I have been examining the relationships that I have in my life now and in the past. I am married, have friends that I trust enough to tell everything to and friends that I don't, have acquaintances, friends that hold a common interest with and I have a facebook account, I have had pen pals and imaginary friends. I looked up the word friend in Wikipedia and the definition that I got is interesting. In my own words, a friend is someone that you enjoy being around and spend time with, someone whom you can trust, have conversations with. I enjoyed reading in Wiki what a soul mate is. The frenemy is funny as well as Boston marriage and fruit flies, fag hag, fag stag? Never heard of those terms.
Friendship is the cooperative and supportive relationship between people. In this sense, the term connotes a relationship which involves mutual knowledge, esteem, affection, and respect along with a degree of rendering service to friends in times of need or crisis. Friends will welcome each other's company and exhibit loyalty towards each other, often to the point of altruism. Their tastes will usually be similar and may converge, and they will share enjoyable activities. They will also engage in mutually helping behavior, such as the exchange of advice and the sharing of hardship. A friend is someone who may often demonstrate reciprocating and reflective behaviors. Yet for some, the practical execution of friendship is little more than the trust that someone will not harm them.
Value that is found in friendships is often the result of a friend demonstrating the following on a consistent basis:
- the tendency to desire what is best for the other
- sympathy and empathy
- honesty, perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth, especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one's counterpart
- mutual understanding
In a comparison of personal relationships, friendship is considered to be closer than association, although there is a range of degrees of intimacy in both friendships and associations. Friendship and association can be thought of as spanning across the same continuum. The study of friendship is included in sociology, social psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and zoology. Various theories of friendship have been proposed, among which are social exchange theory, equity theory, relational dialectics, and attachment styles.
 Types of friendships
Some examples are as follows:
Best friend (or close friend): a person(s) with whom someone shares extremely strong interpersonal ties with as a friend.
Acquaintance: a friend, but sharing of emotional ties isn't present. An example would be a coworker with whom you enjoy eating lunch, but would not look to for emotional support.
Soulmate: the name given to someone who is considered the ultimate, true, and eternal half of the other's soul, in which the two are now and forever meant to be together.
Pen pal: people who have a relationship via postal correspondence. They may or may not have met each other in person and may share either love, friendship, or simply an acquaintance between each other.
Fruit flies, Fag hag (female), or Fag stag (male): denotes a person (usually heterosexual) who forms deep ties or close friendships with gay men. Men (gay or straight) who have lesbian friends have been referred to lezbros or lesbros. The term has often been claimed by these straight members in gay-straight friendships, however some feel that it is deregatory.
Comrade: means "ally", "friend", or "colleague" in a military or (usually) left-wing political connotation. This is the feeling of affinity that draws people together in time of war or when people have a mutual enemy or even a common goal. Friendship can be mistaken for comradeship. Former New York Times war correspondent Chris Hedges wrote:
|“||We feel in wartime comradeship. We confuse this with friendship, with love. There are those, who will insist that the comradeship of war is love — the exotic glow that makes us in war feel as one people, one entity, is real, but this is part of war's intoxication. [...] Friends are predetermined; friendship takes place between men and women who possess an intellectual and emotional affinity for each other. But comradeship – that ecstatic bliss that comes with belonging to the crowd in wartime – is within our reach. We can all have comrades.||”|
As a war ends, or a common enemy recedes, many comrades return to being strangers, who lack friendship and have little in common.
Casual relationship or "Friends with benefits": the sexual or near-sexual and emotional relationship between two people who don't expect or demand to share a formal romantic relationship.
Boston marriage: an American term used in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to denote two women that lived together in the same household independent of male support. Relationships were not necessarily sexual. It was used to quell fears of lesbians after World War I.
Blood brother or blood sister: may refer to people related by birth, or a circle of friends who swear loyalty by mingling the blood of each member together.
Cross-sex friendship is one that is defined by a person having a friend of the opposite sex: a male who has a female friend, or a female who has a male friend. Historically cross-sex friendships have been rare. This is caused by the fact that often men would labor in order to support themselves and their family, while women stayed at home and took care of the housework and children. The lack of contact led to men forming friendships exclusively with their colleagues, and women forming friendships with other stay at home mothers. However, as women attended schools more and as their presence in the workplace increased, the segregated friendship dynamic was altered, and cross-sex friendships began to increase.
Open relationship: a relationship, usually between two people, that agree each partner is free to have sexual intercourse with others outside the relationship. When this agreement is made between a married couple, it's called an open marriage.
Imaginary friend: a non-physical friend created by a child. It may be seen as bad behavior or even taboo (some religious parents even consider their child to be possessed by an evil spirit), but is most commonly regarded as harmless, typical childhood behavior. The friend may or may not be human, and commonly serves a protective purpose.
Spiritual friendship: the Buddhist ideal of kalyana-mitra, that is a relationship between friends with a common interest, though one person may have more knowledge and experience than the other. The relationship is the responsibility of both friends and both bring something to it.
Frenemy: a blend of the words fr(iend) and enemy, the term frenemy refers to someone who pretends to be a friend but actually is an enemy---a proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing in the world of friendships. Most people have encountered a frenemy at one time of another, either at school, at work, or lurking in their neighborhood. The term frenemy was reportedly coined by a sister of author and journalist Jessica Mitford in 1977, and popularized more than twenty years later on the third season of Sex and the City. While most research on friendship and health has focused on the positive relationship between the two, a frenemy is a potential source of irritation and stress. One study by psychologist Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad found that unpredictable love-hate relationships characterized by ambivalence can lead to elevations in blood pressure. In a previous study, the same researcher found that blood pressure is higher around friends for whom they have mixed feelings than it is when they’re around people whom they clearly dislike.
 Friendship and health
The conventional wisdom is that good friendships enhance an individual's sense of happiness and overall well-being. But a number of solid studies support the notion that strong social supports improve woman’s prospects for good health and longevity. Conversely, it has been shown that loneliness and lack of social supports are linked to an increased risk of heart disease, viral infections, and cancer as well as higher mortality rates. Two female researchers have even termed friendship networks a “behavioral vaccine” that protects health and mental health.
While there is an impressive body of research linking friendship and health status, the precise reasons for this connection are still far from clear. Most of the studies are large prospective studies (that follow people over a period of time) and while there may be a correlation between the two variables (friendship and health status), researchers still don’t know if there is a cause-and-effect relationship, e.g. that good friendships actually improve health.
There are a number of theories that attempt to explain the link, including that: 1) Good friends encourage their friends to lead more healthy lifestyles; 2) Good friends encourage their friends to seek help and access services, when needed; 3) Good friend enhance their friend’s coping skills in dealing with illness and other health problems; and/or 4) Good friends actually affect physiological pathways that are protective of health.
See also: Marriage
Love is closely related to friendship in that it involves strong interpersonal ties between two or more people.
In terms of interpersonal relationships, there are two distinct types of love: