Is it love? Yes, and the name of it is Philia.

love of friends

Besides leading me to create Kotae, my accidental hearts took me on a journey to learn more about love. That's when I found a study from Dr. Tim Lomas, University of East London, School of Psychology. He studied how the word love is used in different cultures and languages, with different meanings. What a blast!

I knew philia as a suffix with a couple of meanings like the love of, friendly toward, a tendency toward, or even craving. But it's mainly used as a combining noun for other words that could have positive and negative meanings. For Example, Francophilia (love or admiration for France or French culture), hemophilia (a hereditary, sex-linked blood defect), or necrophilia (obsession with and usually erotic interest in or stimulation by corpses). Oops.

But in this study, Philia is defined as friendly love or the love of friends. The meanings used here are the ones seen in classical Greece - fondness, appreciation, and loyalty – particularly Aristotle's emphasis on friendship and his description of "things that cause friendship" in Rhetoric as being "doing kindnesses; doing them unasked, and not proclaiming the fact when they are done.”

juts because greeting card to celebrate friendships | Kotae Cards

I love it! So what we feel for our friends it's a form of love. And its name is Philia, the love of friends. People say friends are the family we choose. I agree. They are there when you laugh, cry, and need a "get real" chat. You can talk about serious, funny, random, nonsense topics. They will inspire you and have your back. They will have your back. And if sometimes they aren't able to help you, they won't let you fall. We miss them and want to be with them whenever possible. Sometimes life changes, a job takes you to a different city or country, a marriage takes up most of your free time, and you may need time alone. It doesn't matter. When you meet again, it's like you never got apart.

But precisely what makes our friends close and precious is what can make us take them for granted. How important is Philia, the love of friends, in your life? Have you put it into words, especially in a written message?

I know we don't that often. But we want to inspire you. And that's why we created a couple of beautiful greeting cards to celebrate your friendships. Our accidental hearts and your note will let them know they are loved!