While some imitations of love should have nothing to do with friendship (but often do anyway), sincere, unconditional love should have everything to do with friendship.

When I first make someone's acquaintance I may be charmed by his or her wit, impressed with ideas he or she puts forward, or attracted to his or her overall personality, but it is not until I wish to communicate and start being open and generous that I can get to know him or her on a deeper level. While I feel that this point in a friendship is truly invaluable, I don't think that love can take these benefits away or cheapen the friendship. Once you have taken the time and effort to get to know someone, love can't help but develop. Not lustful love, but unselfish love. I have several dear boyfriends. I would never date any of them and neither would any of them date me, but each knows that I love him dearly, and I know that each loves me. We may not keep in touch that often, but we don't have to--our love is unconditional, without that taking for granted that comes so often with familial relationships.

Love does not ruin a friendship--it makes it real.

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