Difference Between Friendship and Relationship

A bond between two individuals can be based on love, trust, honesty, marriage or simply a blood relation. It is purely the individual’s choice to decide the bond between them.

A bond in which two people are in a state of being together is friendship, if the bond is more than that it can be named as a relationship.

Friendship vs Relationship

The main difference between friendship and relationship is that in friendship two individuals are not dependent on each other and share a joyful bond among them while in a relationship two people are interdependent and have commitment between them.

Friendship vs Relationship

Building a confidence in a friendship or a relationship is of utmost importance otherwise it will make no sense of being in any kind of relationship.


Comparison Table Between Friendship and Relationship (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonFriendshipRelationship
State of bondIt is a state of being in a joyful relationship.It can be a blood relation, a marital relation or a relation between the two people who are in love with each other.
DependencyTwo individuals are not dependent on each other.Depend on each other in the way they are connected.
Time to be devotedDon’t take extra time to develop.You have to devote a part of your time in a relationship to let it develop.
Freedom of IndividualsPeople are free to make decisions for themselves without considering their friends.Decisions are based on mutual discussions.
CharacteristicsHonestly, Care, Sincerity, Trust, Understanding.The most important characteristic of a relationship is commitment.


What is Friendship?

Friendship, a bond that is so easy to understand yet so difficult to explain. One can spend a complete life to realize what true friendship is.

Friendship is an unconditional bonding in its purest form. It is an unseen bond of honesty, sincerity, care, love, admiration and trust.

It is a relation that is reciprocated by two individuals. Friendship is a bond of mutual understanding.

In other words, it is a bond to understand someone and being understood by them. Friendship is eternal for those who believe.

Friendship is a bond that brings you closer to your true self. There is no other bond that can be compared to friendship.

Around 350 BC, a Greek philosopher named three types of friendship- friendship for utility, a friendship of pleasure and friendship of the good. Friendship for utility is a friendship that serves a purpose such as going to the gym together or going to a morning walk together.

Friendship of pleasure is a friendship that makes you feel light-hearted and happy. Friendship of the good is a friendship only with a few people and is a lifelong connection.

Some of the exemplary friendships are between Shri Krishna and Draupadi, Shri Krishna and Sudama, Shri Krishna and Arjuna. For Aristotle, friendship is a virtue that is”necessary for the living of a human- for without friends no one would choose to live though he had all others.”


What is Relationship?

A relationship between two people is a way in which they feel and behave towards each other. The dictionary meaning of the relationship is a close connection between two people especially one involving a romantic relation.

Although the word “Relationship” is commonly used for a romantic relationship, it may also refer to blood relations, marital relationships, or an emotional connection. It is more of a love bond where the two individuals respect each other’s personal space.

It is a bond where individuals see each other lovingly. In a relationship, one accepts the other with all their faults.

The relationship between two individuals involves love, affection, care and most importantly commitment between them. People who are in a relationship are dependent on each other.

In a relationship, life revolves around mutual understanding. Their decisions can never be one-sided and are based on discussions among them.


Main Differences Between Friendship and Relationship

  1. A friendship between two people starts when they get to know each other completely while a relationship can start even when people don’t know each other, people get to know each other completely when they get into the relationship, it is after that they understand each other.
  2. Friendship is not a blood relation, it is a bond between people who share the same qualities or thoughts while a relationship can be a blood relation, a marital relation, or a love relation between individuals.
  3. In friendship, people can be completely honest or can say whatever they feel like while a relationship has a limit in this aspect, one has to think before saying their minds out.
  4. For real friendships, you don’t need to devote extra time or effort to develop them while in relationships one needs to put a part of their time and efforts to develop a relationship.
  5. In friendship, people are allowed to make decisions freely while in friendship one has to take other’s points of view into consideration.
  6. Two friends can get into a relationship with each other but being friends for people in a relationship isn’t possible.
  7. One can listen to their friends without judging them while this is not so in a relationship, another individual will see you with their point of view.
Difference Between Friendship and Relationship



Both friendship and relationship play an important role in an individual’s life. One can exist without being in a relationship but can’t exist without friendship.

One can not stand alone without friends or relations in the journey of life. It is an individual’s choice whether they value friendship or a relationship or both.

But it is really important to understand the difference between the two. There is only a fine-line difference between friendship and relationship.

If this line disappears, things can get messed up. It is important to know the boundaries of friendship and relationship.

May it be friendship or a relationship, all bonds are precious. One should always try to preserve them also remember not to take them for granted.

Key Differences Between Friendship and Relationship (PDF Format)

Download the key differences in .PDF format, to read or print them later:

Difference Between Friendship and Relationship


  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1987-97266-002
  2. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0190896
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