Friendship
Overview
Friendship is a form of interpersonal relationship
Interpersonal relationship
An interpersonal relationship is an association between two or more people that may range from fleeting to enduring. This association may be based on limerence, love, solidarity, regular business interactions, or some other type of social commitment. Interpersonal relationships are formed in the...

 generally considered to be closer than association, although there is a range of degrees of intimacy in both friendships and associations. Friendship and association are often thought of as spanning across the same continuum
Continuum
Continuum may refer to:* Continuum , anything that goes through a gradual transition from one condition, to a different condition, without any abrupt changes-Linguistics:...

. The study of friendship is included in the fields of sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

, social psychology
Social psychology
Social psychology is the scientific study of how people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. By this definition, scientific refers to the empirical method of investigation. The terms thoughts, feelings, and behaviors include all...

, anthropology
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

, philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, and zoology
Zoology
Zoology |zoölogy]]), is the branch of biology that relates to the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct...

. Various academic theories of friendship have been proposed, among which are social exchange theory
Social exchange theory
Social exchange theory is a social psychological and sociological perspective that explains social change and stability as a process of negotiated exchanges between parties. Social exchange theory posits that all human relationships are formed by the use of a subjective cost-benefit analysis and...

, equity theory
Equity theory
Equity theory is a theory that attempts to explain relational satisfaction in terms of perceptions of fair/unfair distributions of resources within interpersonal relationships...

, relational dialectics, and attachment styles.

Value
Value (personal and cultural)
A personal or cultural value is an absolute or relative ethical value, the assumption of which can be the basis for ethical action. A value system is a set of consistent values and measures. A principle value is a foundation upon which other values and measures of integrity are based...

 that is found in friendships is often the result of a friend demonstrating the following on a consistent basis:
  • The tendency to desire what is best for the other
    Altruism
    Altruism is a concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and a core aspect of various religious traditions, though the concept of 'others' toward whom concern should be directed can vary among cultures and religions. Altruism is the opposite of...

  • Sympathy
    Sympathy
    Sympathy is a social affinity in which one person stands with another person, closely understanding his or her feelings. Also known as empathic concern, it is the feeling of compassion or concern for another, the wish to see them better off or happier. Although empathy and sympathy are often used...

     and empathy
    Empathy
    Empathy is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings that are being experienced by another sapient or semi-sapient being. Someone may need to have a certain amount of empathy before they are able to feel compassion. The English word was coined in 1909 by E.B...

  • Honesty
    Honesty
    Honesty refers to a facet of moral character and denotes positive, virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, and straightforwardness along with the absence of lying, cheating, or theft....

    , perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth
    Truth
    Truth has a variety of meanings, such as the state of being in accord with fact or reality. It can also mean having fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal. In a common usage, it also means constancy or sincerity in action or character...

    , especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one's counterpart
  • Mutual understanding
    Understanding
    Understanding is a psychological process related to an abstract or physical object, such as a person, situation, or message whereby one is able to think about it and use concepts to deal adequately with that object....

     and compassion
    Compassion
    Compassion is a virtue — one in which the emotional capacities of empathy and sympathy are regarded as a part of love itself, and a cornerstone of greater social interconnection and humanism — foundational to the highest principles in philosophy, society, and personhood.There is an aspect of...

    ; ability to go to each other for emotional support
  • Enjoyment of each other's company
  • Trust in one another
  • Positive reciprocity
    Reciprocity (social psychology)
    Reciprocity in social psychology refers to responding to a positive action with another positive action, rewarding kind actions. People categorize an action as kind by viewing its consequences and also by the person's fundamental intentions. Even if the consequences are the same, underlying...

     — a relationship is based on equal give-and-take between the two parties.
  • The ability to be oneself, express one's feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgement.

Friendship was a topic of moral philosophy much discussed by Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics, but less so in the modern era, until the re-emergence of contextualist and feminist approaches to ethics.
Quotations

A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him, I may think aloud.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, in "Friendship" in Essays, First series (1841)

Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.

The Bible, Proverbs 27:6 (NASB)

A friendship that can be ended didn't ever start.

Mellin de Saint-Gelais, Oeuvres poétiques

A friend in need is a friend indeed.

Scots proverb, as published in Beauties of Allan Ramsay: Being a Selection of the Most Admired Pieces of that Celebrated Author, viz. The Gentle Shepherd; Christ's Kirk on the Green; The Monk, and the Miller's Wife; with his valuable collection of Scots Proverbs (1815), "Scots Proverbs" Ch. 1; also quoted in Pure Morning|Pure Morning, a song by Placebo|Placebo.

