In a book, the question was asked:
“Why wasn’t friendship as good as a relationship? Why wasn’t it even better? It was two people who remained together, day after day, bound not by sex or physical attraction or money or children or property, but only by the shared agreement to keep going, the mutual dedication to a union that could never be codified.”
To me, being further advanced in life, I now have the benefits of life-long friendships. It has become clear that we are best defined by our friends. I have chosen my friends as much as they have chosen me.
I have relived in my head the moments when I first encountered these friends and why it clicked! Often, it was just pure hazard and yes, I gained some benefit during that first encounter: laughed, learned, played, dreamed, shared the moment, trusted. That is not unusual. But what I really find magical is how gradually the friendship developed. We advanced a little bit more in the same directions (play, share, laugh, etc.) and gradually ventured into more and more common, trusted territories. It is a little bit like the first approach proves we have some receptors in common, and then, we find we have more to exchange and we keep advancing.