Okay so, let’s talk about this for a second! Comics, so not strictly canon, but it’s still interesting.
I haven’t seen these pages discussed anywhere but I was pretty floored when I read them. This is from the DC Star Trek series, The Trial of James T. Kirk part 1, from 1990. The basic summary, as I understand it is:
- Sarek is concerned about losing Amanda eventually, and for some reason thinks that Spock’s ‘friendship’ with Kirk can help him address this issue (?)
- Spock directly compares that friendship to what Sarek has with Amanda (!!!!!)
- Spock explains his friendship with Jim in such a way that Sarek can’t differentiate between it and either his love for Amanda or his love for his own son.
Aside from the obvious (the fact that Spock uses the word ‘friendship’ interchangeably with spouse-love and seems to think them equivalent), there’s this separate idea that maybe Vulcans in general have difficulty differentiating between romantic, platonic, and familial love. That’s not to say they don’t understand the differences in how those roles are appropriately acted out, but the emotion itself is equally strong in all three cases. This is supported by the whole t’hy’la thing—why else would they have only one word to describe all three relationships (with ‘familial’ in this case used in the metaphorical, not literal-blood-relative sense)? Maybe because they have trouble telling the depth of the feelings apart and have a tendency to roll them all up into one ball.
I don’t know, I just found this really interesting.