A friend loves at all times, and kinsfolk are born to share adversity.

The Bible, Proverbs 17:17 (NRSV)

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24, The Bible (New International Version)

It is amazing how you can surround yourself with so many people you can call friends, and yet actually only have one or two real ones.

Jerry Grant Blakeney

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.

Anaïs Nin, Diary entry, March 1937

A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter;he who finds one finds a treasure.A faithful friend is beyond price,no sum can balance his worth.

Sirach 6:14-15 (The New American Bible)

Friendship is not for merriment but for stern reproach when friends go astray.

Tiruvalluvar, Tirukkural: 784

Encyclopedia
Friendship is a form of interpersonal relationship
Interpersonal relationship
An interpersonal relationship is an association between two or more people that may range from fleeting to enduring. This association may be based on limerence, love, solidarity, regular business interactions, or some other type of social commitment. Interpersonal relationships are formed in the...

 generally considered to be closer than association, although there is a range of degrees of intimacy in both friendships and associations. Friendship and association are often thought of as spanning across the same continuum
Continuum
Continuum may refer to:* Continuum , anything that goes through a gradual transition from one condition, to a different condition, without any abrupt changes-Linguistics:...

. The study of friendship is included in the fields of sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

, social psychology
Social psychology
Social psychology is the scientific study of how people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. By this definition, scientific refers to the empirical method of investigation. The terms thoughts, feelings, and behaviors include all...

, anthropology
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

, philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, and zoology
Zoology
Zoology |zoölogy]]), is the branch of biology that relates to the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct...

. Various academic theories of friendship have been proposed, among which are social exchange theory
Social exchange theory
Social exchange theory is a social psychological and sociological perspective that explains social change and stability as a process of negotiated exchanges between parties. Social exchange theory posits that all human relationships are formed by the use of a subjective cost-benefit analysis and...

, equity theory
Equity theory
Equity theory is a theory that attempts to explain relational satisfaction in terms of perceptions of fair/unfair distributions of resources within interpersonal relationships...

, relational dialectics, and attachment styles.

Value
Value (personal and cultural)
A personal or cultural value is an absolute or relative ethical value, the assumption of which can be the basis for ethical action. A value system is a set of consistent values and measures. A principle value is a foundation upon which other values and measures of integrity are based...

 that is found in friendships is often the result of a friend demonstrating the following on a consistent basis:
  • The tendency to desire what is best for the other
    Altruism
    Altruism is a concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and a core aspect of various religious traditions, though the concept of 'others' toward whom concern should be directed can vary among cultures and religions. Altruism is the opposite of...

  • Sympathy
    Sympathy
    Sympathy is a social affinity in which one person stands with another person, closely understanding his or her feelings. Also known as empathic concern, it is the feeling of compassion or concern for another, the wish to see them better off or happier. Although empathy and sympathy are often used...

     and empathy
    Empathy
    Empathy is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings that are being experienced by another sapient or semi-sapient being. Someone may need to have a certain amount of empathy before they are able to feel compassion. The English word was coined in 1909 by E.B...

  • Honesty
    Honesty
    Honesty refers to a facet of moral character and denotes positive, virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, and straightforwardness along with the absence of lying, cheating, or theft....

    , perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth
    Truth
    Truth has a variety of meanings, such as the state of being in accord with fact or reality. It can also mean having fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal. In a common usage, it also means constancy or sincerity in action or character...

    , especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one's counterpart
  • Mutual understanding
    Understanding
    Understanding is a psychological process related to an abstract or physical object, such as a person, situation, or message whereby one is able to think about it and use concepts to deal adequately with that object....

     and compassion
    Compassion
    Compassion is a virtue — one in which the emotional capacities of empathy and sympathy are regarded as a part of love itself, and a cornerstone of greater social interconnection and humanism — foundational to the highest principles in philosophy, society, and personhood.There is an aspect of...

    ; ability to go to each other for emotional support
  • Enjoyment of each other's company
  • Trust in one another
  • Positive reciprocity
    Reciprocity (social psychology)
    Reciprocity in social psychology refers to responding to a positive action with another positive action, rewarding kind actions. People categorize an action as kind by viewing its consequences and also by the person's fundamental intentions. Even if the consequences are the same, underlying...

