Love is not immortal

Immage by Salvatore Vuono at
Immage by Salvatore Vuono at

This hub is not about romantic love (éros) but specifically about the love between friends (philia). Of course, lovers are also friends; friendship, like romance, is part of an ideal relationship between lovers.

In modern Greek 'philia’ means friendship - a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends, family, the community, and that special partner in our life. It requires virtue, equality and familiarity. In ancient texts philos denoted a desire or enjoyment of activities between people. It is a general type of love.

Philia is mortal. People can be bosom friends for many years before one or both realizes on a good old rainy day that they are no longer in the comfort zone of a true friendship, but out of it and perhaps unable to free themselves from guilt and all those negative feelings one experiences in a dead relationship.

What/who are the major killers of a friendship?

  • Absence,
  • Different interests and goals,
  • A shifting of position,
  • Betrayal,
  • Indifference,
  • Distance,

The list is long...

Keep in mind that relationships, whether negative or positive, intimate or completely impersonal, are part of life. The mortal part of it is our feelings and emotions - the factors that make relationships an obligation we have to deal with. The death of one kind of a relationship is in fact the beginning of a next kind. For example: Impersonal relationships end and turn into personal relationships or vice versa. Romantic love may end and turn into friendship or vice versa. People are always in some kind of a relationship with other living beings.

Distance and Absence

Moving to another town, or even to another country, is a common trend of events. The proverb ‘absence makes the heart grows fonder’ is not always applicable. ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is most probably what really happens. Of course, friends may maintain their bonds, but their relationship will have a complete different nature.

A change of interests and goals

Best friends may work together for years towards the achievement of a mutual goal. Once the goal has been achieved, or even sooner, a friendship may die. Good and bad memories will determine the nature of the new relationship.

A shifting of position

One friend may enter a romantic relationship which allows no room for personal friends. It is, after all, a code of conduct, if not a rule, that friends should not become the fifth wheel of a marriage-cart.

A cord of friendship can disconnect when one friend in a working place gets appointed in a senior or completely different position. People conduct themselves according to the position they hold. The changes in their behaviour could become unbearable for the friend they've had in their previous position. Call the initial friendship false if you want, this is in fact the way the cookie crumbles.


So often friends betray each other in a moment of weakness. One may offend the other either intentionally or unintentionally in many ways, and the friendship dies like a person in a fatal car accident. Betrayal is the most obvious and common killer of relationships.


All people have one or three obstinate bad habits, such as procrastination, long-windedness, impulsiveness, impetuousness, stubbornness, a tendency to criticize, etcetera. Friends normally cover for each other - love is blind! One will try to compensate for the shortcomings of the other. But in the course of time the one who suffers the most will reach the end of their patience. Intolerance sets in and destroys the bond of friendship.

How does a friendship die?

In the case of distance and absence phillia, like any other love, may die slowly and naturally. Good memories, however, form a solid bridge that allows interaction from time to time. Regular reunions may save a friendship, though distance changes its nature.

Too often philia and other kinds of love die a horrible death. Killers of a friendship can be like cancer - a long, painful suffering. Friends may forgive each other their shortcomings seventy times seventy before the bond between them finally snaps.

Betrayal is like a fatal car accident – unexpected and quick. If a cord of relationship is not completely broken on impact, it will be severely damaged and eventually it will break.

What to do with a dead relationship?

Seeing a dead relationship in the same way we see a dead person/animal makes it easier for us to make the best decisions.

Of course, what is dead should be buried without delay and mourned for a while. Good memories will warm one's heart while bad memories will be painful.

The sooner we realize that life is a one-time experience and that love is just one of the many mortal aspects of life, the faster we will be able to move on and experience yet another unique relationship.

What is dead and buried should not prevent us from enjoying and appreciating our short existence on this beautiful planet. Contentment and happiness are the rewards of our choices.

Related quotes

  • The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost. ~ K. Chesterton
  • Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart. ~ Washington Irving
  • Friendship must never be buried under the weight of misunderstanding.~ Sri Chinmoy
  • We all lose friends.. we lose them in death, to distance and over time. But even though they may be lost, hope is not. The key is to keep them in your heart, and when the time is right, you can pick up the friendship right where you left off. Even the lost find their way home when you leave the light on." ~ Amy Marie Walz
  • We enjoy warmth because we have been cold. We appreciate light because we have been in darkness. By the same token, we can experience joy because we have known sadness. ~ David Weatherford
  • There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year's course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness and the word 'happy' would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. ~ Carl Jung
  • Beginnings are usually scary and endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts. You have to remember this when you find yourself at the beginning. ~ Sandra Bullock

© Martie Coetser

Published: 2011

Updated: 04 October 2015

More by this Author

Comments 88 comments

kirutaye profile image

kirutaye 6 years ago from London, UK

You are so right. Even best of friends can drift apart. Some of the friends i started life with are no longer part of my circle. That's just life. Thanks for sharing.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

kirutaye – so nice to see you again. Sharing interests and doing things together are the pillars of friendships and not the memories of these things once done. Though we still call our previous friends ‘friends’, we are not practicing philia any more. (I’m still holding onto my belief that love – any kind of – is a verb and not a noun.) Thanks for the visit. I’ll see you in a sec.

rpalulis profile image

rpalulis 6 years ago from NY

So true Martie, I love the quotes you included in this hub and totally agree that life is a one time experience and that what is dead shouldn't prevent us to live with joy and peace in our hearts.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

rpalulis – to accept death intellectually is actually impossible. Acceptance/adaption is one of those things in life that just happens – like growing, and growing is painful.

Whatever dies – a person, an animal, a tree or a shrub we loved, or our love for a person or an activity, whatever - is in fact loosing a part of oneself. Painfully. But like pruned roses we’ve got to send out new offsets, and if we don’t, we’ll die. Now imagine a pruned rosebush without new offsets – no good, no purpose, only food for flames.

Thanks for the visit, rpalulis. I always appreciate your comments. Take care!

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Perfect piece for Valentine's Day, Martie. So, often, thought less of than romantic love. And what better way to romantic love than friendship? Relationships are a slippery slope...since change is inevitable and the one constant in life. There is danger and risk in making oneself vulnerable and open. Misinterpretation can be as devastating as malice and mistaken for one another. But, the need for connection is compelling...necessary for happiness and fulfillment and will continue to exist despite the risk. Beautiful piece, Martie, and though long-winded, I hope you and I always remain friends.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Very interesting thoughts, Martie. I enjoyed reading this entire piece.

You are right, change often contributes to the death of love or a deep friendship. But sometimes it is not an outside force that destroys that emotion. Sometimes we kill 'love' ourselves either purposefully or accidentally.

Thank you for including the Carl Jung quote - one of my all-time favorites. And have a lovely Valentine's Day!

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Martíe, Writing about love on Valentine's Day does seem quite appropriate. I agree with you that love does die in different ways and I liked the quotes you added. I really enjoyed your hub..

A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 6 years ago from Texas

I feel as though I have experienced every bullet of this hub. Thank you for the insight, and thank you for the remedies.

leabeth profile image

leabeth 6 years ago

Love your hub and after reading it I do not feel so guilty about a friendship that have started to die over a period of 10 years. I used to work with this girl and we were very good friends but emails just got less and less up till where it is now maybe only one short email per month betwen each other. Good thing I see my hubby every weekend otherwise we might have been in the same situation.

JY3502 profile image

JY3502 6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

Very good work Martie. I enjoyed reading this.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Amy Becherer – All that is needed for philia to extend into eros is a few chemicals :)) I believe eros without philia has no durability, though a sense of responsibility may give it some power.

I agree wholeheartedly with you... with every word, and – lol – I will not label you as ‘long-winded’. You are spontaneous, honest, open and sociable, and that is why I am sure we will remain friends for quite a long time if something does not change.... I/we almost lost you the other day, remember, and I’m so glad you were able to find your way back. So here’s to our friendship!

*** drbj – Thanks for the star on my forehead :) Your compliments always make me feel like a lecturer’s blue-eyed student :)) If you were a male, I would have had a crush on you :)))

Oh yes, driven by our complexes and eccentricities - psychological parafernalia - we can kill our own friendships too easily. Taking each other for granted, not appreciating each other, competing, getting envious.... we underestimate the gluttonous devil called Grudge in us.

Enjoy the rest of this Valentine’s Day, drbj. I’m enjoying some chocolates down here, musing on a lovely surprise I had today, which I will soon share with you all.

*** Pamela99 – I’m actually disappointed in myself. I should have published a hub about Eros today – but unfortunately I’m mourning a friendship that died last week of fed-upness, but I’m still hoping it rises like Lazarus. If not, I will have to bury it on Wednesday or Thursday. So sad! Anyway, this is the reason why I haven’t considered St Valentine. Thanks for the visit, dear friend. I have to catch up with reading – expect me in your corner soon.

*** A.A. Zavala – I know that feeling. So often I find myself reading a hub meant to be read by me exactly at that specific time. Do you know Napoleon Hill’s quote: “When two minds are in harmony, a third mind is being created...” According to him this third mind is the one with the power to enlighten, to teach and to heal. Christians believe this phenomenon is God – there is a specific scripture regarding this.

Fact is, the moral support people are giving each other in virtual societies like the Hubs is a topic I would have chosen for a doctoral dissertation. Or what is your opinion? In the meantime, Carpe Diem!

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

Martie my sweet friend, it was not just the other day that this subject was under discussion between myself and a friend and low and behold you are writing about our very discussion:0)) how interesting.

I must confess in my lifetime I have had only ONE true friend that I would die for and keep in my memory till my last breath on earth. I have been married twice, yet neither one were true friends, a disaster I must say from the start.

I believe the person one marries should be a BEST friend before we tie the knot, sex, love and lust eventually wears off and usually spells disaster for the marriage.

If I ever were to marry again, which is not high on my to do list, as a matter of fact, it's so far down the list, I believe it's fallen off the page:0)) I am happy for the experience of marriage, although it took me almost 25 years to realize I am not the marrying kind.

Simply an admirer of the opposite sex and have lusted after them most of my life, which ultimately led to failures by getting married. I should have left well enough alone:0)

I LOVE a woman as a GREAT and CLOSE friend, but fail when I wed them, must be my moody artistic poetic reclusiveness. There is not a finer human specimen that walks the face of our earth than the beauty and scent of a woman, I drink to this statement with delight.

However my success of staying wed to the external beauty was dismal to say the least, I chose and chased exterior beauty rather than their souls and who and what they are and what they brought to a successful marriage.

I totally agree with martial bliss and envy those who were able to grasp and hold on to it and live happily ever after. It seems however the divorce court proceedings are outweighing the criminal courts.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on LOVE and FRIENDSHIP. I say give me FRIENDSHIP over LOVE, yet my carnal male side requires the scent and beauty of a woman.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

leabeth – We do feel guilty when we realize a friendship is dying. We react on that guilt – giving the friendship some mouth-to-mouth oxygen – an email, or a visit, or whatever – just to feel afterwards more guilty. We wonder why the other party can’t see the dead philia.... We must not confuse ‘like’ with ‘love’. We are quite able to like a friend we don’t love any more. If I may give you advice – don’t feel guilty, and don’t force yourself to send e-mail. Let it be natural and spontaneous. I am in the same situation with one of my friends... and I really like her, we were neighbors for almost four years... but in the meantime so many things changed – we no longer have mutual interests. I’m sooo busy doing things I really like to do, instead of doing nothing with a friend.

Driving all the way to your hubby to spend the weekend with him is how you love him and allow him to love you. Love is a verb and not a feeling. Love can arouse feelings, such as happiness and even sadness. But it will forever be something we have to do/act/perform. I envy you (with love and contentment). Thanks for the visit, and thank you for being my friend.

*** JY3502 – my buddy! In my mailbox are about thirty-eleven hubs of yours with the most enticing titles to be read by me. Thank you so much for your visit. You know how much I value your visits and comments. I’ll see you soon.

A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 6 years ago from Texas

Absolutely. Support recieved from the hubs and forums should be studied for the impact and resiliency they offer their members. I know for a fact that alot of hubbers have found help for themselves and their issues through the hubs.

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Friendship is so precious that we often do feel guilty when it ends. Sadness is appropriate, but not guilt. Things change, we change and so our friendships change. And it is sometimes disastrous to try to revive a friendship from the past - though we still will try! I know I do.

Thankis for sharing your thoughts on this - I really enjoyed reading them.

Love and peace


always exploring profile image

always exploring 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

Martie, I love the quote by Amy Marie Walz.I still have close friends, but a lot of people have gone as you mentioned in this article. It seems like coworkers are the first to fade when you are no longer together. I miss that. I still receive a Christmas card, but it's not the same. I enjoyed this hub. Your writing skill is excellent.

Love and Peace.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

saddlerider1 – my dearest friend, I enjoyed your comment so much because I feel exactly the same about the entire issue, though my carnal side does not require the same as yours, considering it’s female character :))

I was trapped in my marriage. But I always aimed to be the best in all my endeavors. So I can say in all honesty that I was according to the books a good wife and a mother – in spite of my unhappiness. At least I enjoyed motherhood tremendously and had a lot of fun with my children.

At 35 I’ve started my new life.... found my real self again. I am a free spirit - not the conventional type. I need a lot of space, freedom, many challenges, although these days I ignore most of them.

I have many friends, but I prefer to be alone. I like my own company. I like what I’m doing. Fortunately everyone (who matters) like and love me too. (Although I’m currently in a sad situation, loosing my best friend because of many-many reasons. But perhaps... I don’t know.... will know by the end of the week...)

Marriage has also fallen off my page of priority. If ever again I meet a potential husband, I will not share a house with him. He may court and seduce me until death do us part. (And I don’t mean until one of us breathes the last, but when our relationship dies – and that could be within three months, for all I know.) Now obviously such a man has to be completely independent with lots of personal goals, employees and servants..... I guess I should rather look for chicken teeth in a haystack?

I too prefer friendship (philia) over romance (eros), but what I really want is both of them in one healthy, brawny body. Now that’s a bit of a tall order at this stage of my life, don’t you agree? So I rather change myself and the man of my dreams into characters and let us live happily ever after in short stories.

Thanks for the chat, Saddle! Take care, and enjoy the last hours of Valentine’s Day.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

Hi, this is so true, I have had a friend for years and the second she got married, or even met her future husband I haven't seen her much, it is like she is under his thumb and it drives me mad. I saw her recently and she kept looking at her watch to see what time he was coming home! I will wait for her to get in contact, but I'm not holding my breath! lol cheers nell

poetvix profile image

poetvix 6 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

It's so nice to see something about love that has nothing to do with romance or blood relation. You took a much ignored subject and broke it down really well giving practical tips and information along the way.

Great hub!

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

A.A. Zavala – I’m glad you agree with me. It is going to be a study and a half – the virtual world is a new paradigm. Not many references are available. Oh, well, somebody somewhere will take the lead.

*** tonymac04 – Thanks for your comment. I think it is impossible to revive a friendship from the past, unless it has a specific purpose. But still it will not be the same as it was in the past... although it could be better. I guess it will depend on some factors.

I feel guilty... and angry because I feel guilty... about the dying relationship I am now facing. As I said it takes a very long time to reach the stage of complete fed-upness. Coping with someone’s stubborn arrogant wrongdoings, day after day after day, will evidently ends in a major explosion. Fatal for the relationship!

I should not feel guilty, but I do. Anyway, die koeël is deur die kerk – the worms are out of the can and each one of them has to take its course. I just have to convince myself – What will be, will be.

Thanks for the visit. Take care!

*** always exploring – I don’t know if I read this somewhere, or was it my own idea? People are like ships at see, passing each other on their ways to there distinct destinies. Friends are ships in the same harbor. Now ships have to move on – can’t stay forever in the harbor.

Yes, staying in contact with coworkers is not the same. But it can work.... the character of the original friendship will, however, change. I’m still in contact – via Facebook – with ex-colleagues and ex-members of the orchestra – it is a different kind of relationship – memories are merely a bridge to keep all abreast of the times. It is no longer philia that keeps us together, but curiosity, a need for moral support, or a need to brag about accomplishments.

Thanks for the visit, Ruby. It is always wonderful to see you.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Nell Rose – I was eleven when it became very clear to me that two is company and three is a crowd. The vibes between two people – friends or not friends – change the moment a third person enters the ‘bubble’. Actually it is all about chemistry. I like your phrase ‘... not holding my breath...’ LOL! Yes, life goes on you’ve got to breathe or die :)))

Thanks for the visit, friend. Expect me in your corner soon.

*** poetvix – Thank you so much for your kind comment. I plan to write a hub on each type of love – friendship (philia) just happened to be the first one because of my current situation. ‘Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh’. Take care, and expect me in your corner soon.

Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

My dear and wonderful girlfriend. I love this so much, you are so talented and write in a way that catches attention and I love reading your work, it is a blessing to of found you here on hubs. Your fan and Friend rate up peace & love darski

Oh one last question do you have a blog? write me if you do...okeay

BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 6 years ago from New York

This is so true. I've lost touch with so many once close friends due to mostly moving away or moving on. Great hub.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Darlene Sabella – I appreciate your compliments so much – for I admire (and envy) your spontaneous out-of-the-heart style of writing and often ask myself if I should not perhaps change my style. On the other hand, writers can change their formats and genre’s but not really their style/voice. So I am truly glad and thrilled knowing you love reading my work. Thanks my friend.

I have a blog, but there you’ll find only one ‘Letter to Angela’ and a wiggett to all my writings here at the hubs. You can go and have a look. If you have a blog, please give me the link. Oh, and on my HP profile is a link to my profile at a writers college/forum/site here in SA, where I teach short story writing (in Afrikaans) for magazines. Here is a link to my blog – (perhaps I will get time one day to do something productively over there :)))) Take care, I love you, be good, eat healthy :))))

*** BobbiRant – Thanks for the visit! I really don’t think we have space in our lives and hearts for too many friends. Perhaps we should be like bathtubs, but without a plug and the water running all the time. Perhaps friends are supposed to run through us, continuously, like ‘cleaners’ – to remove obstruction, cobwebs, et cetera. And we do the same to our friends. Just a thought :))) Take care, I’ll see you soon.

thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 6 years ago from Sweden

Martie, this is a brilliant hub about friendship! I am sad to say that I probably am not good at friendship since I only have one of my old friends left! I have lost them in all the way you describe here! Some of them ended because a relationship ended, others when I changed working place or began study, others where lost over time due to distance and so on! I do not wish to have them back, even though some of them left only happy memories but at the same time I can envy those who manage to keep many friends throughout their lives!

Maybe I am quick to move on!

You have made a very interesting article and so very true! I do not want to sound sad, because I am not but my conclusion is that the only true friend one can count on is you! Maybe it is like you answered BobbiRant; friends are supposed to run through us! And we learn something vital from all of them. I hope it is easier to hold on to cyber- friends than to friends in the surroundings. At least, you can’t loose them due to distance or broken romantic relationship:)

Take care of you, my friend!

CheyenneAutumn profile image

CheyenneAutumn 6 years ago

Martie, I loved this, it is very well thought out and written. I must confess as I read over your "reasons" for the loss of friendship I paused at each and thought of those in my life who fit into each one. While I have many friends the depth of love and attachment in each of those releationships are as vaired as the people that hold their place in my heart. I just recently re-opened a friendship with a person I shared most my highschool days. It had been 25 years or more since we last talked - but when I conneceted with her again we yacked like we had only been apart a day or two. Friends and loves are amazing things and all held within a single human heart..

Thanks again for this amazing piece and the insight here.


soneblom profile image

soneblom 6 years ago from South Africa

simply awsome work Martie:-) very enjoyable reading it keeps ones attention wanting for more.... THanks

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

What a thoughtful and thought-provoking hub! I’ll be thinking about what you have written for a long time. I love the quotes too, especially the one by Washington Irving.

AskAshlie3433 profile image

AskAshlie3433 6 years ago from WEST VIRGINIA

I believe that is why they say "can't live with it" "can't live without it" or is that a woman? Great hub! Take care

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

thougtforce – Thank you for your wonderful and deep comment. The more I think about the (mechanical) idea that friends rinse impurities out of each other, the more I like it – this idea also make it easier to give value to a friendship. Our friends normally bring out the good in us, while ‘enemies’ bring out the bad in us. Why do we spend time with friends? Because we feel good about ourselves while we are with them – we like and love ourselves while we are with friends, and of course we make them like and love themselves too.

I experience my friendships in cyberspace more intens and pure – because it is completely spiritual... souls to souls, hearts to hearts. No physical appearances such as age and good or bad looks and habits are involved that may put us off.

Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful thoughts with me and all readers of this hub. You are one of my best friends in this virtual world :))) And yes, we should be our own best friends. Or how else will we be able to be a friend for someone else?

*** CheyenneAutumn – Your comment finally confirms that although friendships can die, it can rise from the death to exist again on any of the levels of love. So here ‘life after death’ makes sense. Thanks girlfriend, for your profound contribution to this hub of mine. I’ll see you soon.

*** soneblom – and you are awesome! You know how wonderful it is to know that someone acknowledges and appreciates your written thoughts and ideas. Thanks a lot for making me feel like an achiever!

*** AliciaC – I love your comments on my hubs. It is inspiring and delighting. Expect me sometime today in your corner. (I believe that hubbers/friends who take the time to read my hubs and to comment on them, should always be my first priority when it comes to reading.)

*** AskAshlie3433 – I’m smiling. Yes, we do need friends. If not in real life, or in cyberspace, at least in our minds – where we are our own best friends and where the memories of previous friends and most of all our God reign. Thank you so much for the visit.

soneblom profile image

soneblom 6 years ago from South Africa

Yes Martie it lifts ones spirits to get good comments but you totaly deserve every positive comment my dear.. God bless, mooi bly:-)

CASE1WORKER profile image


thought provoking- I dont think friend ship ever dies - it might reduce to such a level that it seems intangible, but when the chips are down it raises its head and strikes!

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

It's quite true about friends.

My first wife ran off with my best friend, and I sure do miss him.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

WillStarr – I’m so sorry, but I’m laughing myself to tears. Hahahaha! Since the beginning of time men believe their friends are more important than their wives. Lol! If Miss Starr the First really ran off with your best friend, I’m giving you a cyber-hug, because that was surely a very large and bitter pill for you to swallow. If you are only pulling my leg, I’ll keep on LMTT - laughing myself to tears.

Thanks so much for the visit, WillStarr. Take care!

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I am pulling your lovely leg my dear!

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

LOL! Now I can laugh without feeling guilty. Hahahaha! You men, you are so arrogant, but at the same time adorable. Enjoy your friends, Will! But ya, always remember they are, just like women, able to betray you. Take care.

mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 6 years ago from Florida

Martie, not only did I enjoy your hub but I also liked your illustrations. The comments, too, were interesting. Philia is so, so important. I feel sad about the friendships I have lost, sometimes because I did not nurture them, sometimes because they did not nurture me.

I also liked your comment about two is company, three is a crowd. This is very true. More than once I have introduced two of my friends to each other, tried to travel with them, and felt like the outsider.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

mysterylady 89 – What saddens me is that this is an ongoing process. We will always meet new friends and always loose existing ones. Currently I am mourning the death of the most precious friendship I ever had, which I had the privilege of enjoying for the past 20 years. Looking back I realize it had aged and weakened just like a human body. It became terminal ill about three years ago and actually died two years ago. For the past two years we were in fact battling to cope in a real stinking situation, not realizing that our philia is decomposing right under our noses. To make a long story short, the funeral is behind us now, though I still hope our philia will rise from its grave to live on like Lazarus, but I also know if this happens, it will be in another shape. Philia has many shapes; some friendships are stronger than others.

Or perhaps we just need a proper memorial service.

It is soooo sad, but so is death.

Thanks for the visit, mysterylady. I’m on my way to your corner.

SpanStar profile image

SpanStar 6 years ago

As interesting as these articles and they have a lot of value I would personally have to take issue with the idea that love is not the villian here it is our view about love which has changed not love itself. What did we or didn't we do to keep love alive?

Good articles though

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

SpanStar – keep in mind that I don’t regard love as a noun, but as a verb. ‘To keep love alive’ is therefore a synonym of ‘keep on loving’, ‘don’t stop loving’, ‘show love, don’t talk about it as if is an entity or some god to be worshipped.’ We don’t associate ‘make love’ with philia’s ‘loving our friends, colleagues, partners’, though it is a typical example of love being a verb and not a noun.

Thank you for your comment, and please don’t hesitate to share more of your thoughts with me. I love the opinions of others, even if it differs from my own.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Very nice as are all your hubs dear Martie. Absence sure kills a lot. God bless you dear!

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Micky Dee – In fact absence is a long, drawn out, torturing death. It is some kind of emotional abuse, I just don’t know who is to blame. God bless Micky!

SpanStar profile image

SpanStar 6 years ago


Thank you for the invitation to further comment on this subject matter.

It would appear to me that your perspective to love is more abstract than mine. One of the aspects of a noun as defined in the dictionary is as a thing. The idea of love when faced with trying to define it, at least for me appears to be elusive. The reality of love is that love continues where as people may fall in love or fall out of love but love remains always.

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MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

SpanStar – I agree wholeheartedly with your perspective. We can also consider the perspective “God is Love”, which will proof the stunning greatness of love. I think it does not matter what our perspective of the moment is, we all interpret love as a WONDERFUL thing/feeling/act/dream/whatever :)))

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acaetnna 6 years ago from Guildford

What wonderful words. I believe that a partner in life - my husband in my case - should be before anything else my best friend and I am so fortunate in being able to say he absolutely is - he is my soul mate.

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MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

acaetnna – That is a fact – with the ideal partner one should experience ALL the different kinds of love.

You are so lucky to be married to your best friend. You are in fact beaming love, making me smile of happiness because it is so nice to know that true love is still possible in this word.

Enjoy, eNjOy and ENJOY – and be extremely grateful because you are so fortunate to be the best friend of the man you love.

PS.: You remind me of the bride in Song of Songs.

hp 6 years ago


A wonderful insightful hub, well done!

I am so lucky to have my partner who shares all in every way with me. He is so special to let me know that I am loved each day. It is something so precious to have that kind of love as we get older each day.

Unfortunately he is trapped in his marriage for years as his wife demands a meal ticket for life. Their wife and husband relationship has long gone over a decade, but left is duty, responsibilities and perception for others. It is sad and unforgivable that some people make their partners suffer by making them full with guilts when they can have what they desire, so it destroys even what they had in the past.

We all go through many kinds of love in our life. It is important to acknowledge and accept what we had and have.

I believe true love is to really wish someone you truly love for their happiness, it is magical when true love meets in both ways.

Love never dies, but sometimes it changes, what ever love we had will always stays in our heart as our past.

Thank you for sharing your thought.

hp 6 years ago

correction on my comment.

It should read -

It is sad and unforgivable that some people make their partners suffer by making them full with guilts when they CAN'T have what they desire, so it destroys even what they had in the past.

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MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

hp – I am so glad you have a partner who assures you daily that you are loved – this is a wonderful reality to enjoy, and with gratefulness of course. I believe it is the undisputed KNOWLEDGE that we are loved, that makes us truly happy. Then comes the challenge – can we return this to the person who makes us feel loved? I we can, our happiness will multiplied. If we can’t, sadness, unhappiness and discontentment will be in accordance with our inability our lot.

Personally I feel it is high time for current norms and standards regarding marriage to be reviewed. Bigamy, where men may have more then one wife or women may have more than one husband (which was/is the case in matriarchal cultures), was the norm until it was outdated by economy and other social issues. Monogamy – one man to one woman, and recently even gay marriages – is the norm for approximately 2000 years now. Statistics are proving for decades now that this norm is in dire need of adjustment, though it is in fact rapidly busy to adjust itself in accordance with the need and ability of modern people.

Actually everything develops naturally. There you are now able to love the man of your dreams without fearing a horrible death such as stoning, which was once upon a time in many cultures the punishments for adultery. Today we are free to love, but not always free to live with the one we love.

My moto is to make the very best of what life offers you without destroying others in the process. We aim for perfection, and sadly it does not exist. Not in marriage and not in any kind of relationship. There is always something missing. Our happiness depends on how we adapt to whatever is missing.

hp, thanks for giving wings to my thoughts. I wish you and yours and all involved the best of all available happiness. I believe everybody should accommodate everybody without being unfair, selfish and mean. Take care.

hp 6 years ago


I agree with you on the point that sadly our lives is somewhat controlled by this money orientated society and social perception is highly valued more than what we really feel and desire and who we really are.

I am old fashion in many ways and still believe in one man to one woman relationship regardless as it always takes two to make things happen. But when a relationship is valued by money as it seems happening so often in a showbiz world, we do wonder the value of who we really are and remind us of the importace of being human.

Martie, thank you very much for your insightful comment again, much appreciated it. At least I know I am very happy where I am as I can be true to myself.

Take care

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MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

hp – I am on your page with this, and it is really sad that so many of us sink to the bottom of this system – bottom of despair – while others flourish in the air above.

Let me give you one of my perspectives - The purpose of the system is to protect the weak and the faint. Nobody will ever win a battle with the system. We who are not weak and faint are free to live and die, but all the way with the knowledge that the system will protect whoever we intentionally or accidentally harm.

Think about this, drop the swords and be ten times happier and truer to yourself. Best of luck!

epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

......well love may not be immortal but your hubs sure are ..... and it's only because you are the smartest woman (and prettiest girl) at the hub - did I just say that - yes I did and I stand by every word of it too -

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MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

epigramman –You’ve just given me a heartwarming smile. Thank you, sir! Just know I appreciate your friendship, support AND compliments sincerely. Take care.

Stan Fletcher profile image

Stan Fletcher 6 years ago from Nashville, TN

This one is really well-written and worthy of a bookmark. When I was in seventh grade I met my best friend. He is a drummer and we had a band together from 7th grade until about the age of 23, when we both got married and moved to different parts of the country. There were big blocks of time when we didn't communicate at all, and didn't see each other for almost 20 years. We're about 50 miles apart now, as of a year and a half ago, and rekindled our friendship so easily that it was like we never were apart. We shaped each other profoundly in our formative years and I owe him a great deal. I would be a completely different person without his profound influence, and I think he would say the same. Brothers from another mother. Great hub! Voted up and awesome.....

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izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest

I always see movies on people who have been friends forever and remain close, but I have not yet witnessed that in real life. So much gets in the way. I noticed since my friends and I having children, it has put our friendships on the back burner. Also facebook, and other technology, has made friendships into something different- not sure better or worse.

Great hub and great topic Martie!

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MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Stan Fletcher – To have a friend like that one of yours, is certainly everybody’s dream. I’ve connected via Facebook with some friends I had years ago, and I’m studying my feelings towards them with great interest. I think men are more able to pick up the strings and to continue with a friendship as if time did not cause any estrangement. Or what am I talking? Thanks for you positive and inspiring contribution to this hub. Stan. It is really highly appreciated. Take care!

*** izettl – I have to agree with you. Most friends are on our journey through life merely ships we pass. With some we share a harbor for a while. We outgrow our friends – comparing them with shoes, also gives us a specific, but clear perception. Thanks for the visit, isettl, I see you soon. (I’m falling behind with reading again!)

arb profile image

arb 5 years ago from oregon

This really stired a lot of thought in me, for that I am thankful. In reflecting, I have concluded that I have never lost a friend which I did not, myself, let go of. I have friends which have let go of me, but, I remain should they return. Perhaps, they feel the same. I may not be theirs anymore, but, it has little bearing on what I will do with it. Thank you. Love hubs that stir our thought.

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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

arb – welcome in my corner. Love, all kinds of, is certainly an enigma that will keep us pondering until the end of times. Thank you so much for your thought-provoking comment.

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toknowinfo 5 years ago

Excellent hub. This is something we can all relate to. There is another quote that says "some people come into your life for a season, a reason, or a lifetime."

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

toknowinfo - Hi! That is a quote that really belongs in this hub. I'm going to find the author and put those winged words of him/her in this hub. Thanks so much for reminding me of them. Yes, I think we should enjoy every person who enters our lives, because we will, certainly, learn something worthwhile from him/her, and most of the time we will enjoy having the person in our lives... until the Wind of Change blow him/her away.

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ariasnote 5 years ago

Very deep and detailed hub on both kinds of love. Wow, a lot of info to take in, huh? : )

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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

ariasnote - and I did not even mention half of what there is to mention about friendships! Thanks for the visit. I think you have the cutest avatar. That little girl is too adorable, absolutely edible :)))

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ariasnote 5 years ago

Thanks MartieCoetser, for the comment on my avatar! More...just on friendship?? Go figure...: )

Deni Edwards profile image

Deni Edwards 5 years ago from california


It seems you managed to cover every reason a friendship might end. Many of the reasons are out of our hands or because of unintentional neglect (boyfriend, marriage, children). Sometimes, by the time a friend realizes the consequences of neglect, it is just too late to save a friendship--much like a marriage.

I really enjoyed reading this.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Deni Edwards – You can say that again – boyfriend, husband, children, a new hobby or job, and so forth can create in a very short time insurmountable distances between friends. But then we must keep in mind that friends are like ships, passing each other on their journeys.

5 years ago

Love the heartfelt poems!

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thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia

You make a good point. CHANGES. It effects us all and over time, it can take its toll on the heart. I believe if it is meant to be, it will and if not, then it will die as you stated. Very interesting. Voted up! Have a great day. I look forward to reading more Martie.

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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

thelyricwriter – Nice to meet you. Changes are one of those occurrences we fear more the older we get. It requires mental as well as physical energy.

acewebdesign profile image

acewebdesign 5 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

Yeah so true. Uve written on something which many people dont even think about. Good.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

acewebdesign – Perhaps we believe love is a kind of god who should carry us through this live, while it is actually a responsibility created by our emotions. Thanks for your comment.

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d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south

This was truly an enjoyable and inspirational read. Thank you.

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MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa Author

d.william - Thanks for reading and giving me your opinion. Much appreciated!

Capedium profile image

Capedium 4 years ago from Texas.

How on earth did I miss this Hub.. Without further ado.. You are the perfect counselor. Take it from me.. This is what I call a Hub...

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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Thank you, Capedium. Positive opinions always delight me and strengthen my self-confidence. There are, of course, people whose ideas differ from mine, but most of the time it is simply because they have a different perception, or they approach the crux of the matter from a different angle. Gold is gold, silver is silver, nothing can change that; we can but only pour them in different molds in accordance with our idea of perfect and beautiful. Thank you for coming over for the read. Take care!

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cebutouristspot 4 years ago from Cebu

I agree with you that love is not immortal. You need a lot of work to make it a healthy one. One key to love is respect and communication.

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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

cebutouristspot - any living thing has to be fed and nurtured, or else it simply dies. The love between some people is like cacti - it doesn't need much food and water, while others are like roses, in need of a lot of water and nutrition AND pruning. Thanks for coming over for the read. Take care :)

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Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi Martie

I have a friend that I have basically given up on. She says she appreciates our friendship but her actions speak otherwise. She lies so much that I have no idea when she is telling the truth.

Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

Well I really like this hub... it is hard when friends treat you bad. but sometimes like romantic relationships we have to cut the ties that bind.

thanks for sharing


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Sueswan, many years ago I've made one of the best decisions in my life: I decided to forgive and FORGET all friends and relatives, including my husband, who make me feel unhappy and incompetent. Lying is a serious mental disorder. We can bear people suffering this only to a point. Maybe you should increase the distance between you and your friend. We should love each other AS we love ourselves, not less and certainly not more. Thanks for sharing your frustration, and just know I know exactly how you feel. Been there, suffered that....

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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Deborah, we have to cut ties that bind us to people who steal our joy. Life is too short to be bothered by them. Thanks for your visit :))

marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA


As I read your thoughts on this subject, l find we are once again on the same wavelength.

In my life, whether relationships have actively ended or faded as one or both of our priorities changed...I am always grateful for the positive and happy memories. In negative situations, my motto is" don't look back".

Excellent writing. Voted UP and ABI. Love you, Maria

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MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa Author

My dearest Maria, your comment is such a delight. The echo of my own principles. You are without doubt my soul-sista :) LU:)

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 17 months ago from Texas

Martie, what you say here is true. It is most definitely the middle that counts. But, like life, I would prefer a friendship die a natural death than an abrupt, forceful one.

Oh, and these thoughts echo a song idea I was working on with someone. I'll send you a message about that.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 17 months ago from South Africa Author

Hi, Shanmarie :) Sadly, we seldom get what we want. Anything that comes abrupt and unexpectedly is most of the time unwanted and shocks us tremendously.

suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 17 months ago from Taos, NM

Such an insightful article, Martie. I enjoyed reading this. It is true friendships come and go and that is part of the magic of life.

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MartieCoetser 17 months ago from South Africa Author

And the wonder of it all, Suzette, when we look back we can easily see the purpose of our relationships, and what we have learned through a specific friend. Thanks for reading and commenting :)

marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 16 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Just as meaningful the second time around, dear Martie.

Your perspectives stand the test of time.

Love you always, Maria

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 16 months ago from South Africa Author

Dearest Maria, your opinions always count. Since it has been proven that most people read articles on their phone, I have to delete pictures and everything that makes reading on a cellphone difficult. So, one by one I have to update all my hubs. Thank you so much for your support :)

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