Friendship Love vs. Romantic Love: 8 Differences You Should Know

Friendship or romantic relationship?
Photo by Anita Peeples

At one point in our lives, we desire to have someone to hold, a significant other whom we could share the rest of our days. Sometimes, we think that we have already found them, only to find out eventually that they are no more than just friends.

We often interchange friendship love with romantic love. But while they both make us giddy and happy, friendship love and romantic love are two entirely separate, yet not mutually exclusive concepts.

In case you are caught in between them, then here are eight stark differences between friendship love and romantic love:

1. Friendship love is the chill kind; romantic love is in for the thrill.
The love that you share with your friends is the chill kind. You hang out, spend happy and sad times, and go through a lot of adventures together. However, while you care and respect each other deeply, this kind of love doesn’t go beyond that. Indeed, you may see yourself growing old with your friends. They might even be your life posse. But friends are all they could ever be.

Romantic love, meanwhile, is often seen to be a thrill-seeker. It’s so full of passion. When you share this love with your significant other, you two can be emotional towards each other, but at the end of the day, you intend to be in each other’s arms. You simply cannot get enough of each other’s existence, and you plan to build a family together.

2. Friendship love is patient; romantic love can be aggressive.
Between friends, you can easily exercise patience. This is because you know them like the back of your hand. You’ve already accepted their attitudes, good and bad.

Romantic love can be aggressive sometimes, as you feel the passion burning from your heart. You just can’t get enough of the person you offer your romance to, and you don’t take it lightly when they don’t give the same love back. Yes, romantic love may hurt so bad.

ALSO READ: 10 Awesome Signs Your Friend is Worth Keeping

3. Friendship love knows no race, color, or gender; romantic love can be selective.
Another thing about the love between friends is that this love doesn’t see race, color, or gender. As friends, you love each other for what and who you are. You don’t require them to be someone else, nor do you set qualifications for them to acquire just for you to be pals.

Meanwhile, romantic love has categories. You develop a type, and you tend to settle for a person who hits your checklist. Sure, you may have heard of the popular cliché “love at first sight.” While it is true that can be smitten by someone at first glance, but this is more because this person’s attributes have seemingly hit your standards on the day you two first met.

Friendship Love vs. Romantic Love
Photo by mohamed_hassan

4. Friendship love does not discriminate; romantic love has ideals.
If you observe how you and your friends (especially the closest ones), you will realize that you share a bond that goes beyond your differences. You accept each other’s individualities, even when you have different beliefs, aspirations, and opinions. At the end of the day, you are still friends.

In romantic love, you not only care about the present you and your partner share, but you also have ideals to meet. You want your relationship to move forward. You want to see you and your partner growing up as one unit. You have desires that only you two can reach. These ideals make or break your romance, and you see to it that they come true.

5. Friendship love is not conditional; romantic love has boundaries.
Aside from knowing no stereotype or standard, friendship love is not conditional. As friends, you quickly patch things up and move towards your next adventure, conflict, or battle. This is because while you have a solid foundation, you still see each other to be unique, separate, and independent individuals. There’s no such condition that may tear this kind of love apart.

However, in romantic love, you have limits, whether you deny it or not. These limits arise during times of misunderstandings, arguments, and fights, and when you’ve had enough, you think about letting go. There are also instances when you feel like you and your partner are no longer going anywhere, and you are not growing up, and the best resort for you both is to go on separate ways.

ALSO READ: 7 Effective Ways to Make Your Relationship Work

6. Friendship love is not after sparks; romantic love yearns for excitement.
You may find it funny, but friendship love doesn’t have sparks, unlike that of romantic love. In fact, it doesn’t even look for sparks. You are just comfortable with the person, no more, no less. Sparks arise when you explore life together, but not with each other.

Romantic love, on the other hand, looks for sparks. It yearns for excitement because it’s the passion that keeps the romance alive and kicking. You crave to discover something new with your partner as each day passes by because this is the only way that you two will evolve.

7. Friendship love is for all. Romantic love only chooses one.
A love that’s shared between friends is free and given to everyone, not just anyone. But while it has the magic of transitioning from being mere friends to romantic partners, in its true self, this love is constant. It doesn’t change but only grows over time.

Friendship Love vs. Romantic Love
Photo by Candid_Shots

When you are under the spell of romantic love, you only see one person: the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. You offer a special kind of feeling for this person –one that contains a unique blend of adoration, commitment, and loyalty that you cannot give to any of your friends.

With romantic love, you learn to settle down.

8. Friendship love is forever. Romantic love chases forever.
Lastly, the love between friends, may it be chill and stable, lasts forever. Romantic love, on the other hand, sees forever to be at arm’s length, but reaching it remains a tumultuous journey that you and your partner have to strive for, every single day.

ALSO READ: 10 Ways to Keep Your Friends Forever


Indeed, we are bound to face two kinds of love –one is the romantic kind, and the other, of friendship. Romantic love can be elusive, but when found at the right place, time, and person, can lead to the ideal “happily ever after.” Friendship love has the power to, but does not always yield romance –but it is one for keeps, as it knows how to stand against the test of time.

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Fae Marie Esperas
When not on the road, Fae Marie Esperas writes about life's adventures as she sees them. She likes her coffee with mint, and owns a cat named Ramon.

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