What Is Friendship?
British writer C.S. Lewis said that friendship is something that life does not need and something without which life is not needed. One can hardly argue with a statement like that; somebody may say that this role is generally supposed to be played by romantic love, but is it so?
Romantic love quite rarely provided a person with a kind of relationship friendship does. Communication between friends and lovers is entirely different from each other. There are no people with whom we can discuss things of common interest other than friends; in fact, in the majority of cases the word “friend” has this very meaning – a person that shares most of my interests. Friendship may be based on some idea, some field of knowledge that is seen by the friends in similar – or, on the contrary, in opposite ways; but it is always something common. Lovers look at each other; friends look together at something else, and talk about it, and apply their efforts to it.
Friendship is the only kind of relationship that is truly based on free choice: we don’t select our relatives, our choice of a spouse is often more or less based on involuntary physical attraction; and only friends are selected freely and for only one reason – because they are interesting to communicate with. It means that of all the people we are dealing with only friends can understand us in a full measure of this word, because they are closer to resembling ourselves than any other human beings; and if they do not resemble us, they reflect us in a way that we find amusing.