Philia

Eros, the salvation of sex, is built on the foundation of philia, that is, an hithnate nonsexual friendship between two people. Philia cannot be rushed; it takes time to grow, to develop, to sink its roots. Examples of philia would be the slowly evolving love between siblings or between lifelong friends. "Philia does not require that we do anything for the beloved except accept him, be with him, and enjoy him. It is friendship in the shnplest, most direct terms" (May, 1969a, p. 31).

In Chapter 8, we mentioned that Harry Stack Sullivan placed great importance on preadolescence, that developmental epoch characterized by the need for a chum, someone who is more or less like oneself. According to Sullivan, chumship or philia is a necessary requisite for healthy erotic relationships dining early and late adolescence. May, who was influenced by Sullivan at the William Alanson White Institute, agreed that philia makes eros possible. The gradual, relaxed development of true friendship is a prerequisite for the enduring union of two people.

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