I've never been one to have a lot of close friends at any one time. One or maybe two friends has been about the largest number of friends I've ever been able to sustain at a given point. I'm not talking about the number of non-related people I care about or love, I'm talking about people you connect with on a daily basis, or perhaps several times a day.
There should be names to distinguish types of friends. I'd like to do that: generate a list of friend types. But I'm not sure that my list would be the same as the next person's list. Friendship is what you make of it. And friends can serve in all sorts of unique capacities and learn to serve in still others.
Friends take energy. You get out of the friendship what you put in, though the equation isn't really as equal as all that. Some friendships are selfish. You know you're getting way more than they are getting from you. Some friendships are very altruistic though, and you feel good, knowing that you're more than doing your share. Or there can be a trade-off from time to time, as need be. You need more today: I'm there for you. And vice versa.
But what I'm thinking about is that one or two friends is really enough. If they're the type of devoted friends putting a lot into the mix. You can't really maintain that kind of intensity with a lot of people at the same time. It's a strain, even if it's a pleasant kind of strain. If we only had to work on our friendships, it wouldn't matter. But people are loaded down with a variety of other duties. In today's world, being a friend to someone means sacrificing time in some other life sphere.
I'm talking around the issue now when what I'm really thinking is that when you lose a friend, and you still have one more friend left, it is all too possible to feel a horrible loss. Friends can't substitute for other friends. One friend can't take the place of two. Every friend has something you need.
Losing a friend is a lot like a death. Feelings come out. Feelings that may not seem logical like anger and bitterness, even when the parting is amicable, as for example when one of you moves to a distant location. Because a connection, an intense connection, has been severed, and it hurts. It just does.