I call friendly people with whom I have interacted with, in person or online, as friends. Pretty loose indeed. When a friend and I get to know each other well, I call him/her a close friend. When friendship lasts over a long time, I call him/her an old friend. Regardless of depth or time, I call friends with admirable soul, good friends.
Friends whom I know very well, had known for decades, and have good souls are called my best friends. I have very few best friends but among them there are those who will give their life for me and me likewise. I call them true friends. I have two true friends.
Regardless of all this, I tend to be liberal with my advices to my friends and conservative with questions. My advices are, often enough, full of sh*t. It's not that they aren't good advices. It's just that what works for me often doesn't work for others.
Still, I dislike being told that I am full of sh*t when all I am doing is trying to share. There are some I-know-more-than-you going on, but not enough to sour the main intent or instinct behind the offering of advice. To me, it's like a common reaction people have when they taste something great or awful: try this! That is all.
My intention with this post is not to disagree with Dave nor tell him that he should change his definition of friendship and how he deals with his friends. My intention is to show that words are containers into which each of us put our own meanings into them and that what we pour out of those containers to others may not be what they are tasting.
What do you mean my beer taste like piss? That's my son's peepee jar!