     — a relationship is based on equal give-and-take between the two parties.
  • The ability to be oneself, express one's feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgement.

Cultural variations

Ancient Greece

Friendship was a topic of moral philosophy much discussed by Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics, but less so in the modern era, until the re-emergence of contextualist and feminist approaches to ethics. In friendship, an "openness" of each to the other is found that can be seen as an enlargement of the self. Aristotle writes that "the excellent person is related to his friend in the same way as he is related to himself, since a friend is another self; and therefore, just as his own being is choiceworthy him, the friend's being is choice-worthy for him in the same or a similar way." In Ancient Greek, friend and lover are the same word.

Friendship therefore opens the door to an escape from egoism or belief that the rational course of action is always to pursue one's own self-interest, although escaping through the door would require finding what is covered by Aristotle's "same or similar way". It is notable that friendship requires sentiments to which Kant denies moral importance. It is a purely personal matter, requiring virtue, yet which runs counter to the universalistic requirement of impartial treatment of all, for a friend is someone who is treated differently from others. One problem is to reconcile these apparently conflicting requirements.

Germany

Germans typically have very few friends, however friendships that do develop will normally last a lifetime, as loyalty
Loyalty
Loyalty is faithfulness or a devotion to a person, country, group, or cause There are many aspects to...

 is held in high regard in Germany. Friends in Germany are expected to help each other in every possible sense. Germans may appear aloof to people from other countries, as they tend to be cautious and keep their distance when it comes to meeting new people, which explains ongoing intercultural differences with people from English-speaking countries. Additionally, friends use the informal personal pronoun "du", which is otherwise only used for family members, as well as their respective first names. The development from becoming an acquaintance to a friend can take several months.

Russia

In Russia, one typically accords very few people the status of "friend". These friendships, however, make up in intensity what they lack in number. Friends are entitled to call each other by their first names alone and to use diminutive
Diminutive
In language structure, a diminutive, or diminutive form , is a formation of a word used to convey a slight degree of the root meaning, smallness of the object or quality named, encapsulation, intimacy, or endearment...

s. A norm of polite behavior is addressing "acquaintances" by full first name plus patronymic
Patronymic
A patronym, or patronymic, is a component of a personal name based on the name of one's father, grandfather or an even earlier male ancestor. A component of a name based on the name of one's mother or a female ancestor is a matronymic. Each is a means of conveying lineage.In many areas patronyms...

. These could include relationships that elsewhere would be qualified as real friendships, such as workplace relationships of long standing, or neighbors with whom one shares an occasional meal or a customary drink.

Asia

In the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 and Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

, male friendships, while less restricted than in Russia, tend also to be reserved and respectable in nature. They may use nicknames and diminutive forms of their first names. It is believed that in some parts of the Middle East, friendship is a form of respect, not born out of fear or superiority. Friends are people who are equal in most standards but still respect each other irrespective of their attributes or shortcomings.

Decline of friendships in the U.S.

According to a study documented in the June 2006 issue of the journal American Sociological Review
American Sociological Review
The American Sociological Review is a bimonthly, peer-reviewed academic journal covering all aspects of sociology, including new theoretical developments, results of research that advance the understanding of fundamental social processes, and methodological innovations. It is published by SAGE...

, Americans are thought to be suffering a loss in the quality and quantity of close friendships since at least 1985. The study states that 25% of Americans have no close confidants and that the average total number of confidants per citizen has dropped from four to two.

According to the study:
  • Americans' dependence on family as a safety net went up from 57% to 80%.
  • Americans' dependence on a partner or spouse went up from 5% to 9%.
  • Research has found a link between fewer friendships (especially in quality) and psychological regression.


In recent times, it is postulated that modern American friendships have lost the force and importance they had in antiquity. C.S. Lewis, for example, in his The Four Loves
The Four Loves
The Four Loves is a book by C. S. Lewis which explores the nature of love from a Christian perspective through thought experiments. The content of the examination is prefaced by Lewis' admission that he initially mistook St. John's words "God is Love" for a simple inroad to his topic...

, writes:
To the Ancients, Friendship seemed the happiest and most fully human of all loves; the crown of life and the school of virtue. The modern world, in comparison, ignores it. We admit of course that besides a wife and family a man needs a few 'friends'. But the very tone of the admission, and the sort of acquaintanceships which those who make it would describe as 'friendships', show clearly that what they are talking about has very little to do with that Philía which Aristotle classified among the virtues or that Amicitia on which Cicero
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

 wrote a book.

Developmental issues

In the sequence of the emotional development of the individual, friendships come after parental bonding and before the pair bond
Pair bond
In biology, a pair bond is the strong affinity that develops in some species between the males and females in a pair, potentially leading to breeding. Pair-bonding is a term coined in the 1940s that is frequently used in sociobiology and evolutionary psychology circles...

ing engaged in at the approach of maturity. In the intervening period between the end of early childhood and the onset of full adulthood, friendships are often the most important relationships in the emotional life of the adolescent and are often more intense than relationships later in life. However, making friends seems to trouble a lot of people; having no friends can be emotionally damaging in some cases.

A study by researchers from Purdue University
Purdue University
Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S., is the flagship university of the six-campus Purdue University system. Purdue was founded on May 6, 1869, as a land-grant university when the Indiana General Assembly, taking advantage of the Morrill Act, accepted a donation of land and...

 found that post-secondary-education friendships (e.g., college, university) last longer than the friendships before it.

Children with autistic spectrum disorders such as Asperger's Syndrome and autism
Autism
Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. These signs all begin before a child is three years old. Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their...

 usually have some difficulty forming friendships. This is due to the autistic nature of some of their symptoms, which include, but are not limited to, preferring routine actions to change, obsessive interests and rituals, and usually lacking good social skills. This does not mean that they are not able to form friendships, however. With time, moderation, and proper instruction, they are able to form friendships after realizing their own strengths and weaknesses. Children with ADHD may not have difficulty forming friendships, but they may have a hard time keeping friendships because of impulsive behavior and hyperactivity. Children with inattentive ADD may not have as much trouble keeping and maintaining friendships, but inattentiveness may make it more difficult.

Friendship development through childhood

In a 1974 study, Bigelow and La Gaipa, in one of the first studies conducted regarding children's friendships, found that expectations of a best friend become increasingly complex as a child gets older. The study investigated the criteria for "best friend" in a sample of 480 children between the ages of six and fourteen years of age.

Their findings highlighted three stages of the development of friendship expectations.
  • First stage: emphasised shared activities and the importance of geographical closeness.
  • Second stage: emphasised sharing, loyalty and commitment.
  • Third stage: revealed growing importance of similar attitudes, values and interests.

Types of friendships

Associate
Interpersonal relationship
An interpersonal relationship is an association between two or more people that may range from fleeting to enduring. This association may be based on limerence, love, solidarity, regular business interactions, or some other type of social commitment. Interpersonal relationships are formed in the...

: not a true friend—sharing of emotional ties is absent. An example would be a coworker with whom one enjoys eating lunch or having coffee, but would not look to for emotional support. Many "friends" that appear on social networking sites are generally associates in real life.

Best friend (or close friend): A person someone shares extremely strong interpersonal ties with as a friend.

BFF ("Best friends forever"): Slang used primarily in the USA by teenage and young adult women to describe a female friend close friend.

Blood brother
Blood brother
Blood brother can refer to one of two things: two males related by birth, or two or more men not related by birth who have sworn loyalty to each other. This is usually done in a ceremony, known as a blood oath, where the blood of each man is mingled together...

or blood sister: Either people related by birth, or a circle of friends who swear loyalty by mingling the blood of each member together though, not recommended for risk of blood disease such as HIV.

Boston marriage
Boston marriage
Boston marriage as a term is said to have been in use in New England in the decades spanning the late 19th and early 20th centuries to describe two women living together, independent of financial support from a man. The term was little known until the debut in 2000 of the David Mamet play of the...

: An antiquated American term used during the 19th and 20th centuries to denote two women who lived together in the same household independent of male support. Relationships were not necessarily sexual. It was used to quell fears of lesbian
Lesbian
Lesbian is a term most widely used in the English language to describe sexual and romantic desire between females. The word may be used as a noun, to refer to women who identify themselves or who are characterized by others as having the primary attribute of female homosexuality, or as an...

s after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

.

Bro or Bruh: Slang used primarily in the USA, Australia and New Zealand by teenage and young adult men to describe a male friend close friend. This term is currently used to describe the modern generation of college-age male party goers. The name is typically associated with attention-seeking males who like to get drunk and party constantly. A bro is someone whom one identifies with on a deeper level. While partying might influence one's bros, true bros stick by each other through thick and thin. While one male might call another a bro, the true bro is a person who is the male's brother, a friend so close, that blood relations do not matter.

