Difference Between Friend and Girlfriend (with Table)

The difference between friend and girlfriend is that a friend is someone with whom one shares feelings of liking, trust, and loyalty, whereas, a girlfriend is someone with whom one shares feelings of love, attraction, and intimacy. Both terms describe an interpersonal relationship between people who know each other or share any sort of experience.

Friendship is a platonic relationship that exists between two or more people who share a mutual affection for each other. These people can refer to each other as friends. The feeling of affection can be closely related to ‘liking’ and ‘love’ but there are no romantic sentiments involved.

On the other hand, a girlfriend is a female partner with whom one shares romantic emotions. A relationship with a girlfriend is intimate and involves feelings of love and attraction. It may involve feelings that one has towards a friend as well.

Comparison Table Between Friend and Girlfriend

Parameters of ComparisonFriendGirlfriend
MeaningA friend is someone with whom one shares feelings of liking, trust, and loyalty.A girlfriend is a female partner with whom one shares feelings of love and attraction.
FeelingsFriendship does not involve any romantic sentiment.A girlfriend is someone with whom one shares romantic sentiments.
RelationshipA friend is a person with whom one has a platonic relationship.A girlfriend is a person with whom one has a romantic relationship. 
Physical interactionPhysical interaction between friends tends to be more casual as compared to girlfriends.Physical interaction with a girlfriend tends to be intimate or sexual.
Future IntentFriends generally do not have intentions or plans to build a future together.A girlfriend is someone with whom one generally intends or plans to build a future.

Who Is a Friend?

A friend is a person with whom one shares mutual affection and feelings of trust, loyalty, and liking. This relationship is platonic and may exist between two or more people. Those who are involved in friendship tend to have feelings of attachment and personal regard.

The nature of friendship between people changes as they grow. Children experience friendship through interaction with others while doing common activities or sharing proximity. This allows them to be more aware of others and develop socially.

As children grow and reach the period of adolescence, their ideas of friendships tend to revolve around feelings of support, sharing, frankness, spontaneity, and new experiences. People of this age group commonly look for good company and familiar mentalities.

Adults look for friendships that are meaningful. They tend to create a bond with people who add value to their life. It may be In the form of emotional support, positive contribution to one’s mental health, or help with improving one’s physical well-being.

Friendships are also found between beings of different species. For example, dogs are believed to be man’s best friend. Moreover, studies show that mammals and birds of higher intelligence are capable of forming a friendship with humans.

Who is a Girlfriend?

A girlfriend is a female companion with whom one shares a romantic feeling. This may be a relationship that lasts for a short period of time or may turn into a more serious relationship such as that of a fiancé or wife.

In 1863, the word ‘girlfriend’ was used for the first time to describe the female friend of a woman. By 1922, it had evolved into a word that was used for someone’s romantic companion. Presently, the meaning of the term ‘girlfriend’ is subjective as different people use it according to their personal preferences.

A girlfriend is someone with whom one can have intimate and sexual relations. The physical interaction with a girlfriend is not as casual as that of a friend. An important aspect involved is whether or not the people have each other’s consent.

People who have a girlfriend may plan or intend to build a future with them. This may involve living together, engagement, marriage, or anything according to their personal preference. The relationship does not have any legal implications and people are free to choose if they want to have a romantic bond or not.

In recent years, the term has received a lot of criticism as it does not keep up with the changing norms of relationships. Many magazines have often caught negative attention for using ‘girlfriend’ instead of ‘companion’, as the latter is more gender fluid and doesn’t conform to any boundaries.

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Main Differences Between Friend and Girlfriend

  1. A friend is someone with whom one shares feelings of trust, loyalty, and liking, whereas, a girlfriend is someone with whom one shares feelings of love, attraction, and intimacy.
  2. Friends do not have any romantic sentiments for each other while there may be romantic sentiments involved with a girlfriend.
  3. Friendship is a platonic relationship. On the other hand, a relationship with a girlfriend tends to be possessive and romantic.
  4. The physical interaction between friends is casual while the physical interaction with a girlfriend may be intimate and sexual.
  5. A friendship does not involve future plans while a relationship with a girlfriend may involve intentions of building a future together.

Conclusion

Friend and girlfriend are two terms that describe different relationships that people have with each other. Both of these are bonds that humans form through interaction and shared experiences. Having a companion such as any of the two has shown to improve a person’s mental well-being.

Having a friend or girlfriend also prepares a person to face social interactions. It builds character and creates new emotions in people which they may have not felt before. At present time, the boundaries of relationships tend to be fluid and change according to one’s personal preference.

References

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01463379309369875
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0265407501186004