'Perhaps friendship should assert itself more strongly in our romance obsessed world. Perhaps friends should refuse the otherwise overwhelming pressures of the quixotic and declare the joys of their own kind of passion, though that would be a hard thing to do in a culture besotted with the power of erotic possessiveness. The thought provides us with a conclusion. For contra the myth, there is a love that does not desire to possess. It is called friendship. It loves the other, and wants them both to be free. Once friendship has come to be the determining force in a relationship, individuals are able to find themselves and nurture a passion for life, not merely lose themselves lose themselves in starry-eyed love.'
Mark Vernon, The Meaning of Friendship, p.72.