Being a close friend takes more commitment than being a buddy-buddy type friend because you are posing a personal interest in that individual— rather than just spending time with them. It is different than an acquaintance because you take the time to know them and not just know about them.
My mother told me that close friends are extremely rare. At the time I knew that this was true— but never quite understood why. There is a give and take in close friends that makes them what they are, so understanding that give and take helps to know why they are so rare.
Being "close" to me means that you actually know the person you are with. You know a lot of things about the person on a personal level, and you know the broad range of the person through their Name, Occupation, Health, and Feelings. Not only do you know them, you really "get" them. There is a spiritual connectedness that you don't see in any other type of friendship. You bend over backwards to help that person and know just what to say to make them feel better when they are down. With real close friends, they are the ones who are looking in when you are stuck in a hole and can't get out. They are the ones who allow you to be close and can be close to you as well. This sense of mutualness is important when considering who your close friends are.
There is the concept of personal space— where if people get "too close", they have invaded your personal space and you feel uncomfortable. This is true not only physically (don't stand so close to me)— but also spiritually as well.
How often do we find that someone seems to be "too personal". I had a friend who confessed to me that they don't always like to feel "smothered" by others. Sometimes I tend to be serious when it comes to being friends with people. This in itself can be a bit smothering, and may put off people that I consider to be close friends with. If you are close but they are not— then the relationship is unrequited and unbalanced. Having a close friend that can be close to you— and also allow you to be close makes for a well balanced friendship that overcomes any challenges that may befall either of you.
What about you… Do you have a close friend? Do you even think that close friends are necessary? Do you find others invading your personal space and "smothering" you when you don't want them to? Is there someone that you would give yourself whole-heartedly to when you find they are in need?