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What Is the Definition of Companionship?

by Chris Passas

The definition of companionship is “a feeling of friendship or fellowship,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary. A person's tendency to seek companionship and to establish new social connections is fairly constant throughout her life, suggests the American Psychological Association, but some insights and tips can help you enlarge your comfort zone.

Hanging Out

Spending time with others, whether doing elaborate activities or just sitting and talking, is a simple way to begin building companionship. Gradually increasing the depth of conversation is a natural progression for people who already spend a lot of time together and can help develop the feelings of friendship and fellowship that define companionship. However, some people may simply have no desire to expand their social circles or they don't feel companionship for you, just as you may not feel companionship for everyone with whom you spend time. Companionship develops naturally and shouldn't be forced.

Openness

Sharing your honest emotions is essential in a romantic relationship in order to maintain trust with your partner and to better understand one another. Companionship in a romantic relationship means that each partner has an emotional need to confide in the other, and keeping the lines of communication open is necessary to maintain the intimacy between you, asserts Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D., on his Marriage Builders website. Without that kind of openness, it is easy for partners to lose the feeling of companionship and for the relationship to become boring or to end entirely.

Staying Interested

Taking the same level of interest in your partner as you did when you started dating and were eager to know more is a great way to keep your conversations fresh and exciting. Both partners should make an effort to discover more about the other. Trying a hobby or activity that the other enjoys can also help you better understand your partner. Share the stories that haven't yet been told such as childhood memories, funny things that happened at work, plans for the future and other personal feelings to continue nurturing the companionship between you.

Loneliness

Having friends, acquaintances, co-workers and other companions with whom to socialize can help develop a feeling of togetherness so you don't feel alone in everyday life. Feelings of loneliness can manifest as a vague and constant sense of worry. Over time, these feelings can be detrimental to your immune system because they act on the fight-or-flight instinct, resulting in stress when there is no enemy to confront or from which to escape, suggests the research review "Friends Wanted" published in the American Psychological Association's Monitor on Psychology.

About the Author

Chris Passas is a freelance writer from Nags Head, N.C. He graduated from East Carolina University in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He has written online instructional articles since September 2009.

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