Personal Love Between Friends

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“Best friend” is a term that seems to have been invented in the twentieth century, perhaps even in the second half of that century. My parents never used the term “best friend,” but my friends and I did. I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s and I always thought in terms of “best friend” and “other friends.” In my view, my best friend was someone with whom I had a deep and lasting rapport. We felt at ease with each other quickly and no matter how long we were separated we could feel the rapport and ease return after separation, almost as soon as we were reunited. We seemed to be accurate and empathic witnesses for each other. We were always interested in catching up with the other’s life and in finding out what the other’s immediate situation was like.