What's the difference between friendships and relationships?

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    Apr 26, 2014 9:36 AM GMT
    When I spend time with my friends I question the difference between friendships and relationships.

    In a relationship generally you are supposed to have a laugh with that person, enjoy their company, spend a lot of time with each other and have sex sometimes and minus the sex part thats the same as friendship. I don't have any gay friends but I sometimes look at a couple of my male friends and sometimes think I could easily just live with them forever and still enjoy their company. My friend is still in my bed now (he doesn't wake up until after 11am at weekends) and it was nice being with someone without any pressure to have sex or do anything sexual (obviously because he's straight).

    I would like something like that all of the time but is it possible to find a relationship that's just like a friendship? And if so how do you distinguish between a good friendship and a potential relationship?

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    Apr 26, 2014 12:01 PM GMT
    I think you hear a lot about people who will live together and even have children but won't get married because they just don't want to. There was also a TMZ story about how two celeb best friends decided to have a child together although they have no interest in being intimate regularly or a relationship.

    You will eventually find that person that you gel with on a levels (sexually or friend-wise and even more) and it hopefully will just kind of work. I think we all can think of someone who we could see living with for a long time without any sexual interest. You'll figure it out though.
  • HndsmKansan

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    Apr 26, 2014 12:24 PM GMT
    A friendship is a "relationship" of sorts. Technically a relationship encompasses all types of interaction.
    What people generally think of a "relationship" involves romance.

    That said, a "friendship" sort of relationship has a different set of expectations than a romantic relationship. Some overlap, some are very different.
    I always keep them separate, but it can be intriguing, especially if a romantic involvement springs from someone who has merely been a friend prior.
  • Joeyphx444

    Posts: 2382

    Apr 26, 2014 1:06 PM GMT
    Like HndsmKansan said, a friendship is a type of relationship

    To ME, a friendship is a relationship in where 2 people have things in common and hang out together. It is someone you can talk to about things you might not with others or even your family. They are usually someone close to your age. They can be any sex and any orientation. I think we look for friends using personality. Wanting a hot friend or one with a big dick, to me, is not a true friendship, they are just a toy. Looks shouldn't matter in friendship since you are not romantically involved. Although, body type might play a role if you want someone as a friend to do physical activities with. I also don't have sexual relations with friends. The most I would do is cuddle, but nothing more. Hugs and a friendly kiss sometimes but never making out, etc

    A "relationship" which really should be called a partner, boyfriend, significant other, etc, is basically an elevated level of friendship. Hopefully, you have already established a sort of friendship with this person so that is your base. Then when you involve sex, intense feelings and passion, it is more serious and can't really be a friendship.

    Nowadays, with FWB, open relationships, etc, I feel both types of relationships are a bit tainted. I guess I am just traditional when it comes to this stuff. I am far from being "open" when it comes to relationships. To me, you are either boyfriends or friends or nothing. All these different things describing relationships is dumb. The only exception is when describing friends-you have good, best and just friends. You only have one type of boyfriend to me

    --side note--

    I think it's interesting how gays talk to other gays about their boyfriends, but when they talk to straight people or just a general audience, they talk about their "partners" or significant others. When a girl or guy says they have a partner, it makes it quite obvious they are gay. Never have I heard a straight man refer to his girlfriend as a partner as much as gay men do
  • AWashingtonia...

    Posts: 128

    Apr 26, 2014 1:30 PM GMT
    Toys are friends, too
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    Apr 26, 2014 3:24 PM GMT
    Kaleidoscope saidThere was also a TMZ story about how two celeb best friends decided to have a child together although they have no interest in being intimate regularly or a relationship.

    That's how I had kids.
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    Apr 26, 2014 3:59 PM GMT
    ElectroShark said
    Kaleidoscope saidThere was also a TMZ story about how two celeb best friends decided to have a child together although they have no interest in being intimate regularly or a relationship.

    That's how I had kids.

    Seems like an acceptable way. All a child needs is too loving parents. They could care less about some certificate.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Apr 26, 2014 4:18 PM GMT
    Danny_boy93 said...I would like something like that all of the time but is it possible to find a relationship that's just like a friendship? And if so how do you distinguish between a good friendship and a potential relationship?

    Yes, of course it is possible. For a capital R Relationship, bottom line, you both have to want it. Usually, that takes time to figure out.

    We can be attracted to a guy instantly. They may even be attracted to us instantly, too, but that level of 'attraction' can also fade fairly quickly. For a Relationship, there has to be a level of attraction that doesn't fade, which means it has to go deeper than mere appearances.

    We may not be that involved in our friend's lives but in a Relationship we're very involved and that can get very tricky. We've talked a bit about personal boundaries, having them, maintaining them, respecting them in others and one's self. A Relationship is built on respect for those boundaries… and of course much more… such as a mutual willingness to extend those boundaries to include one another.

    So, what happens is, a new kind of 'boundary' forms, that *is* the Relationship itself. The purpose of a Relationship--and why it is referred to as a 'partnership'--is that you're both wanting to help one another grow, become happier, more fulfilled by your individual lives and your life together. Certainly good friends are like that, too. They want what is good and healthy and nurturing for us. The difference is, in a Relationship, each partner is much more intimately and directly involved in that process. You make decisions *together* that directly involve your life together. As a general rule, we don't do that with people we consider just friends.
  • Chuckie333

    Posts: 1

    Apr 26, 2014 4:32 PM GMT
    As several have mentioned here, it seems a relationship is a much closer friendship. Your post strikes me as I am currently wondering if a relationship could exist from a friendship I'm developing with a gay friend. I'm straight, he's gay, but we get along really nicely. He has stayed with me once overnight, and he's so much like me that I could see myself living with him easily. He's neat, clean, and fun. Though I like living alone, I find myself wishing he would stay with me more. There could never be sex between us, but I can imagine a "love" developing. If that could work for a straight guy and a gay guy.
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    Apr 26, 2014 4:53 PM GMT
    At a party a few months ago my cousin's life partner introduced herself to another guest as my cousin's friend. With the new acquaintance out of earshot, I turned to her and said "you're killing me." She looked at me puzzled. I continued, "that you just introduced yourself as a friend." Her look changed to one of knowing. She said nothing but nodded in appreciation of my acknowledgement of a relationship my cousin and she have failed to openly celebrate.

    She and my cousin have been inseparable since their teens. Two women, living together practically all their lives in an asexual relationship.

    Never confuse sex with intimacy.

    My two best relationships among the many close and dear friends I've loved and love, the guys I still think of as my life partners but who I had only 10 years with each before their lives were cut short, were both my only ever best friends. The bestest. One a best friend with hardly any sex involved. The one before that my best friend with more sex than most people ever let themselves imagine--very fun.

    Sex was not the defining characteristic of either relationship. Intimacy was.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 26, 2014 5:06 PM GMT
    Yariv said

    Friendship: When your friend fucks you.



    Hahahaha +1
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 26, 2014 5:55 PM GMT
    A friendship is a relationship with someone to whom you are not attracted.
  • SomeSiciliano...

    Posts: 543

    Apr 26, 2014 6:29 PM GMT
    woodsmen saidAll friendships are a relationship but not all relationships are a friendship.


    +1 icon_idea.gif

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    Apr 26, 2014 8:14 PM GMT
    Friendship is more like being a good friend to someone. Female or male, but I'll just focus on gay guys in this case. You don't feel a *Romantic or Sexual interest in that person. Lol, at least for me anyway. There is this one guy, I think he always liked me but I can't see him beyond our friendship. He was pissed off at me and ignored me for a while. Now, he wants to be all friendly again but it's just not the same for me. I moved on and kinda don't want to talk to him again.

    Relationship is just that. A relationship, a sexual, romantic connection with someone. Unless you count a Fuck buddy situation, even in those there are feelings involved. I tried to be friendly with a couple of my ex, it's just not the same as *other friendship.

    But yeah to sum it up sort, You are my friend or in my friend zone because I basically don't want to fuck you. Harsh but true.
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    Apr 26, 2014 11:44 PM GMT
    Yariv saidRelationship: When you fuck someone.

    Friendship: When your friend fucks you.


    icon_lol.gif...

    You must be Greek?
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    Apr 27, 2014 1:19 AM GMT
    shortbutsweet saidA friendship is a relationship with someone to whom you are not attracted.


    That confuzzles me because Bill and I are the best of friends. However we are also romantically and physically involved with each other, which I think is the difference between 'having a relationship' and platonic friendship. icon_wink.gif
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    Apr 27, 2014 3:04 AM GMT
    My motto is that sex is an inherently friendly activity.
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    Apr 27, 2014 3:07 AM GMT
    I always thought that relationships was just friendship amplified. You want the same qualities in a friend that you want in a relationship. I'm inexperienced in these matters, though -- so will concede I don't know what I'm talking about. icon_razz.gif
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    Apr 27, 2014 7:00 AM GMT
    Emotional intensity.
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    Apr 27, 2014 8:18 AM GMT
    woodsmen saidAll friendships are a relationship but not all relationships are a friendship.


