Every human being needs to socialize, that is why friendship is something very natural for all of us. Two friends can have romantic relationships, professional relationships, emotional relationships, social relationships, etc. Also, there are always very special ties between two roommates, two soul mates or two pan pals. Any of such relationships we can call “friendship”. According to several factors (including nature of the relationships, maturity of friends, etc.), it is possible to classify different types of friendships.
Centuries ago, one of the greatest philosophers and scholars of all times Aristotle said: “Friends are our second selves”. Aristotle was a pioneer of philosophic thought on friendship, who defined several types of friendship. According to him, there are friendships of pleasure, when friends receive certain pleasure from spending time with each other (for example, you take pleasure from a great sense of humor of your friend). Also, there are friendships of utility, when friends take advantage from each other’s skills, abilities or knowledge (for example, one friend helps another with lessons or creative decisions). Finally, there are friendships of virtue, when friends share the same virtue (those are the friendships based on love and mutual respect).
Using another approach, it is possible to distinguish several types of friendships based on how strong the ties between two friends are. Acquaintances are involved in a type of friendship, when two people demonstrate polite and friendly behavior and have some common points to talk about. Friends usually share some interests and enjoy spending time with each other. Close friends have a lot more of common viewpoints and memories, fully trust each other and are always loyal to each other. Finally, being a soul mate is a type of ties, when the relationships are based on deep affinity, attachment, mutual sympathy and love. At that, we usually have a great number of acquaintances, a smaller number of friends, several close friends and only one soul mate (a spouse or a boyfriend/girlfriend).
Besides, it is possible to classify friendships taking reference from the nature of the relationships between two people. School friendships mean the relationships between two people who share some nostalgic memories of childhood or school years. Social friendships are the relationships based on being involved in same social activities (clubbing, doing sports, etc.). Professional friendships are the relationships based and mostly focused on professional issues rather than on personal ones. The ties between two people based on similar level of intellectual and personal development are called intellectual friendships. Emotional friendships are the relationships between two people who are emotionally open to each other. Self-actualized friendships mean the relationships which help people discover own personality and feel free in communication. Finally, the relationships between two people who like spending time with each other are called informal friendships.
In addition, friendships can be classified according to the age of friends. Children’s friendships are the relationships between children based on learning what this world is all about. Adolescent friendships between young people are based on sharing feelings with each other and exploring own personalities. Finally, adult friendships between two adult people are usually based on common professional or personal interests. Lastly, it is possible to classify friendships according to the gender of friends. Male friendships are usually based on professional ties between men or shared memories of their childhood. Female friendships are usually based on social or emotional similarities between two women. Male-female friendships are usually based on affection, love and sexual attraction.