I'm looking for a word that defines the direction of friendship between two people.

For example, when I say "I am friends with John" or "John is my friend". How would I describe the same thing, but from John's perspective.

The reason I ask is that I am trying to write a database schema that uses words to define the direction of friendships. One possible option is to use two phrases "friend with" and "friends to". So that I could describe who John is friends with from both directions.

If this doesn't make any sense, sorry ;)

  • 9
    Friendship is a symmetric relation. So when X is Y's friend, Y is X's friend as well. – Gigili Dec 24 '12 at 18:56
  • To add to what @Gigili said, like is the potentially non-symmetric relation. X likes Y but Y does not like X. X might want Y to be their friend but they are not friends unless X and Y like each other. – Jim Dec 24 '12 at 19:07

Most systems use "friend" only for symmetric relationships. Someone in an asymmetric relationship is typically a "fan" or a "follower" (sometimes a "subscriber" or a "watcher").

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.