The word friend  is mostly used very loosely.
Its meaning can range from acquaintanceships
(like neighbors we exchange a few words with),
to very close acquaintances that border on true friendship.

Acquaintanceship is not friendship.

Real friendship is a totally different thing:
two-dimensional, balanced ones are another thing again.

A true friend is someone who knows everything about you (and you about
them), and is your friend anyway: truly a case of, “
our friends don’t love us
because of our faults, but in spite of them
”.

While we can’t pick our relatives,
we can pick our friends; yet,
because of their programming,
many people don’t know how to do so, or how to be real.

Friendship is a wonderful, yet mysterious thing....
we find ourselves telling each other the deepest details of our lives...
things we don't even share with our families who raised us...

But what is a friend?
a confidant?
a lover?
a distance email fellow-traveller?
a shoulder to cry on?
an ear to listen?
a mirror of the soul?
a heart to feel? . . .

A friend is all these things...
and more.

A friend is someone who convinces you
that there really is an unlocked door
just waiting for you to open it:
that is Forever Friendship.

No matter where we met....
I call you a friend.

A word so small...
yet so large in feeling...
a word filled with emotion.

It is true great things come in small packages:
once the package of friendship has been opened,
it can never be closed...
it is a constant book always written...
waiting to be read...
and enjoyed

We may have our disagreements...
we may argue...
we may concern one another... but
friendship is a unique bond that lasts through it all....

This description seems so self-evident to most people.
And it is so unthinkingly accepted that most of people never think
of how one-dimensional, and out of balance it actually is.

Yet, if we think about it, when people think “friends”, they automatically  
think of
same gender friendships, because they consider those to be
normal”.

But they are
not the only type.

There are also opposite gender friendships –
- true platonic friendship between a woman and a man –
a two dimensional and balanced form to round the concept out.

These can, and do, happen; they exist.

It takes strong people to maintain them,
because of the societal pressure they encounter.

It comes from being conditioned and told that it is
human nature to have  
only same-gender friends.

This is a fallacy; that “
human nature” they refer to is simply the     
conditioned product of cultural programming.

Yet, it’s what people run into when others find out that you have a close
opposite gender friend.

If they don't say anything directly, you can sense a raised eyebrow and the
silent comment that says, "
Oh, sure, s/he's just saying that, but I know
what's really going on!
"  

They may tell you to your face that they think it's wonderful, but privately
they're more likely thinking, "
Uh-huh. I'll bet that friendship's got
‘benefits’
."

Only people conditioned by a dysfunctional culture believe that you form
friendships only because of what you can get out of them.

They just don’t get it.
Their conditioning,
dogma
and programming won’t let them do so.

It's even worse when one of the friends is dating or married,  or in a
relationship. In most cases, the person you're dating, engaged or married   
to, is going to do their absolute best to break that friendship up and end it.
Generally, they will make an issue of it.

It's almost next to impossible for someone you're involved with romantically,
to accept your opposite gender friend.

That friend will be perceived as a threat.
Your romantic partner simply can't,
or won’t believe it when you say
that it's strictly friendship and nothing more.

No amount of talk will change that in most cases.
They won’t believe it for every reason in the book;
but what it all boils down to
is that they simply don't trust you:
at least not totally.

That’s how deep their programming has gone.  

You and your friend need to be strong, stubborn, and determined enough to
simply ignore all of the attempts to make you break it off.

Having opposite gender friends doesn’t prevent you
from having a romantic relationship with someone.

The close relationship with your other true friends would not end.

It’s because they are two different things.

A mix of both same and opposite gender friends is the most two   
dimensional and balanced form of human connection and friendship.

Good friendships are rare,
and have taken a long time to grow.

Thus they are precious:
a connection between two people
that no-one has a right to resent, envy,
destroy, or work at ending.

In the movie,
The Unsinkable Molly Brown, there’s a song that neatly sums  
up friendship philosophy.

The main character, Molly Brown, sings,
He's My Friend.

It says, "
s/he's my friend and s/he'll stay my friend.
Doesn't matter what the other people say.
S/he's my friend to the bitter end.
Even though the bitter end's a million years away!
"

Someone who wants you to end a friendship with someone,
neither cares about you, nor is your friend.

Those who do that would likely do the same to you –
- drop you when told, or asked to.

They have no conception of either friendship, or loyalty.

Oddly, good friendships often outlast relationships.

If you have an opposite gender friend whom you don’t have to hide from
anyone, you are indeed fortunate in life.

Look around you.
How many real friends do you have?
Ones that you can count on – who are there for you

- not for what they want from you, or with agendas of their own?

If you have even one, regardless of gender, you're blessed beyond measure.

A part of me is put into my friends...
some it is my humour...
some it is my listening ear...
some it is real life experiences...
some it is my romanticism...
but with all, it is friendship.

Friendships forged are a construct stronger than steel;
built as a foundation....

Friendship has
no colour;
no age;
no gender;
no education;
no religion;
no race.

Friendship simply “
is”.

Friendships are:
necessary for life ...
and necessary for love.

Friendships are forever.

* -Opposite Gender Friends  
~Richard Marmo
* ~anon
                               -A Forever Friend
If I could build a mountain
A place to find serenity,
A place to be alone.

I cannot build you a mountain
Or catch you a rainbow fair,
But let me be what I do best,
A friend that’s always there.
~Anon
MorningStar Inspiration from Dawn Cove Abbey
Roadside Assistance On Your Journey Through Life
________________________________________________________________
From the eBook: "One! The Journey hOMe", by Klaas Tuinman MA, © 2007-2017
About Friendships - A Forever Friend . . .
I would go away to another land, and walk a thousand miles
Through the burning sand,

And bathe with you in the stream of life,
when the moon is full

Will you bathe with me, Forever Friend?
(apology to David Allan Coe)