Difference between Love and Friendship

By: | Updated: Nov-18, 2017

Since love and friendship are closely intertwined, distinguishing the differences between the two can be challenging. This article provides information on the factors that separate love from friendship.

Summary Table

LoveFriendship
An emotion or a feelingA relationship between two people
Directed to a family member, a friend, a significant other, a country, or an ideologyThe best foundation for different kinds of relationships, including relationships with family members, friends, and a significant other
Involves a deeper level of attachmentDoes not involve a deeper level of attachment
Romantic love is exclusive to two peopleMay involve two or more people
Romantic love may involve a sexual or physical relationshipPlatonic (nonsexual or nonphysical)
Can be felt towards everyone without needing to establish any kind of relationshipRequires a stronger degree of association

Definitions

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Love is a strong emotion. It is a wide array of feelings directed towards another person or object. It can pertain to personal attraction in the case of people in a romantic relationship and attachment in the case of family and friends. It is the foundation of interpersonal relationships that are built between family, friends, and partners.

Love may also refer to compassion, which is mainly geared towards the protection and promotion of common good. Love may also be directed towards other beings and ideas such as animals, plants, music, and arts.

friends

Friendship, on the other hand, is a relationship involving a variety of feelings. It is a mutual affection that forms an intrapersonal bond between people. Friendship also involves one’s ability to establish good camaraderie towards his/her peers through effective communication, mutual understanding, and compassion.

Additionally, a friendship’s foundation includes sympathy, empathy, honesty, altruism, affection, and love. Friendship, unlike romantic relationships, is purely platonic in nature.

Love v Friendship

So what’s the difference between love and friendship?

Firstly, love is an emotion or a feeling while friendship is a relationship. Although love is a strong feeling of attraction towards another person, it does not necessarily mean that two people should be in a relationship when they are in love. On the contrary, individuals cannot call each other friends without establishing a relationship rooted in trust and honesty.

Love exists in different forms. Love can be directed towards a family member, a friend, a significant other, a country, or an ideology. Meanwhile, friendship can be the foundation for different kinds of relationships, including relationships with family members, friends, and a significant other.

In addition to that, unlike friendship, love typically involves a deeper level of attachment. Any signs of detachment can significantly impact a person who deeply loves his/her significant other.

Furthermore, romantic love is exclusive to two people. Friendship, by contrast, may involve two or more people. Also, friendship is purely platonic in nature. Romantic love, by contrast, may involve a sexual or physical relationship.

Love can be felt towards everyone without needing to establish any kind of relationship with them. This kind of love is portrayed through compassion. On the other hand, friendship requires a stronger degree of association.

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