The Friendship Café
Where Best Friends Learn How to Become Great Friends




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The Difference Between Friends and Acquaintances

What is the difference beteen a true friend and an acquaintance? Let's look to the dictionary for guidance:

Typical Dictionary Definition of "friend" 
1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.
2. A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.
3. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.
4. One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group, cause, or movement: friends of the clean air movement.

Typical Dictionary Definition of "acquaintance"
1. Knowledge of a person acquired by a relationship less intimate than friendship.
2. A person whom one knows.

As you can see, the dictionary is not much help insofar as what makes a good friend.

There are differences, however, between friends and acquaintances. "When you are not being true to yourself," stated some wise person, "a mere acquaintance may agree with you, but a real friend will challenge you." This is just one of the many differences beween friends and acquaintances.

Also, there are many fun things to do with friends  whereas the number of fun things to do with acquaintances is limited.

Here are some more differences between best friends and acquaintances:

One’s acquaintances may fill the world, but one’s true friends can be but few.
— Chinese proverb

A companion loves some agreeable qualities which a man may possess, but a friend loves the man himself.
— James Boswell

Let your best be for your friend . . .
— Kahil Gibran

Drunks do not have friends, but accomplices.
— Mason Cooley

There are plenty of acquaintances in the world, but very few real friends.
Chinese Friendship Proverb

Go through your phone book, call people and ask them to drive you to the airport. The ones who will drive you are your true friends. The rest aren't bad people; they're just acquaintances.
— Jay Leno

My mother used to say that there are no strangers, only friends you haven't met yet. She's now in a maximum security twilight home in Australia.
— Dame Edna Everage

If you have one true friend you have more than your share.
— Thomas Fuller

Don't pity the girl with one true friend. Envy her. Pity the girl with just a thousand acquaintances.
— Author Unknown

I may be wrong, but I have never found deserting friends conciliates enemies.
— Margot Asquith

Acquaintance. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
— Ambrose Bierce

What men have called friendship is only a social arrangement, a mutual adjustment of interests, an interchange of services given and received; it is, in sum, simply a business from which those involved propose to derive a steady profit for their own self-love.
— François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613-80), French writer, moralist

It contributes greatly towards a man's moral and intellectual health, to be brought into habits of companionship with individuals unlike himself, who care little for his pursuits, and whose sphere and abilities he must go out of himself to appreciate.
— Nathaniel Hawthorne

I have had, and may have still, a thousand friends, as they are called, in life, who are like one's partners in the waltz of this world — not much remembered when the ball is over.
— Lord Byron

It's important to know the difference between acquaintances and friends. ACQUAINTANCES  ARE  LIKE  MACK TRUCKS — cumbersome, dull, and low maintenance. They lose much of their warmth and appeal soon after you first encounter them. FRIENDS  ARE  LIKE  FERRARIS — sleek, exciting, and high maintenance. Provided you look after them, they keep their warmth and appeal forever.
— from Life's Secret Handbook for Having Great Friends by Ernie Zelinski (best-selling author and creator of many websites such as  Retirement Quotes Cafe.

I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
— Oscar Wilde

Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.
— Oprah Winfrey

You can always tell a real friend: When you make a fool of yourself, he doesn't feel you've done a permanent job. 
— Laurence Peter

A brother is not always a friend, but a friend is always a brother.
 — Unknown wise person

It pays to know who your friends are but it also pays to know you ain't got any friends [just acquaintances].
 — Bob Dylan

Parents [and acquaintances] start you off on life but friends get you through it.
— Dee Chou

It is better to be in chains with friends, than to be in a garden with strangers [or acquaintances].
— Persian proverb

The difficulty is not that great to die for a friend, the hard part is finding a friend worth dying for.
 — Henry Home 

The mere process of growing old together will make the slightest acquaintance seem a bosom friend.
— Logan Pearsall Smith

Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years.
— Richard Bach


If you want to have a more best friends, check out the 101 Ways to Have Great Friends.

COPYRIGHT © 2011 by Ernie J. Zelinski

 All Rights Reserved 


Top-10 List of Best Things Ever Said about Friendship

Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a
— Plautus

Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.
— Sicilian Proverb

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be
stupid with them.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

On the road between homes of friends, grass does not grow.
— Norwegian proverb

If I don't have friends, then I ain't nothing.
— Billie Holiday

Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.
— Samuel Butler 

To be rich in friends — is to be poor in nothing.
— Anon

A mere friend will agree with you, but a real friend will argue.
— Russian Proverb

Make new friends but cherish the old ones.
— H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

A loyal best friend is someone who sticks up for you even when you're not there.
— Anon

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Quantity vs Quality
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Definition of Friendship
Short Friendship Poems
Fun Things to Do with Friends