Sometimes, words are not enough to describe what real friendships are all about.
Technical definitions abound, but few can accurately pinpoint the whirlwind of complex—yet happy!—emotions that overflow us when we stand next to a true friend.
And while The Rembrandts came dangerously close to defining friendship in the lyrics of their hit I’ll Be There For You, real friendship transcends even that—friends are far more than an iconic sitcom, a bunch of photos on social media, or a chat group.
Friends are an experience.
But that doesn’t stop us from trying to put it into words, does it?
Check these 55 quotes—valiant attempts to define the beauty of friendship and perfect messages to send to the special ones in your life.
01- “My best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake.”
02- “Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”
— Muhammad Ali.
03- “A friend is the one that knows the song deep within your heart, and sings it to you when you have already forgotten the lyrics.”
— Julio Ramón Ribeyro.
04- “We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.” — James Boswell.
05- “Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness.”
06- “What makes friendship indissolute and what doubles its charms is a feeling we find lacking in love: I mean certitude.”
— Honoré de Balzac.
07- “It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson.
08- “I don’t want to go to heaven. None of my friends are there.”
— Oscar Wilde.
09- “One of the tasks of true friendship is to listen compassionately and creatively to the hidden silences. Often secrets are not revealed in words, they lie concealed in the silence between the words or in the depth of what is unsayable between two people.”
— John O’Donohue.
10- “The language of friendship is not words but meanings.”
— Henry David Thoreau.
11- “There is a magnet in your heart that will attract true friends. That magnet is unselfishness, thinking of others first; when you learn to live for others, they will live for you.”
— Paramahansa Yogananda.
12- “I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.”
13- “Friendship multiplies the good of life and divides the bad.”
— Baltasar Gracián.
14- “A friend should be one in whose understanding and virtue we can equally confide, and whose opinion we can value at once for its justness and its sincerity.”
— Robert Hall.
15- “The blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearlessly on any subject; with whom one’s deepest as well as one’s most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort—the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person—having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are.”
— Dinah Maria Craik.
16- “The greatest sweetener of human life is Friendship. To raise this to the highest pitch of enjoyment, is a secret which but few discover.”
— Joseph Addison.
17- “A friend is one of the nicest things you can have and one of the best things you can be.”
— Douglas Pagels.
18- “You’ve got troubles, and I’ve got ’em too. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you. We stick together and we see it through, ’cause you’ve got a friend in me”
— Toy Story’s “You’ve got a friend in me”.
19- “In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”
— Khalil Gibran.
20- “We come from homes far from perfect, so you end up almost parent and sibling to your friends—your own chosen family. There’s nothing like a really loyal, dependable, good friend. Nothing.”
— Jennifer Aniston.
21- “A true friend is the most precious of all possessions and the one we take the least thought about acquiring.”
— François de la Rochefoucauld.
22- “True friendship is like sound health. The value of it is seldom known until it be lost.”
— Charles Caleb Colton.
23- “It is one of the severest tests of friendship to tell your friend his faults. So to love a man that you cannot bear to see a stain upon him, and to speak painful truth through loving words, that is friendship.”
— Henry Ward Beecher.
24- “It’s not that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but it’s your best friends who are your diamonds.”
— Gina Barreca.
25- “One friend in a storm is worth more than a thousand friends in sunshine.”
— Matshona Dhliwayo.
26- “A good friend is a connection to life – a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.”
— Lois Wyse.
27- “A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself—and especially to feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them.”
— Jim Morrison.
28- “The rule of friendship means there should be mutual sympathy between them, each supplying what the other lacks and trying to benefit the other, always using friendly and sincere words.”
— Marcus Tullius Cicero.
29- “I can trust my friends. These people force me to examine myself, encourage me to grow.”
30- “But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.”
— Thomas Jefferson.
31- “The ideal friendship is to feel as one while remaining two.”
— Sophie Swetchine.
32- “Friendship is so much more than a word, a handshake, and a smile. It’s the ability to see the inner beauty in someone.”
— Vonda K. Van Dyke.
33- “Friendship that flows from the heart cannot be frozen by adversity, as the water that flows from the spring cannot congeal in winter.”
— James Fenimore Cooper.
34- “There is only one thing better than making a new friend, and that is keeping an old one.”
— Elmer G. Leterman.
35- “The friend of my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.”
— Ulysses S. Grant.
36- “Oh, you’re the best friends anybody ever had. And it’s funny, but I feel as if I’d known you all the time, but I couldn’t have, could I?”
— Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz.
37- “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt.
38- “The best part about having true friends is that you can go months without seeing them and they’ll still be there for you and act as if you’d never left.”
— Ariana Grande.
39- “Friendship however is a plant which cannot be forced – true friendship is no gourd spring up in a night and withering in a day.”
— Charlotte Bronte.
40- “Friendship is the only cement that will hold the world together.”
— Woodrow Wilson.
41- “The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.”
— Rachel Naomi Remen.
42- “There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”
— Linda Grayson.
43- “What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?”
— George Eliot.
44- “Friendship is the purest love. It is the highest form of love where nothing is asked for, no condition, where one simply enjoys giving.”
45- “Friends are thieves of time.”
— Latin proverb.
46- “There can be no friendship where there is no freedom. Friendship loves a free air, and will not be fenced up in straight and narrow enclosures.”
— William Penn.
47- “One friend with whom you have a lot in common is better than three with whom you struggle to find things to talk about.”
— Mindy Kaling.
48- “Cherish the friend who tells you a harsh truth, wanting ten times more to tell you a loving lie.”
— Robert Brault.
49- “Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
— Albert Camus.
50- “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”
— C.S. Lewis.
51- “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
— Marcel Proust.
52- “Many a person has held close, throughout their entire lives, two friends that always remained strange to one another, because one of them attracted by virtue of similarity, the other by difference.”
— Emil Ludwig.
53- “Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend.”
54- “Truth springs from argument amongst friends.”
— David Hume.
55- “There is one friend in the life of each of us who seems not a separate person, however dear and beloved, but an expansion, an interpretation, of one’s self, the very meaning of one’s soul.”
— Edith Wharton.
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