The Four Loves

Lewis, C. S.

Fontana, 1963

p. 58

“We can have erotic love and friendship for the same person yet in some ways nothing is less like a friendship than a love affair.  Lovers are always talking to one another about their love; friends hardly ever about their friendship.  Lovers are normally face to face, absorbed in each other; friends, side by side, absorbed in some common interest.  Above all, eros or need-love (while it lasts) is [typically] between two only.  But two, far from being the necessary number for friendship, is not even the best.”  Lewis goes on to explain that when I have two or three friends “in each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out.  By myself I am not large enough to call the whole friend into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets.”  So, if James and Sarah are friends, I am interested not just in what James’s response to me is; I am at least as interested in what James brings out in Sarah and what Sarah brings out in James.