While sitting on my dock the other day, I came to realize that I've been very fortunate in my assortment of acquaintances and friends in Second Life.
My friends list has always been short - I don't believe in adding every random request that comes along. I'll gladly give you my calling card, but you have to earn a spot on my friends list - or at the very least show potential as friend materiel. "Would you be my friend" coming from an unknown avi half a sim away is probably just not the kind of person I want as a friend.
Sometimes, though, I'll take a chance on someone who's near enough to interact with. And sometimes..... that turns out to be the best thing I could have done.
One gentleman (really!) I met at the landing stage for Hard Alley. He was looking for someone to RP with. I told him I was busy, but that I'd keep in touch. I added him on impulse, and I'm glad I did - he's become a good friend.
Another good friend was sitting at the Hard Core one night, watching the strippers, and played to my character a little bit. We exchanged friendship, and now he's one of my best friends in SL - we don't have much of a 'physical' relationship, but we can talk about almost anything.
Other friends were slower in arriving. I'd known them for quite a while before exchanging friendship.
One request caught me completly by surprise, but it's turned out well. Two others were almost certainly long overdue, but I had no hesitation in either accepting or offering when the time came. I'm hoping that both of them will be my friends for a very long time, and if our friendship develops into something more, I'm good with that.
In short, everyone on my friends list is just that - a friend.
And I wouldn't have it any other way