The love of friends is a universal warmth, temperate moreover and smooth, a warmth which is constant and at rest, all gentleness and evenness, having nothing sharp nor keen.
– Michel de Montaigne
There may be no other word that has more meanings than the word ‘love’. When someone tells you they love you, or you tell them, you are coming at it with all these preconceptions, biases, experiences and expectations of what ‘love’ is. And these are more than likely at least a little different to what the other person thinks it means (and maybe completely different)
Is the love you have for a friend the purest form of love there is?
If your boyfriend or girlfriend (who you love) tell you they want to see other people, or they want to catch up with an ex or go away on a trip of self-discovery for 2 years, you are more than likely to be upset (or worse).
But if your friend tells you, and it’s something your friend wants to do, do you stop them? Or do you let them live the life that makes them happy?
The happiness we have for friends may be the purest form of love. It is free from jealousy, guilt, possession, fear of loss, unrealistic attachment and expectations, of entitlement. As opposed to relationships or marriage, where we must, as Montaigne says, ‘unsnarl hundreds of extraneous tangled ends, which are enough to break the thread of a living passion and to trouble its course, whereas in friendship there is no traffic or commerce’.
And these are the other things he’s about: