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Aristotle is one of the greatest philosophers of Western history. What most people don’t really know about him, is that he valued his friendships very much and that he had interesting theories about it. For example: he divided friendships or love into three types.

Isn’t that practicable?

3 types of friendship

Aristotle is convinced that the types of friendship or love are best divided in three categories. The first two, you develop coincidentally and aren’t long-lasting, while the third type is ‘the real deal’.

Are you ready to find out which of your friends fits which category?

Type 1: The friends because of benefits

No, it’s not what you think.

This type of friendship is based on benefits you provide to each other, but it isn’t forever. Think of coworkers, for example. When you don’t work together anymore, your connection may change.

Another example may be a neighbor, with whom you like to stay close, but mostly for practical reasons. Once she moves out, she can pretty much forget about borrowing your pasta maker, because that won’t keep the new neighbor quiet after 10 PM.

Type 2: Pleasure-based friendship

No, still not what you think.

This friendship is based on pleasures you experience together, like going out or playing sports together. They’re mostly of passing nature, since your preferences in enjoyment change. I mean, who still watches Baywatch nowadays?

Type 3: The friendship of the good

The former temporary types of friendships are not really floating Aristotle’s boat. The friendship he prefers is a friendship based on the mutual appreciation of qualities or virtues the other person possesses.

In fact, even friendship itself is considered a virtue. So, to value simply this, can be a common ground for your friendship.

It requires sharing and growing together and therefore a good amount of empathy and the ability to care for one another.

So what do we conclude

Everybody has friends that are accidental and temporary. Which isn’t a bad thing at all. You need friends at work or friends to share hobbies with. But the most important friendships are the ones where you allow yourself to be vulnerable, and learn, care and grow together.

Wouldn’t you like to show you care?

Do you feel appreciative? Why don’t you show your friend that you care? Schedule a birthday message – or rather – just a ‘hey, how are you?

Aristotle would be proud!

Arjan van Rooijen