Synopsis: The many marvels of friendship love, an example of widely varying emphases on friendship love and its vast importance, friendship love in good and bad times, and evaluating what friendship love may do for your life are given here.
Friendship love can be the type of love that has the least complications, hassles and problems. In the lives of no small number of people it is friendship love that has been the deepest and most profound type of love they have experienced. So, Dear Reader, I urge you to consider the role of friendship love in your life and its potential in your future.
“Shocked! That’s what I am, totally and completely shocked! Trevor and I were going to be married next month and now it’s over, all because I told him he would have to say goodbye to his friends who are single after we are married. He told me he loved me dearly but to him his deep love with his friends had done him more good than any other kind of love, and he was not about to give up any true friend for the uncertainty of a marriage. He told me that where he came from friendships were for life while marriages may or may not last, and he thought that anyone who would ask him to give up his true friends couldn’t really love him, and with that he broke off our engagement”.
Teresa who was reporting this had grown up in an American social sphere in which marriage and romantic love were seen as far more important than friendship love. Trevor on the other hand has been raised in a sphere of European society that emphasized the great importance of life-long, abiding, solid, friend relationships based in real, unending love. For Trevor and people raised in that social sphere the end of a profound friendship was the cause for far deeper grief than the end of a marriage or even a love-filled romance. Also in Trevor’s world to use the word “friend” had profound significance while in Teresa’s it was used often in a light and not all that meaningful way.
Mild and very recent acquaintances were sometimes referred to as friends in Teresa’s world but that would never happen in Trevor’s. Thus, you can see that in different parts of the world and in different social spheres friendship love is given very different levels of importance. With some “friend” implies the existence of a true, deep, love relationship of great value. With others “friend” refers to a much more shallow and inconsequential, often temporary relationship in which there is nothing even approaching true, deep love.
Here a deep and true friend is someone with whom you have developed a healthy, real love. A true friend basically can be a person as close and important to you as a dearly beloved sister, or brother, or other close family member. Deep and abiding, love-filled, true friendships can make people “family” in the best meaning of that word. In fact friendship love is as important and sometimes even more important than family love in the lives of many. It is often friendship love that prevails when all other loves have been found wanting. There are many who say it was the love from a friend that got them through and able to survive a great tragedy, a horrible defeat, or monstrous loss in their lives.
Often it is a true and deeply loving friend who will tell you the uncomfortable to hear truth about yourself when no one else will. It is friendship love that gets that friend to stand by you as you blunder and struggle with your life, and your flaws and shortcomings. It is friendship love that motivates a friend not to give up on you even when you are being absurdly wrong, stupid and self-defeating. Friendship love for many people is the only love that sustains and protects them through disasters and the bleak times of desolation.
In good times it is friendship love that can provide free flowing companionship, egalitarian compatibility, shared fun, delightful comradeship and someone to share victory celebrations with. In those times which are ordinary and mundane friendship love can bring easy going relaxation, anti-lonely connection and sweet, pleasant acceptance.
How are you doing at true, deep, abiding, friendship love? Have you given true friendship and friendship love enough thought? Enough effort? Enough importance? Do you have some ideas of what you might do if you were going to go after more and greater friendship love in your life? Are you aware that friendship of the deep and love-filled type may greatly enrich your life, open your life to new horizons, cause your life to be lived at a higher plain, and perhaps even save your life?
There’s lots more to consider when thinking about real, friendship love. I like to ask people to look at the possible future importance of real, friendship love in their lives before getting into a lot of the “how-to’s” of growing friendship love. If you’re going to really succeed at love broadly friendship love probably has to be one of the things you give a real good look at.
To Be a truly loving friend. Some people want more and better loving friends but don’t give much attention to being one. To help you think about this you might want to check out “The Definitions of Love” in the column on the left of this page, and in particular “The Behavioral Definition of Love” entry.
As always, Grow and Go in Love
Can you think of a past acquaintance, or friend, or lover you would like to reconnect with and see if you might be able to grow toward a true, friendship-type, love relationship with that person? If so, what might you do about that?