Friendship Love: What it is and What it isn’t

Zara Macias
Latin Locura
Published in
3 min readApr 12, 2023

Let me guess… you’re reading this because you had a wide spectrum of friendships. From fair-weather friends to those you grew up with to friendships you’re cultivating at work.

What it is

Forgiving and Transformational

Ok let’s be real… we are talking about human beings. We all have our quirks, anxieties, insecurities, and ability to cause pain. This is why it’s important we lean into bell hook’s wisdom and understand,

“Forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?”

According to the Greeks

Friendship love, or ‘Philia’ as the Greek would say, develops among friends who’ve endured hard times together. It’s a love between equals intertwined with feelings of loyalty and a sense of sacrifice for your pack. Interestingly, the love catalyst for philia is the mind.

In other words, friendship love shines between people that share intellectual and emotional loyalty to one another.

The intellectual portion may be instantly actualized, but the emotional layer usually takes time, understanding, and depth.

Which leads me to the second portion of the article,

What it isn’t

Friendships love, like most other forms of love, cannot be bought.

Materialism and ego

If there’s a strong over lap between lavish materialism and your friendship, you may want to take a step back.

Authentic friendships aren’t as easy as loading up your credit card, and going to the spa every Sunday.

Sure, outings here and there are nice but if your friendship has a specific image it projects to the world, how does that stimulate your mind? Oh yeah, it doesn’t. It stimulates your ego.

I don’t know about you all, but the closest friendships I have, I am so wrapped up in the moment and love that I rarely take many selfies or videos with them.

Sure, if it’s a special occasion like a wedding or birthday, that’s a once a year, once in a lifetime moment.

Friendship love does not plaster perfect images because friendship love honors and respects the imperfect moments as well.

‘Good Vibes Only’

Good friendships understand that life doesn’t always feel good. Especially if you come from a disadvantaged background, or harbor a lot of trauma from your upbringing, it’s okay to cry it out and sometimes even act out.

And yes girlfriend, you are a really ugly crier and THAT’S OKAY. That’s what friendship love is for.

Unreliable

Good friends are dependable and responsible. If they say they’re going to do something, they do it. This is the loyalty part that comes from philia.

When there’s a pattern of unreliability or cancellations with a friend, your trust and love tends to waiver and you’re going to have to work hard to rebuild that trust.

Conclusion

Friendship love isn’t easy. It takes loyalty, a willingness to check your ego, and vulnerability. All of which take time and practice. Once you accept these principles and try to embody them as best as you can, you’ll develop long lasting and truly loving friendships. I’m certainly grateful for the friendship love that’s consistent in my life.

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Zara Macias
Latin Locura

Zara holds a BA in Political Science/International Affairs. She’s passionate about destigmatizing mental health and empowering women, Latinos, & POC to lead.