Sis: Also slang used primarily in the USA like bro, but for women and girls.

Buddy
Buddy
Buddy may refer to:* A friend or a partner for a particular activity* Buddy , pet of former U.S. President Bill Clinton* Buddy memory allocation, a dynamic memory allocation system for computers...

: In the USA, males and sometimes females often refer to each other as "buddies", for example, introducing a male friend as their "buddy", or a circle of male friends as "buddies". Buddies are also acquaintances that one has during certain events. The term may also refer to an online contact, such as the AOL Buddy List. It is also referred to a close friend.

Casual relationship
Casual relationship
A casual relationship, colloquially known as a fling, is a physical and emotional relationship between two people who may have a sexual relationship or a near-sexual relationship without necessarily demanding or expecting the extra commitments of a more formal romantic relationship...

or "friends with benefits": A sexual or near-sexual and emotional relationship between two people who do not expect or demand to share a formal romantic relationship. This can also refer to a "hook-up".

Family friend: A friendship extended to family members of the friends. Close relation is developed in those societies where family setup is strong. This term is usually used in the Indian subcontinent.

Comrade
Comrade
Comrade means "friend", "colleague", or "ally". The word comes from French camarade. The term is frequently used by left-wing organizations around the globe. "Comrade" has often become a stock phrase and form of address. This word has its regional equivalents available in many...

: Means "ally", "friend", or "colleague" in a military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 or political connotation. This is the feeling of affinity that draws people together in time of war or when people have a mutual enemy or even a common goal. Friendship can be mistaken for comradeship. Former New York Times war correspondent Chris Hedges
Chris Hedges
Christopher Lynn Hedges is an American journalist, author, and war correspondent, specializing in American and Middle Eastern politics and societies...

 wrote:

As a war ends, or a common enemy recedes, many comrades return to being strangers who lack friendship and have little in common. Sometimes they even become enemies in another war.

Cross-sex friendship: A person having a friend of the opposite sex with having little or no sexual or romantic activity: a male who has a female friend, or a female who has a male friend. Historically, cross-sex friendships have been rare. This is because often men would labor in order to support themselves and their family, while women stayed at home and took care of the housework and children. The lack of contact led to men forming friendships exclusively with their colleagues and women forming friendships with other stay-at-home mothers. However, as women attended schools more and as their presence in the workplace increased, the segregated friendship dynamic was altered, and cross-sex friendships began to increase. Cross-sex friendship has once been a sign of gender deviance, but now it has been loosened because of the increase of gender equality in schools and the workplace, along with certain interests and pastimes such as sports.

However, cross-sex friendships are not always a socially accepted norm of amity, and some of those friendships could develop into romantic feelings (see romantic friendship
Romantic friendship
The term romantic friendship refers to both very close but non-sexual relationship and at times physical relationship between friends, often involving a degree of physical closeness beyond that which is common in modern Western societies, and may include for example holding hands, cuddling,...

). However, when these feelings are not mutual, they can often backfire, making it hard for the two to remain friends.

Frenemy
Frenemy
"Frenemy" is a portmanteau of "friend" and "enemy" that can refer to either an enemy disguised as a friend or to a partner who is simultaneously a competitor and rival. The term is used to describe personal, geopolitical, and commercial relationships both among individuals and groups or institutions...

: A portmanteau of the words fr(iend) and enemy, the term frenemy refers to someone who pretends to be a friend but actually is an enemy—a proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing in the world of friendships. This is also known as a love–hate relationship. Most people have encountered a frenemy at one time or another in the same places one might find friends—school, work, the neighborhood. The term frenemy was reportedly coined by a sister of author and journalist Jessica Mitford
Jessica Mitford
Jessica Lucy Freeman-Mitford was an English author, journalist and political campaigner, who was one of the Mitford sisters...

 in 1977 and popularized more than twenty years later on the third season of Sex and the City
Sex and the City
Sex and the City is an American television comedy-drama series created by Darren Star and produced by HBO. Broadcast from 1998 until 2004, the original run of the show had a total of ninety-four episodes...

. While most research on friendship and health has focused on the positive relationship between the two, a frenemy is a potential source of irritation and stress. One study by psychologist Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad found that unpredictable love–hate relationships characterized by ambivalence can lead to elevations in blood pressure. In a previous study, the same researcher found that blood pressure is higher around friends for whom one has mixed feelings than it is people whom one clearly dislikes.

