Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pour Your Heart Out - Levels of Friendship

How do you know when an acquaintance has become a friend?    In dating there are some pretty clear signs that a relationship is moving into a new phase.  Whether it be a physical sign (kissing) or a mental sign (having a drawer at the partners home), one can figure this out if one wants to see it.  So what are the signs that someone is becoming a friend?  Does the tone of the conversation change?  Does the level of sharing change?  How do we know?  These are questions that have been perplexing me lately.

I started doing some research on the topic and there seems to be a consensus of four levels:

1. Acquaintance;
2. Casual Friend;
3. Close Friend; and
4. Best Friend.

What is not consensus is how each level is defined.  Further, how does one know when someone has achieved best friend or close friend status is nary discussed.  I thought this would be a subject with thousands of academic articles but to no avail.  Lots on how to make friends, plenty on defining friends but little on the progression of friendship.  So I pose the question to you.  

How do you know when a friend has reached a different status in your life?  How do you know when to promote a friend into a higher status or perhaps demote them to a lower one?  Is this a conscious decision or is it really just 'something that happens.'  Let me know what you think.

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