What is friendship? Is it hanging out together? It is laughing together? Is it crying together? Or is it more (or less)? What constitutes a true friendship?
In my book a friend is someone that you like, that likes you. But it is more than simple affection (or at least for a good friend it is). There is a level of woven tapestry of your lives so that when a thread leaves the pattern, the pattern feels incomplete and empty. There is trust, respect, understanding, involvement, and communication. With some friends, they may not see each other frequently but they are comfortable with each other both in talking and in silence. Things will just grow out of the silences. They can be companionably silent or they can talk with ease.
Respect is a large part of it. If you do not respect someone, it is difficult to be a true friend to them. And part of your friendship will be the showing of respect. I don't mean that you have to agree with everything that someone believes in, that isn't respect, that is propaganda. Respect is knowing, deep down in your soul, that the other person has intrinsic value of their own, not just as a generic person but as that specific person. Respect is acknowledging that while you may agree to disagree, that the things you disagree on have merit for each person. If one person is Pro-Life and one person is Pro-Choice; if they respect each other they may debate the merits of each side and present arguments for their beliefs without denigrating each other. They will acknowledge that while they may not agree with the relative merit of the arguments that the arguments have a basis for the other person and that the opinion of the other person is a valid opinion, even if it doesn't match what is 'right'.
Camaraderie is a wonderful thing, but in a true friendship it has depth behind it. A sharing of life and life experiences. A willingness to be open and honest without being cruel. A willingness to accept the honesty of each other without lashing out. A willingness to be there for the other and to be true to the other and to the other's needs.
If you cannot (or will not) share thoughts/ideas with someone unless pushed, calling that a Friendship seems to demean the term Friend. You may be Friendly acquaintances; but not true friends. If you assume the worst about someone without talking to them to get their side of the story, that isn't friendship, that is being a social lemming.
Friends do sometimes drift apart and the pain of the death of what was (and what could have been with honesty, openness, and commitment) is as painful in its own way as the death of a loving relationship. Love, TRUE LOVE, is based on friendship (and should grow from it) so it stands to reason that a friendship will feel like a little love.
A marriage should be based on a solid Friendship as I write here