From Acquaintance To Best Friend, These Are the 6 Levels of Friendship

two friends walking


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Like romantic relationships, platonic ones don't need to adhere to a set of rules to last a lifetime. By this, we mean: There is no right or wrong way for a friendship to develop from distant acquaintances to best friends for life. Depending on the people and the circumstances, you can meet one day and consider yourselves incredibly close a week later.

One big difference between romance and friendship is that the label matters a little less for the latter. If you've been dating someone exclusively for a few months, being able to call them your significant other may be more important to you than being able to call someone you've been hanging with for the same amount of time your best friend. That said, feeling so close with someone that you consider them to be your best friend is a big deal! Getting there is an even bigger feat.

Keep reading to explore the six levels of friendship development if you're looking to go from dinner buddies to maid of honor with a pal.

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An acquaintance is a casual friend that you don't know very well. Maybe you met them at your friend's birthday party last year and have run into them a few times since. They're someone you'd happily chat with about your favorite local restaurants, but not necessarily someone you'd actually invite out to dinner just yet.

If you both enjoy each other's company enough, maybe you'll both make an effort to push your relationship to the next level and become good friends. The key is to keep your expectations in check.

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You may associate mentors with college internships or your friends' older siblings, but mentors are just people who share their knowledge and experience with you. A mentor can become a friend at some point, especially when both people are more close in age or in similar phases of life.

Let's say you've developed a relationship with someone at your office who's in a totally different department than yours. You may invite them to lunch to ask for professional advice, but you probably wouldn't be socializing with them outside the office.

03 of 06


two friends walking


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The word "friend" means something different to everyone, but in our opinion, a friend is someone you have a personal relationship with. A friend is someone you could run into on the street and it wouldn't be awkward. You can hang out one-on-one and have plenty to talk about.

Going from friends to best friends is totally attainable. However, it will only work if you both put in equal effort to stay in touch and hang out because friends don't necessarily have years of closeness to propel the relationship forward.

Friendships are fluid and constantly changing, so it's not unusual to see them go through periods you feel feel super close to each other, struggle, drift apart, and get back together. Remember, no two friendships are the same. 

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Internet Friend

Internet friends, or people that you know solely through the internet, can enhance your life in many ways. Internet friends are great, but they cannot replace one-on-one interaction with a real-life friend.

Here is an example of an Internet friend: You met someone in passing and decided to follow each other on Instagram. You'll always like and comment on each other's photos, but that's pretty much the extent of your friendship.

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Good Friend

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A good friend is someone you would consider part of your inner circle. These are people who know the most about your life and have likely been through a few ups and downs with you. Good friends are generally those you see and talk to the most often.

In our opinion, a good friend can be someone you've known for years or someone you just met and have spent a lot of consecutive time with. Like we said, there are no rules when it comes to relationships.

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Best Friend

This is the person you call when you're excited, hurt, or just want to chat. Best friends feel like family in every sense. A best friend is someone you trust with your life (although, it shouldn't really come to that), you can hang out with all the time and not get sick of them, or get in arguments with them and make up a few minutes later.

Generally, your best friends tell you how much they love you in subtle ways: healthy arguments, unconditional honest, and lots of trust.

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