
Love is a feeling that we do not necessarily choose contrary to friendship. But before you give yourself completely, it is better that you take the time to know him well. It’s true, we want the other, right now and, we wonder why wait? Because we must also make the difference between the attraction which is a violent feeling that can fade quickly, and the love that is an extension of this first feeling. We all have this natural need to be loved, but we can be wrong on the first appearance. Taking time helps to make sure the other person’s intentions are good and you are both ready to engage in a romantic relationship.
Between love, attraction and friendship, it is sometimes difficult not to get tangled up brushes, so the best solution we can give you is to take your time because it is thanks to the evolution of your relationship and your feelings that you can see clearly. No need to rush! If it must be done, it will happen, so do not put too much pressure.
Do you have questions about the real nature of your feelings towards a particular friend?
Already, it is very good to question you, and then it is even better to seek information to see more clearly. Rest assured, there is nothing abnormal about doubting your feelings towards a person.
Now the question is, what do you want and what do you want with this person? That’s the only person who can answer it.
Either you agree to stay in the friendship/friendship case by keeping your feelings for yourself and suffering in silence. Either you make the move to talk to your “friend” and see what will come out of it at the risk of losing your “friend”.
Either you confess your feelings and you realize that they are reciprocal and therefore your friendship turns into love in broad daylight and assumed. No matter what you choose, you must think of yourself first and your well-being. But you will have to choose and act accordingly, no matter what you choose.
Tell yourself that if unfortunately, your feelings of love are not shared, it may be better for you to take a certain distance to protect yourself and not expose yourself to suffering that you do not deserve. Of course, that does not make your friend a bad person at all, far from it.
You can not force someone to feel the same way. On the other hand, you must take care of yourself first and limit your suffering by moving away.
You will have no interest in making you suffer for free. Now, it is also possible that your question is transient and that you realize that finally, no, you are not in love with this person at all. Phew! You are relieved (e).
In this case, no problem, your friendship can continue as if nothing had happened and everyone will be happy and relieved.
And then, if you both realize that you love each other more lovingly than ever, then you will be just as happy to have your feelings. Life is worth living with some risks and admitting your feelings is a risk that can be worth taking. It’s up to you to see what you’re ready to possibly lose or gain from this friendship with this person.
To summarize, to know how to differentiate love from friendship, we must take into account the desire for seduction and the sexual dimension.
In friendship, there is no such thing. In love, it’s inevitable. Regardless of the type of relationship, it must be on an equal footing. Otherwise, we come up against the suffering of one of the two “friends” who does not have what he really wants.
Do not be afraid to talk about your feelings to your friend. If you’ve been friends so far, it’s because you can trust yourself, listen to yourself and understand yourself.
The rest is up to you and nobody will ever force you to do anything that is not for your well-being. Always remember to take care of yourself and make the best choices for yourself.
A Book I Recommend
The American writer, essayist, and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) is considered to be the messenger of the spirit and self-consciousness of the young American nation. With his views on spirituality, the moral integrity of man, and his coexistence with nature he influenced generations of writers and philosophers.
So it’s almost necessary to read his book with the title “Friendship and Love.”
Have you ever fallen in love with your friend? How did that happen? Tell us.