    Indeed!
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    Apr 27, 2014 8:56 AM GMT
    meninlove said
    shortbutsweet saidA friendship is a relationship with someone to whom you are not attracted.


    That confuzzles me because Bill and I are the best of friends. However we are also romantically and physically involved with each other, which I think is the difference between 'having a relationship' and platonic friendship. icon_wink.gif


    Some people can turn a great friendship into a romantic relationship. Nothing wrong with that. But most of the time, most people tend to not mix friendship with a romantic relationship because if you do and it doesn't work out, one person will be mad, hurt, upset then you'd lose that great friend for good. It happened to me with one of my good gay friend. Our friendship is not the same anymore.

    You can think of it this way, when you dated someone and you have no sexual interest in him or vice versa. Most of us will use the **Oh, let's just be friends excuse*** instead of just say **Sorry, you just don't turn me on.
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    Apr 27, 2014 11:34 AM GMT
    I might sound cliché, but the difference for me is love. In American culture they use the word a lot, but in my country, you love only your romantic interest. You never say you love your friends, or parents, that's something completely different.
    So yeah, the moment you fall in love with someone is the moment you discover the difference between friendship and a romantic relationship.
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    Apr 27, 2014 4:12 PM GMT
    I'm pretty sure most people are going to disagree with me, but let me chime in.

    I think 'platonic relationships', which I am equating to what the OP calls 'friendships', are the type of relationships you have with people out of the genuine enjoyment of their company. That is, you have things in common. You enjoy spending time with them. You like their personality, intelligence, etc. On the other hand, 'romantic relationships', which I equate to what the OP calls 'relationships', are relationships pursued solely for the purpose of reproduction.

    From someone who spends a lot of time studying and philosophizing about society, I just believe romantic relationships are obsolete. Allow me to elaborate.

    From my understanding, the whole point of two people getting together was for the purpose of reproducing children. I think we can all agree it doesn't require being in a romantic relationship for a male to impregnate a female. Also, anything you can get from someone you have a romantic relationship with, can be found from someone you have a platonic relationship with. And anything you could attempt to name would simply be a byproduct of how society socializes us to be dependent on a romantic partner.

    Anyway, I take issue with those who imply romantic relationships are a step above platonic relationships. Personally, I feel it diminishes the value of platonic relationships. I may be wrong, but from watching older television shows, looking at pictures taken of men in platonic relationships from decades ago, and even from reading postings from the older gentlemen here on Real Jock about how the world use to be, platonic relationships seemed to have a lot more value. I mean, look in the forums topics. There’s a ‘Dating, Sex, & Relationships’ section, but where is the section dedicated to platonic friendships? Nowadays, with the way we socialize men especially, it seems incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to have platonic relationships while in a romantic relationship because you would be considered a terrible boyfriend for not spending all your available time with your romantic partner.

    Even though I'm thinking about this more-so from a heterosexual perspective, I do believe there are variations between heterosexual and homosexuals. Fortunately for us, I think homosexuals have an advantage, assuming we all prefer homosexual as well as homosocial relationships.

    Anyhoo, that's just my opinion. Feel free to yell and call me out on my crazy thoughts.
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    Apr 27, 2014 5:18 PM GMT
    socalx10 said
    meninlove said
    shortbutsweet saidA friendship is a relationship with someone to whom you are not attracted.


    That confuzzles me because Bill and I are the best of friends. However we are also romantically and physically involved with each other, which I think is the difference between 'having a relationship' and platonic friendship. icon_wink.gif


    Some people can turn a great friendship into a romantic relationship. Nothing wrong with that. But most of the time, most people tend to not mix friendship with a romantic relationship because if you do and it doesn't work out, one person will be mad, hurt, upset then you'd lose that great friend for good. It happened to me with one of my good gay friend. Our friendship is not the same anymore.

    You can think of it this way, when you dated someone and you have no sexual interest in him or vice versa. Most of us will use the **Oh, let's just be friends excuse*** instead of just say **Sorry, you just don't turn me on.

    In other words, once you have sex with a friend, the friendship is over, whether you realize it or not.
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    Apr 27, 2014 5:27 PM GMT
    klobasnik saidI might sound cliché, but the difference for me is love. In American culture they use the word a lot, but in my country, you love only your romantic interest. You never say you love your friends, or parents, that's something completely different.
    So yeah, the moment you fall in love with someone is the moment you discover the difference between friendship and a romantic relationship.


    You can love and be there for your friends, family but that's a different kind of love. I agreed with this assessment. A Romantic Relationship involves the feeling of love.