PHILIA – friendship love

Part three of my five part series entitled “Who Do You Love?”

Now philia, while similar to eros, does not contain within it the features of desire or passion that eros is famous for. Philia is the kind of love that we have towards family, friends and neighbours.

Philia is the kind of love described by:

I love my mom.
I love hanging out with my friends at school.
I love playing football with my friends.

And, unless I misunderstood this quote, like this:

Friend 1: “heyyyyy <insert friend name here>
i love you toooooo!!! ?”
Friend 2: “no im pretty sure that
I ? YOU MOREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Philia entails a fondness and appreciation of the other. Philia is the kind of love that is shared between people who like and appreciate one another.

Philia is about maintaining right relationships with those within your immediate circle. Family tends to be closest in this circle. Next, we have close friends and those that we have shared experiences with. Work friends can sometimes be part of this group as well. The underlying principle here is that these are people that you wish to keep close, those that you wish to remain loyal to.

This type of love tends to be motivated because the friendship is beneficial to one or both of the people involved. In the case of family, there is a distinct bond there between parents and children, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers. It is beneficial to love one another as this results in a stronger family unit. There are times as teenagers that we might not like our parents, but there is a sense of obligation and loyalty to a parent that keeps our love alive for our parents.

With friends, there tends to be an advantage to keeping those friends and for feeling a sense of affection towards those friends. In many cases, when a friendship breaks down, it is caused by differences of opinion or interests. The benefits of remaining friends leaves and the relationship tends to stagnate. Like a flower that is left untended, it withers and dies.

Relationships with co-workers fall into this category as well. Many times, we don’t get to choose our co-workers, but harmony in the workplace goes a long way to making it more enjoyable. Thus, we have a vested interest in getting along with our co-workers. Thus, good business relationships tend to be one the benefits that come from getting along with one another.

Philia is the kind of love that many of us are most familiar with, as it is the kind of love that most of exercise most often. We interact on a daily basis with our family and friends. We appreciate those that are close to us. We interact with one another and we share the love. It’s important to do this. In fact, some of us don’t do this enough. We should do more of this. It’s important to spend time with family and friends.

About six or eight months ago, my father was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Based on the research that we’ve done and what the doctor’s told us, this condition will likely be fatal. The questions that can’t be accurately answered are:

  • How will this impact my dad; and
  • What sort of timelines should we expect;

It’s hard. Not knowing is extremely difficult. But I tell you, it’s made my love for my father much more vivid. For me, it has stirred up my love for my father in such a vibrant and urgent way. And, for those that have experience with these kinds of emotions, I’m sure you’ll be able to relate: These feelings of love that I feel are at least partly due to my selfish emotions. I don’t want to lose my dad. I want him to be with me always. I don’t want to lose him, or anyone else that I value in my life.

Coming up next: Part 4: AGAPE – unconditional love

By Todd Dow

Author, Geek, CF fundraiser & Cancer Survivor. My family, baseball, infosec, privacy & devops are a few of my favorite things.

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