It feels like, to me, that friendships are the buffer between the cold, harsh, frightening world and our safe inner sanctity. Therefore friendships are the utmost of relationships. The commitments made in friendships may be verbalized or sensed, but seldom written down as a contract. Either way, they are just as much real as a paper contract. Yes - a ketubah can be a thing of beauty. But so can a get.
Ah, but the freedom to not be in a marriage is actually an illusion. As far as how far my loyalty goes, how deep does my individual psyche interact with my perceived qualities of friendships? To go is sometimes just as difficult as to be contracted to stay. Impossible at times. But the most important requisite to my friendships is being able to feel like I am in a safe harbor.
And what of unconditional love in friendship? It's not supposed to exist, I thought. That's only for families. But sometimes I find that my feelings which manifest in the love that I feel in friendship gives way to that. Whether one-sided or not, it still exists in the mind.
So what do you think are the rules of real friendship? To me, the phrase "Lower Your Expectations" is negative and disastrous to the soul. Don't lower your expectations, just be the kind of friend that you want someone to be to you.
Oh, and don't forget to be your own best friend first.