The difference between friendship and love

Nowadays with the emergence of social networks, we can make friends all over the world. However, does the notion of friendship come close to that of love?

This is what we will see in this article, first analyzing the definitions of friendship and love, and then dealing with the big difference between these two concepts.


This notion of friendship has already been debated since antiquity with Aristotle who said that friends are necessary when one wants to show one’s virtues, to share one’s ideas with others.

For him, you can’t have friends if you don’t wish each other good things. A person who is not social will therefore have no friends.

This philosophical notion of friendship translates into three things that friends share according to him:

  • good things (rational and virtuous, the world of ideas),
  • pleasant things (eating together, for example, having a good time)
  • useful things (sharing the material well).

There is no physical or psychic attraction in friendship. Aristotle did not consider friendship the fact that one can say that he is a friend only to profit from the goods of the other.

Friendship should be a virtue, something you do that you wouldn’t do if it was for someone else. Friendship is a relationship that can be lived at a distance, that we share and that is reciprocal. You cannot say that one is your friend, if that friend claims otherwise, friendship is mutual consent.

Moreover, you cannot have a friend on Facebook if your request to add as a friend is not accepted by both sides.

In a long-distance relationship, friendship is possible. Services can be exchanged without ever having to meet that friend in person.

You will not suffer from it. Love, and we are starting to come to it, can cause pain. Separating two friends is not like separating two lovers.


In philosophy, when we speak of Love, we refer rather to the works of Plato, in “The Banquet” for example. Besides, don’t we say platonic love?

Platonic love goes further than friendship or love that is made to reproduce since we are talking about common life, a painful separation, a possibility of marriage to found a common home.

When you are in love with a person, you dedicate your life to them. Amor platonicus is the expression of loving feelings.

The other love that is not platonic is that of the Darwinist movement which claims that in the human species we love only to reproduce, a bit like with animals.

In animals does love exist? We don’t really know, only scientists like Darwin will tell you.

In the rest of this definition of love, we will therefore rather speak of platonic love, the movement which appeared in antiquity and then revisited in the Renaissance, and which led to the appearance of numerous literary works such as ” Romeo and Juliette ”by William Shakespeare.

One can love a person for their beauty, which was ruled by Aphrodite, goddess of beauty, while love to reproduce was ruled by Eros, god of carnal love.

Two concepts of love which gave two philosophies. Love in its form known since the Renaissance is inspired by platonic love and gives rise to a definition that follows, that of the carnal passion of two beings to the point that only death can separate them.

The tragic and dramaturgical love in “Romeo and Juliet” is inspired by that known in antiquity with the myth of Pyramus and Thisbe related in the metamorphoses of Ovid in the 1st century, where two families hate each other to the point that the hero believes that the one he loves is dead.


We have seen that in love two carnal beings could love each other until death and that children are often born there. Love goes beyond a simple fleeting friendship. In love, there is a physical or psychic attraction.

You can forget about friends, while your love will remain in your memory all your life and even in your dreams and nightmares it can still appear, but that is a whole different matter.

In friendship, we do not have a reproduction objective, for example, two men can be friends, two women can be friends, children have friends at school, Internet users have friends on Facebook.

You can have thousands of friends without actually falling in love with them. In the love of a person, we go as far as giving him or her life, sacrificing yourself for him or her.

This is the big difference between friendship.

Do you know any friends who are willing to sacrifice themselves for you? Do you know of any friends who would give their lives to get you out of a mess? Usually, the answer is no, unless it is a friend who loves you.

Do your friends like you? In friendship, it is not about love but just a temporary relationship that does not mean anything. You can be in love with a friend or a friend, but will you also be in love with another friend or girlfriend at the same time?

In conclusion and what makes the big difference between friendship and love between humans is that friendship can exist without love and that love can exist without friendship. These are independent notions.

Having one or more friends or girlfriends is unlimited, but you don’t like them. In carnal and platonic love, we love people, physical persons, our descendants, our family, the people who are close to us, they are not friends.

You love your aunt but she’s not a friend, it’s stronger, it’s a family bond. Other loves exist like other friendships outside of human affairs. In material love there is an emotional attraction, it is like loving your car or enjoying surfing the internet. We spend time with it, it’s a passion. You can also love animals out of affection or have them as friends, love your dog or cat. Don’t we say that “the dog is man’s best friend”?