Fruit fly
Fruit (slang)
Fruit and fruitcake are sexual slang terms which have various origins but modern usages tend to primarily refer to gay men and sometimes other LGBT people. Usually used as pejoratives, the terms have also been re-appropriated as insider terms of endearment within LGBT communities...

, fag hag
Fag hag
Fag hag is a gay slang phrase referring to a woman who either associates mostly or exclusively with gay and bisexual men, or has gay and bisexual men as close friends. The phrase originated in gay male culture in the United States and was historically an insult. Some women who associate with gay...

(female), or fag stag
Fag stag
Fag stag or Fruit Fly, are slang terms for a heterosexual man who either enjoys the company of, or simply has numerous friends that are gay or bisexual men. The latter term comes from the derogatory term from homosexuals...

(male): denotes a person (usually heterosexual) who forms deep ties or close friendships with gay men. Men (gay or straight) who have lesbian friends have been referred to as "lezbros" or "lesbros". The term has often been claimed by these straight members in gay-straight friendships; however, some feel that it is derogatory.

Imaginary friend
Imaginary friend
Imaginary friends and imaginary companions are a psychological and social phenomenon where a friendship or other interpersonal relationship takes place in the imagination rather than external physical reality. Imaginary friends are fictional characters created for improvisational role-playing. They...

: a non-physical friend created by a child or even an adult. Sometimes they are human; other times, they are animals, such as the life-size rabbit in the 1950
1950 in film
The year 1950 in film involved some significant events.-Events:* February 15 - Walt Disney Studios' animated film Cinderella debuts.-Top grossing films : After theatrical re-issue- Awards :Academy Awards:*Ambush...

 Jimmy Stewart
James Stewart
James Stewart was a Hollywood movie actor and USAF brigadier general.James Stewart may also refer to:-Noblemen:*James Stewart, 5th High Steward of Scotland*James Stewart, the Black Knight of Lorn James Stewart (1908–1997) was a Hollywood movie actor and USAF brigadier general.James Stewart...

 movie Harvey
Harvey (film)
Harvey is a 1950 film based on Mary Chase's play of the same name, directed by Henry Koster, and starring James Stewart and Josephine Hull. The story is about a man whose best friend is a pooka named Harvey—in the form of a six-foot, three-and-one-half-inch tall invisible rabbit.-Plot:Elwood P...

. Imaginary friends are also created for people desperate for social interaction but are isolated from contact with humans and pets. It may be seen as bad behavior or even taboo (some religious parents even consider their child to be possessed by an evil "spirit"), but is most commonly regarded as harmless, typical childhood behavior. The friend may or may not be human and commonly serves a protective purpose.

Internet relationship: a form of friendship or romance which takes place over the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

. Some internet friendships evolve into real-life friendships. Internet friendships are in similar context to pen pals. These friendships are also based on the thought that the other person that they may not have ever met in real life knows them for who they are instead of the mask they may use in real life.

Mate
Mate (colloquialism)
Mate is a colloquialism used to refer to a friend and is commonly used in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. It is or has been used interchangeably with many equivalent terms, such as buddy , pal or bro . It is sometimes abbreviated to M8..-Origin:Mate is a colloquialism...

: In the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, bloke
Bloke
Bloke is a slang term for a man. It is commonly used in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. It is however used in French speaking parts of Canada as a derogative term for the English speaking population.Bloke may also refer to:...

s often refer to each other as "mates", for example, introducing a male friend as their "mate", or a circle of male friends as "mates". In the UK, as well as Australia, this term has begun to be taken up by women as well as men.

Open relationship
Open relationship
An open relationship is an interpersonal relationship in which the parties want to be together but agree to a form of a non-monogamous relationship. This means that they agree that a romantic or sexual relationship with another person is accepted, permitted, or tolerated...

: a relationship, usually between two people, that agree each partner is free to have sexual intercourse
Sexual intercourse
Sexual intercourse, also known as copulation or coitus, commonly refers to the act in which a male's penis enters a female's vagina for the purposes of sexual pleasure or reproduction. The entities may be of opposite sexes, or they may be hermaphroditic, as is the case with snails...

 with others outside the relationship. When this agreement is made between a married couple, it is called an "open marriage".

Communal friendship: a friendship in which the friends gather often to provide encouragement and emotional support in times of great need. This type of friendship tends to last only when opposing parties fulfill the expectations of support for the relationship.

