90% of people we meet in our life will not be fit to be our friends.
Vice versa will also apply. That means, we may not be fit to be a friend of the persons we meet in our life.
These persons, whom we meet, may be called acquaintances. We can find four levels of our interactions with people.
1. Simple Knowledge only: We know the persons very superficially. Our encounter and meeting with them may be on some purpose as business. They are like co-travellers on a short journey.
2.Acquaintance: This is level 2, a promotion from superficial knowledge. We know some of the qualities of the person, because we have already undertaken a few transactions (not necessarily money) with them and by and large they are satisfactory. Yet these experiences are not sufficient for friendship.
Some quotes/usages of the word acquaintance:
"I have trouble remembering the names of all my acquaintances."
"Our admiration of a famous man lessens upon our nearer acquaintance with him. --Addison."
3.Friendship: Acquaintance over several years, and several transactions (not necessarily money) may lead to true friendship. We know the true strengths and weaknesses of our friends and learn to adore their strengths and start ignoring their weaknesses. Intimacy will start to develop.
"It is in our power to confine our friendships and intimacies to men of virtue. -- Rogers.
4. Intimacy : Friendship may mature into intimacy. We start exchanging secrets. No privacy between the intimates. Intimacy need not necessarily be sexual.
A couple can be just knowers. Can just be acquaintances. Can just be friends. Can be true intimates. Depends on the interpersonal relationship level which marriage takes them to.