The difference between love and friendship can be confusing even to the most philosophical minds. Sometimes love comes from passion and friendship seems to arrive from experience and time, but true love seems to come from the experience friendship brings to us, so to me the two are intertwined.
I love my friends more than I can express, but I love some flesh and blood relatives that I'd never choose to be friends with. Still, more often than not, the ones I love but would never be friends with are the very ones who do what I believe friends should do for me in my time of need. It's flesh and blood love that comes through for you when friends can't be found around in your time of need.
Even so, I have some friends who are more like sisters to me. We've all heard the saying, "A face only a mother could love." To me, that means unconditional love. I will love them, and they'll love me, no matter how old we get or how much distance comes between our friendship. It's stood the test of time, and it was the experience in that time, that brought the kind of love I'd only feel with my flesh and blood.
It's the friend who understands your spirit better than some loved ones can, but it's that same love that stands by you when your less experienced friends can't understand why you did what you did to end the friendship with them. Love requires forgiveness and love seems to be more accepting of the mysterious side of us that becomes what a friend is never supposed to be. When love and friendship are combined into one human being, it balances our way of approaching both things.
To me, friends are like hope in the way that love is the same as faith. Both seem to walk side by side in our lives, but where hope can't be found, faith will never save our bad days. On the other hand, when hope is around, faith is never far behind, so friendship often needs to be a prerequisite of love. If not, love becomes only a flesh and blood thing that ties us to those we have to love.
Our friends often mirror our reality, but it's love that becomes the crystal ball into our dreams and possibilities. When you find a loved friend, they help you grow dreams by the reality they mirror back to you, so sometimes a friend can be what love brings too. Both love and friendship together inside one human being can see your dreams and your endless possibilities.
I have a few of those friends who bring out the best in me. Like all my friendships they fit into my reality. We have things in common, but we also share our diversity in ways that make us both better than we'd have been without the friendship. To me, that's exactly what love should be, so with those friends, there is no difference between love and the friendship they give me.
Sometimes the passion that comes from romantic love can hide behind lies, when friendship never does. Besides, a friend can see through your lies just by looking into your eyes, but the eyes of passion can sometimes bo too dramatically seen to view love through a realistic view.
It's true that love is more passionately felt than friendship is, but you see, it's the passion that fades away in time, and in the end, it's the friend who remains by your side when passion is hard to find. That's why I'd choose friendship over the passion that comes from romantic love any time. The more we feel passionate, the harder it is to see love for what it really is.
What does love really mean? I believe that I've come to think of it as a friendly thing. Like friendship, it grows and evolves with experience and time. It's loyal and kind and doesn't allow passion to confuse what it does for us.
It could be that if we can combine friendship and love more securely in our minds, we might come to believe the two give our lives much of the same blessings, which will always be the most treasured things any friendship or love can bring.