In pre-awakened times, friendship, like all relationships existed on a spectrum.
There were those that were closer and those more distant.
An acquaintance, being the most distant, was someone that you shared little more with than a knowing of names, maybe occupation, and had somewhat regular visual contact with.
As the distance decreases, at some point we start calling it friendship.
It may be that this point is when personal sharing occurs.
'personal' is a whole rabbit hole of its' own.
Since awakening, it has been impossible to take anything personally. For a start, there is only a story of I or Me or self, so there is no-one to take anything personally.
Then there is the recognition that others cannot actually know anything about 'me'.
They can only relate to their story of me,
and who knows how accurate that might be ?
There is no doubt that imagining that the other likes me is also important, and add to this an underlying sharing of attitudes and philosophy and the distance decreases even further.
In close friendships there is a non-judgemental acceptance of the others behaviour and thinking.
Predictability may have a place in the feeling of safety that exists when either interacting or thinking about a friend.
i used to think that it was important that a friend 'knew me'. Knew my likes and dislikes, knew my philosophy on life. Now, my 'best' friend clearly relates to a story of me, and there is complete acceptance that they will never really 'know' me.
Many so-called friendships, like most couples relationships, are actually each others demons feeding of the other.
When you say "friend", there is a softness, a warmth, good humor, connection. It is a heart thing.
When you say "acquaintance", there is a knowledge about that person. It is a mental thing (mostly).
The awakened can see clearly that the relationship with another is, in fact a relationship with a story they hold about the other, and actually is very loosely based on the actual person.
This doesn't preclude friendships as preferences still exist and the organism certainly prefers feeling safe and warm.
...maybe to be continued.