Difference Between Friendship and Relationship


Main Difference

There are many types of associations which develop between two people when they get to know each other. There are different levels, that keep on increasing as they get to know each other. The first step is usually acquaintances, then it is friendship, then best friends and further moving onto relationship and love. Two of these, friendship and relationship have been talked about a lot, and this article will look into the differences between them. Both are obviously not the same and have different limitations and freedoms of themselves and if they are confused with each other several problems can arise. Defining the term friendship can be easy and challenging at the same time. It is the relationship between two people who do not depend on each other for making decisions but are there for each other in the hour of need. It is more than just a regular association with other person and goes deeper. Relationships, on the other hand, are built on intimacy where two people get involved with each other and start depending on different matters. It is more than just friendship but may nor may not be as profound as expected. People can be in a relationship through commitment or by blood relations or marriage. It can, therefore, be said that a friendship can last for a long time while a relationship is not assured to last long but might end up being a long one. A friendship usually is between people of the same sex or people of the opposite sex, but relationship mostly is among the people of different sexes. It is possible to have a friendship without a relationship, but relationships which are not based on friendships do not last for a long time. Friendships start to develop from a young age and people from school days end up staying friends forever. Relationship starts after a certain age and can last from few days to several years. When individuals are friends with others, they are free to decide what is right for them. But in a relationship, they have to depend on each other in a way that the decisions have to be taken mutually unless two people are in an open relationship they have to take into account what the other person wants and if they are happy or sad about a certain decision. Some other differences will be mentioned in bullet points at the end.

Comparison Chart

The state of being friendsIn a committed source of agreement
the relationship between two individuals who do not depend on each other.the way in which two people are connected to each other.
Does not take an extended time to developCan take an extended time to develop
people are allowed to make decisions for themselvesDecisions are always mutual.

What is Friendship?

The best way to describe friendship is by giving a simple example. Two people who get to know each other during school days, their friendship develops over time, they become really close and know everything about each other, but due to the nature of life, they drift apart and after few years meet again with the same enthusiasm. This is because friendship is based on trust and support between two people. There are no secrets, and individuals are free to speak their minds and help other people with honesty. It, therefore, lasts for a long time because people involved have known each other for a long time and have been through thick and thin together. People can be friends with the ones they like, be it of their own or different sex. Varying levels of friendship exists too, such as best friends and best friends forever.


What is a Relationship?

These are different from friendships in many ways and can be of two types. The first one is the blood relations when people are related to each other because of their parents, such as extended family. The other type of relationship is the one which is termed as commitment and includes intimacy. People get into a relationship on mutual admiration and start depending on each other for different life matters. Individuals in a relationship are not always free to make their own choices since they are responsible for others and have to keep in mind what is the best option for all the people involved. Usually, commitment is a girl and a boy, and a relationship of blood is between families. There are no codes for a relationship and is based on understanding that two people will be sincere to each other over the course of time. It can last for a long time or people can part ways to find a better companion.

Key Differences

  1. Friendship is the relationship between two individuals who do not depend on each other for making decisions while the relationship is the way in which two people are connected to each other.
  2. A relationship can be intimate friendship is never close.
  3. Two friends can get into a relationship with each other.
  4. Friendship does not need any kind of relationship to last for a long time but a relationship does require friendship to survive over a period of time.
  5. Friendship does not take an extended time to develop while the relationship can take a while.
  6. For friendship, it is important that people get to know each other while relationships can start without knowing the other person accurately.
  7. In friendship, people are allowed to make decisions for themselves while relationship decisions have to be taken mutually by the two people concerned.
  8. The relationship can be related to blood and marriage while friendship does not depend on blood relationships and commitment.
  9. Confusing these two terms can lead to several problems between two people.
  10. A person can be completely honest with each other in friendship while they have to compromise on certain matters in a relationship.


Two terms that are discussed in detail when it comes to society and related subjects are friendship and relationship, therefore, they have been discussed in detail here to help people develop a clear understanding of what they mean and the functions they perform. Hopefully, this would have helped in securing that task.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss