3 Types of Friendships (Including the Most Enduring)

When we’re young, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that our friends are always going to be there for us. We grow up and move on with life, but how do you keep in touch? Here are three types of friendship including one type that never really ends.

The “3 types of friends aristotle” is a quote from Aristotle. The three types of friendships are: friendship, companionship, and love.

Male friends at work climbing having a drink 3 types of friendship.

Aristotle speaks more on friendship than any other moral virtue in his Nicomachean Ethics, claiming that “without friends, no one would choose to live, even if he obtained all the other commodities.”

However, not all friendships are made equal, and he distinguishes three sorts, each of which approaches the norm of arête, or perfection, to varying degrees. 

Friendships of utility are the simplest and most basic sort, in which individuals connect for the purpose of gaining some external or tangible advantage. A group of amicable businesspeople promoting one other’s work is an example.

Friendships of pleasure are the second category. These friends have similar interests and senses of humor, and they just enjoy each other’s company.

Friendships of virtue, or “of the Good,” are the third and highest form. Each person in such a relationship admires the other not for what he can provide them, but for who he is. Mutual admiration prevails between them. Such buddies work together to achieve a worthy goal. They push each other to be better, and they work together to achieve their goals.

Friendships of utility and pleasure are not inherently evil; fact, Aristotle claims that friendships of the Good incorporate both dynamics, and that joy and love are especially important in a relationship. Friendships based only on usefulness or pleasure, on the other hand, are imperfect.

Friendships like this are also less likely to last. When the participants no longer need anything from each other, utility friendships cease. Pleasure friendships fade away when the pleasure fades – whether because the conditions that formerly made the pleasant times possible change, or because the “honeymoon” sensations of novelty go away.

Virtuous friendships, on the other hand, develop a bond that endures over distance and time. Because when two or more people work together to achieve the Good, they build something greater than themselves – something good, even everlasting.



The “friendship of pleasure” is a type of friendship that is not based on obligation or reciprocity. It can be found in many cultures, and is the most enduring type of friendship.

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