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Compare & Contrast Love and Friendship

Usually people will think that both of love and friendship are indispensable. Soble (1998) presents that love is value-correlated and unique. This shows that love is very special and irreplaceable. For friendship, Vernon (2005) believes friendship is positive so it can handle with the stresses in modern life. So we can see that friendship is useful for people to release negative emotions, in order to prevent a cope. But what is the similarities and differences between love and friendship? To compare and contrast with these two items, this essay will deal with importance, style and ways of expressing.

It is not easy to contrast the importance of love and friendship since apparently both of love and friendship are important to human life. According to Goode (1959), “Because love often determines the intensity of an attraction toward or away from an intimate relationship with another person, it can become one element in a decision of action” (p.38). So love can bring changes to close relationship between people. For example, a couple can get married because of love, but also can separate because of love (within other reasons). Therefore love can bring changes to humans’ intimate relationships. So it is important to humans’ relationships. For friendship, it seems to bring changes to intimate relationships too. Take women as an example, Licsw (2008) states that it is iconic for female to have “lifelong intimacy with women friends” (para. 1). So we can see that if a woman who has same-sex friendships, her life is complete. But, women prefer to have conflicts with their friends to express dissatisfaction and anger, rather with their valentines (as it is easier for them to express their negative emotions while facing same-sex friends). Therefore, women’s friendship will be destroyed. Since both of love and friendship can bring changes to humans’ relationship, they are important to human life.

However, the style of love and friendship seems different. Lester and Philbrick (1988) views that the styles of loving are relevant with neuroticism and “The manic style of love was significantly associated with neuroticism scores, while ludic and erotic love were associated with extraversion” (p.689). This suggests that the style of love is crazy, full of fun and including sexual desire. On the contrary, friendships have four different styles. According to Miche (2013), the styles are discerning, independent, selectively acquisitive and unconditionally acquisitive (as cited in Denworth, 2017). It points out that with different friendship styles, friendship can be lasted for a short or a long time. For example, people who have independent style, will make friends in their schools or work. But if the environment is changed, they cannot maintain the friendships. On the other hand, if there is true love in a couple, they will not separate even they are in a long distance relationship. So we can see that there is a great difference between the styles of love and friendship.

Last but not least, there are different ways for people to express their love and care towards their lovers and friends. According to Chapman (1995), there are 5 ways to express love: words of appreciation, time with quality, sending gifts, acts that make him or her happy and body touch (as cited in Eckstein and Morrison, 1999). For friendship, Singh (n.d.) suggests that the expressions are put them first, chat face to face, trust them and stay by their sides, individualized gifts, be active to give a hand and not to reciprocal. Seemingly, gifts can be the expression way of both of love and friendship. But the difference between them is gifts for mates can be a “physical presence in a time of crisis” (Eckstein and Morrison, 1999, para. 6). And gifts for friends can show them you know their special things, for example hobbies, in order to send personalized gifts. So we can see that there are similarities but also differences in expressing ways of love and friendship.

To conclude, we can understand how love and friendship are similar and differ. While love is insane and interesting; friendship can be greedy and independent. Despite of the differences, it is undeniable that both of love and friendship are important. Though some couples and friendships may not last for a long time since of some reasons, they are still essential to humans’ lives—as people can learn in every relationship, for example how to get along with others better.

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