Positive Psychology

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Spiritual Friendship



FRIENDSHIP AS IN: caring for each other, listening, confiding, trusting, being good to, supporting each other's full potential, respecting each others short-comings, not wanting to change the other yet putting down clear boundaries around what is acceptable to both people regarding communication and time limits.

SPIRITUAL AS IN: respecting each other's individual calling to follow the spiritual path that is revealed within the depth of their soul. Spiritual as in sharing a vision of something greater than ourselves, something Higher guiding, protecting and caring for us. Spiritual as in shared values of looking out for others, pursuing altruistic activities, practising gratitude and humility. Religion may be important to one or both. Respect and understanding of each other's involvement with religion and encouraging healthy religious practises is what makes a friendship not just human but also spiritual.

AFFECTIONATE AS IN: for example the use of affectionate names for each other, showing little acts of care according to agreed boundaries, including acceptable touches and caresses. Affectionate as in allowing one's heart to be touched and enjoying each other's company. What makes a friendship affectionate is that both people are uplifted and inspired by the endearing exchanges that take place in the friendship.

CELIBATE AS IN: keeping within boundaries of transformed* sexual desires, seeing spiritually affectionate union as an end in itself rather than ultimately uniting in sexual union. This might go without saying to some while others would tend to link affectionate love with sexual union once the mutual heart warming love is developing in the friendship or relationship.

It is about being honest
I would like to eat a huge cake but I choose to have one or two slices or none at all
I would like to push somebody out of the way but I choose to make room
I would like to be intimate with someone but I choose to get to know them
I might like to satisfy a basic instinct for sexual intercourse but I choose to develop a mature and responsible but fun friendship

SIGMUND FREUD spoke of sublimation: channeling the energy into a different activity, not by suppression but by recognition and deliberately choosing to communicate at a different level thus channelling the energy into a genuine care for what the other person wishes yet being loyal to one's own boundaries. Being sexually aroused does not mean that one has to express this physically through having sex.

The Celtic Christian communities early in the first millenium are said to include men and women who were celibate soul friends or mates who shared living and sleeping quarters.

The more often I choose to waver my basic instinct for a kind, compassionate and caring attitude and action the more natural it becomes to go for the 'higher' choices, it becomes a habit. This develops a consciousness of something greater and better within oneself.

When two people open up their hearts towards each other they are venturing on a delicate journey which can easily be upset by possessiveness or jealousy. Because the friendship is so pleasant and fulfilling one could want to hold on to the other person rather than allowing them to connect with others. The spiritual aspect of the friendship however ensures that one continually 'upgrades' one's love to wishing the other person happiness and joy in the company of other people.


A Spiritual Affectionate Celibate Friendship could for certain people develop into a sexual relationship should both people be available and feel the calling from within to pursue such a relationship which would usually take place in a marriage between two available parties who might be open to starting a family.

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