Agentic friendship: a friendship in which both parties look toward each other for help in achieving practical goals in their personal and professional life. These friends help with completing projects, study for an exam, or help a friend move out. These types of friends value sharing time together, but only if there are no other priorities and the friend is actually available to help in the first place. Emotions and sharing of personal information is of no concern to this friend type.

Pen pal
Pen pal
Pen pals are people who regularly write to each other, particularly via postal mail.-Purposes:A penpal relationship is often used to practice reading and writing in a foreign language, to improve literacy, to learn more about other countries and life-styles, and to make friendships...

: people who have a relationship via postal correspondence. Now pen pals have been established into internet friendships with the use of chat or social networking sites. They may or may not have met each other in person and may share either love, friendship, or simply an association between each other. This type of correspondence was encouraged in many elementary school children; it was thought that an outside source of information or a different person's experience would help the child become more worldly.

Friendship and health

The conventional wisdom is that good friendships enhance an individual's sense of happiness
Happiness
Happiness is a mental state of well-being characterized by positive emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. A variety of biological, psychological, religious, and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources....

 and overall well-being, but a number of solid studies support the notion that strong social supports improve a woman's prospects for good health and longevity. Conversely, it has been shown that loneliness and lack of social supports are linked to an increased risk of heart disease, viral infections, and cancer as well as higher mortality rates. Two female researchers have even termed friendship networks a "behavioral vaccine" that protects both physical and mental health.

While there is an impressive body of research linking friendship and health status, the precise reasons for this connection are still far from clear. Most of the studies are large prospective studies (that follow people over a period of time), and while there may be a correlation between the two variables (friendship and health status), researchers still do not know if there is a cause-and-effect relationship, i.e., that good friendships actually improve health.

There are a number of theories that attempt to explain the link, including: 1) Good friends encourage their friends to lead more healthy lifestyles; 2) Good friends encourage their friends to seek help and access services when needed; 3) Good friends enhance their friends' coping skills in dealing with illness and other health problems; and/or 4) Good friends actually affect physiological pathways that are protective of health.

Pure love

Love
Love
Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. Love is central to many religions, as in the Christian phrase, "God is love" or Agape in the Canonical gospels...

 is closely related to friendship in that it involves strong interpersonal ties between two or more people. Being in a relationship with someone usually means that they are very close and can confide in each other.

In terms of interpersonal relationships, there are two distinct types of love:
  1. Platonic love
    Platonic love
    Platonic love is a chaste and strong type of love that is non-sexual.-Amor Platonicus:The term amor platonicus was coined as early as the 15th century by the Florentine scholar Marsilio Ficino. Platonic love in this original sense of the term is examined in Plato's dialogue the Symposium, which has...

    : is a deep and non-romantic connection or friendship between two individuals. It is love in which the sexual element does not enter.
  2. Romantic love: considered similar to platonic love, but involves sexual elements.


Engaging in a romantic relationship can change the dynamics of a platonic relationship; in the event of a breakup, close friends who become romantically involved may experience difficulty in successfully resuming a comfortable friendship.

Non-personal friendships

Although the term initially described relations between individuals, it is at times used for political purposes to describe relations between states or peoples (the "Franco–German friendship", for example), indicating in this case an affinity or mutuality of purpose between the two nations.

Regarding this aspect of international relations
International relations
International relations is the study of relationships between countries, including the roles of states, inter-governmental organizations , international nongovernmental organizations , non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations...

, Lord Palmerston
Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, KG, GCB, PC , known popularly as Lord Palmerston, was a British statesman who served twice as Prime Minister in the mid-19th century...

 said:
This is often paraphrased as: "Nations have no permanent friends and no permanent enemies. Only permanent interests."

The word friendship can be used in political speeches as an emotive modifier. Friendship in international relationships often refers to the quality of historical, existing, or anticipated bilateral relationships.

Interspecies and animal friendship

Friendship as a type of interpersonal relationship
Interpersonal relationship
An interpersonal relationship is an association between two or more people that may range from fleeting to enduring. This association may be based on limerence, love, solidarity, regular business interactions, or some other type of social commitment. Interpersonal relationships are formed in the...

 is also found among animals of higher intelligence, such as the higher mammals and some birds. Cross-species friendships are common between humans and domestic animals. Less common but noteworthy are friendships between an animal and another animal of a different species, such as a dog and cat.

See also

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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