CONCORDIA: It seems like there is a lot of tension between interpretations of Philips as a compassionate friend or a lesbian unable to fully express her homoerotic relationships. Philips has been compared to other female poets such as Sappho in terms of such homoerotic tones in their poetry. However, there is no concrete proof that neither Sappho [17] nor Philips had lesbian relationships.

On the same note, the poet Emily Dickinson has been viewed as a lesbian due to the letters she had written to her friend and sister-in-law Susan Gilbert; expressions of intimacy include "...Susie, forgive me darling, for every word I say, my heart is full of you, none other than you in my thoughts, yet when I seek to say something to you not for the world, words fail me. If you were here- and Oh that you were, my Susie, we need not talk at all, our eyes would whisper for us, and your hand fast in mine we would not ask for language... I try to bring you nearer..." [18]. The matter of intellectual or platonic intimacy versus sexual intimacy becomes complex because these emotions are so interconnected. Psychologist Robert Sternberg researched relationships on a college campus and consequently created Sternberg's Triangle- a conceptualization of the three major components in relationships: intimacy (or liking), passion (sexual engagement), and commitment. A loving relationship should be comprised of all three, creating consummate love. However, just as in platonic love, relationships can simply have commitment and intimacy without sexual contact [19]. To me, it seems that female friendships are constantly riding the line between homoeroticism and companionship because intimacy and commitment are usually present. The film Thirteen [20] is an excellent modern representation of this complex issue.