Inspired by this thread, and the ensuing debate on chemistry, male/female friendship, and what people want and/or expect from friendship. It was actually Fish’s post on explaining what people mean by friendship that made me think of it.
There are as many degrees of friendship as there are of any other type of relationship, and it’s too easy to pigeonhole them.
My friends are people I like, and whose company I enjoy, whatever we’re doing or not doing. My best friends are different. Then there has to be chemistry. It’s the same dynamic as in a romantic relationship, it’s just that the formula is different. There are people I have been friends with for years, and sometimes they have become closer as a result of this, sometimes they haven’t. We haven’t got what it takes, for each other, to make that leap to the inner sanctum of friendship, and the levels of love and loyalty that entails.
I have low maintenance friendships: people I’m not necessarily going to hang out with every free weekend, but who I don’t want to lose touch with. If we were both interested in sport, we’d probably have a drink every so often and discuss the ball game. As I don’t even know what game “ball game” refers to, we’ll have a drink and discuss whatever it is we DO have in common (kids, work, shoes, power tools, whatever). I’m probably not going to give this friend intimate details of my love/sex life, or share with them my deepest thoughts on life and death, although I wouldn’t rule it out: sometimes that’s what I have in common with them. Whether these people are male or female is irrelevant.
My best friends are different. I have a much closer emotional connection to them. They definitely know all the details of my life, and the darkest corners of my mind. If I had to, I know I could call them up at three o’clock in the morning, and they would be there for me, physically or emotionally. I’ll find myself lying in bed at night worrying about them. I’m proud of their achievements. I see all their faults. We very often have completely different viewpoints on some fundamental issues, but it doesn’t matter, because on some very basic level, we click. Some of these people are male, and some are female.
So my point (I think) is that the X factor is just as important in friendship as it is in a romantic relationship.