When it comes to both love and friendship, the common denominator between these two is intimacy. Although, it’s a different kind of intimacy for both aspects. Love is a broad term, but it’s often associated with relationships and falling in love.
In friendship, there is also love but it has more to do with a platonic kind of love. Furthermore, friendship makes the best foundation for relationships. In fact, most relationships that end up working out come from a foundation of friendship.
The reason behind this is friendship tests how compatible two people are, which is a significant aspect for relationships to work. In order for a relationship to work, you need a combination of both chemistry and compatibility. With this being said, the following is a concrete difference of both love and friendship:
What Are Relationships And Love?
In relationships and love, there is a commitment that you choose your significant other, despite all odds. A relationship is far more intimate and serious compared to a friendship. When you enter a relationship with someone, you’re choosing to work things out with them, no matter how hard things may get.
Relationships require a lot of work, from both sides, and it’s much more challenging and frustrating than what we envision love to be. Compared to how movies and novels portray love, it’s much more than feeling the butterflies in your stomach. However, relationships also consist of the beautiful and extraordinary moments you can’t just find in a friendship.
Unlike a friendship, a relationship has the capacity to affect you drastically- whether for the better or the worst. This is why toxic relationships are far more dangerous than toxic friendships can ever be. When you enter a relationship, you invest and pour a lot of your energy and time into that person if you think they’re worth it.
If it turns out they aren’t worth it, that’s where the darkness of relationships hit in a way friendships can’t. Relationships take much more effort, and people enter relationships for various reasons, but majority of the reasons has to do with love. Of course, why would you enter a relationship if you don’t see yourself loving them? It’s a give-and-take kind of thing, and it can’t be one sided- at least if you want the relationship to work.
The major aspect that differentiates a friendship from a relationship is the sexual aspect. Relationships have that physical intimacy in the equation, and that’s something you won’t ever have with your friends.
In a relationship, you’re choosing to be vulnerable with every part of yourself so that they get to know you better, and that’s the physical, mental and emotional aspect. Friendships don’t necessarily have this kind of intimacy and you don’t have to try as hard in friendships.
Relationships are more high-maintenance than friendships could ever be, which is why you don’t enter a relationship unless you’re ready for that kind of commitment. Relationships are tough work and it isn’t all about the romance and love. Relationships aren’t always about the beautiful aspects, but they include the challenges and struggles in it.
When you enter a relationship, you’re entering even the heavy baggage of the other person. In a friendship, that isn’t always the case. A friend will be with your for better or for worse, but this isn’t a heavy commitment as much as a relationship. When you enter a relationship, you’re hoping that they’re the right person for you and the one you’ll end up spend the rest of your life with. In a friendship, you simply just get a companion and someone who gets you.
Relationships are also naturally more selfless as it displays more of an unconditional kind of love, compared to the platonic love that friendships give off. On this note, you’d do anything and everything to make your significant other- even at the expense of your own happiness at times.
This selfless nature is more seen in relationships rather than friendships because you have more to lose in relationships than in a friendship. As said above, you tend to be vulnerable with all parts of yourself in a relationship, which is why your significant other gets to know you better than a friend does. There’s a certain kind of vulnerability and intimacy that comes with love and relationships, but that isn’t the same for friendships.
Lastly, relationships and love have the ability to make you feel on top of the world. Various studies have shown that love can be so powerful that it can be addicting, and that’s what you normally feel with the concept of ‘having butterflies in your stomach.’
It isn’t literal, but it gives you a high on life. You suddenly feel like a much happier and much cheerful person. If you’re in love with someone, you tend to act giddy and excited around them. In contrast, you also feel safe, warm and comfortable around them. In relationship, the normal concept is that they become your best friend, your soulmate and your life partner- all at once. This doesn’t exactly happen for friendships since friendships are strictly limited to just friends,
In friendships, you have a companion and a confidant. A friend is someone you share your troubles to, makes you laugh, and generally makes your life a whole lot better. As mentioned above, you can also find a friendship with someone you’re in a relationship- which is why friendships make as the strongest foundation in making a relationship work.
Friendships allow you to completely be your true self, without any pressure or commitment. This is especially true in terms of communication. In a relationship, your partner expects constant communication from you whereas in a friendship, there’s no expectation of that sort.
You don’t have that kind of commitment and pressure in a friendship. Even if it’s been weeks since you last talked to them, this isn’t something unusual in a friendship. Even if you have a best friend, there’s no commitment that you have to talk to them every single day.
Friendships allow you to be yourself, with no expectation. You don’t have to try your hardest to please them since whatever you do, they’ll accept you. In friendships, they have the capacity to call you out when you’re wrong and judge you when you’re making a mistake.
This doesn’t mean that they love you less, but they’re looking out for you. However, you can’t mistake a friendship for meaning that you don’t have to try at all, because this is where toxic friendships begin. In a toxic friendship, there is an unequal love and care shared between two people, wherein one takes advantage of the other.
Just like relationships, friendships should naturally bring out the best in you and motivate you to do better in life. You aren’t perfect, and since your friends tend to know you longer than your romantic relationships, they should be able to call you out when they think you’re making the wrong decision.
In spending time together, you don’t have to try as hard unlike a friendship. There isn’t a need for planning out on how you wish to spend the day with them, but it’s more of a go with the flow kind of thing.
With a friend, as long as you’re with them, that’s good enough for both of you to enjoy yourselves. Despite friendships having no physical intimacy in the equation, they can be just as intimate as a relationship. In fact, without the foundation of a physical relationship, you can open yourself up without the pressure of being physical with them.
With a friend, you can talk about anything and everything- without the fear of being loved less or being judge for whatever your thoughts are comprised of. A relationship normally gives you a fear of vulnerability, especially at the start- and this is one of the many benefits of a friendship.
In conclusion, both having a friendship and relationship are beautiful things to have for yourself. Each has their own distinct differences and similarities, which makes them both unique aspects.
Although, when you choose to enter a relationship, friendship is still the best and strongest foundation. When the ‘butterflies in your stomach’ feeling fades in a relationship, all you’re left with is a stability and compatibility in which a friendship gives you.
When two people start off a relationship right away without making sure if they’re compatible, this is why things end fast – they never had a stable foundation to begin with. Relationships take much more work, but they’re just as beautiful as a friendship.
However, you shouldn’t just enter a relationship if you aren’t ready for that kind of commitment. It’s for this reason why people normally want to start as friends first, even when they have strong feelings towards another person.
Friendships let you build strong relationships without as heavy a commitment as a relationship. In the end, both a friendship and relationship have love in the equation, one being platonic and the other being more committed and unconditional.