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Frog and Toad, Close Friends

True Friendship

Posted on May 8, 2024

By Michael Winn
Associate Artistic Director/Director of Equity and Community Partnerships  

Friendship is one of the four foundational types of love along with affection, passion, and selfless love. True friendship is defined as mutual unconditional love. Unconditional love is love you offer freely. It is love wanting nothing in return.  

We develop and maintain friendships at each stage in our life. It shows up differently as we grow. In childhood, friendship is sharing. Sharing secrets, sharing snacks, and sharing resources. Younger children usually choose friends who are similar to them in gender, closeness, and loyalty. In adolescence, friendships become more giving, frank, supportive, and spontaneous.

Friendships grow and mature like we do. In adulthood, friendship builds on the components developed in childhood. It becomes about companionship, support, security, loyalty, and giving. Studies found that strong social support improves a person’s prospects for good health and long life. People with close friendships are happier, although the absolute number of friends did not increase happiness.

Friendships can enrich our lives in immeasurable ways. It provides us with a sense of belonging, emotional support, encouragement, and personal growth. These benefits positively influence our physical and mental health, and ultimately lead to happier, more fulfilling lives.