We all need friends in our lives whether we accept it or not and even with those we call family or relatives, we need to establish some level of friendship in order to get along with them. Friendship is a part of virtually all of our relationships, even though we are not aware of it.
However, friendship is in different level; sometimes we are aware of it and sometimes we are not.
Here are three main levels of friendship:
Acquaintance in friendship is not just about those we’ve just known or met; there are people who we’ve known for a long time, even family members, who still remain at acquaintance level.
Acquaintance level of friendship means that you are familiar with a person, know some important details about them and have mutual rapport with them; they call you their friend and you do the same. However, they are privy to more important details about your life; even when they do, they did not hear it from you and would be crossing the line if they tried to discuss it with you.
With an acquaintance-friend, you may invite each other to all your events, call or visit every once in a while and have a fondness of each other but it doesn’t really go beyond that. They are not the ones you call when you’re in trouble and you don’t expect them to do the same.
You should get along with your acquaintance-friends 90% of the time if you understand that it’s a surface-level friendship.
Obviously, a close friend has a deeper level of relationship from an acquaintance; they know more about you, are privy to most of the important information about you and both of you understand that you have certain responsibilities towards each other.
Although close friends may fight more than acquaintances, they understand each other better and are more dependable. A close friend is the person is the kind of person who may take offence if you do not keep in touch for a long time. Close friendships may happen by choice or through the force of circumstances; this is why people have most of their family members or childhood friends on this level of friendship.
Sometimes close friends decide to opt out of a friendship or down-grade to acquaintance level for many reasons.
Intimate friendship is a situation where both of you have consciously chosen each other; chosen to tell each other your deepest secrets, to be there for each other, to protect and love each other.
An intimate friend is like the family of choice; it’s the person who knows what you’re planning or thinking ahead of everyone else, it’s the person whom you’ve given a legitimate right to make demands of you and you expect the same from.
Many people do not have more than one intimate friend; a spouse, a partner, a trusted friend or a family member that has been able to make the transition to becoming a close friends. Some people could have two intimate friends like a spouse and another childhood friend.
A whole lot of people do not have any intimate friends; many cannot even call their spouses an intimate friend because an intimate friend is someone that both of you have made a commitment make each other a priority and cannot afford to lose.