Close Vs. Intimate Friends – 5 Big Differences

Close vs. intimate friends is an interesting topic since most people put them in the same category, and if you are not interested in this topic and actively researching, the meaning of intimate friends can be a bit vague.

There are four levels of friendship: acquaintances, casual friends, close friends, and intimate friends

In this article, we will discuss what an intimate friend is, what a close friend is and what are the biggest differences between those two. So we will talk more about the last two, I also have an article about casual vs. close friends.

What is an intimate friend?

An intimate friend is someone you feel at ease with, and you can share almost everything that happens in your life without thinking twice. Also, when it comes to intimate friends, you should be genuinely interested in their life, success, family, and so on.

The words “intimate friend” might be a bit misleading for some but the best way to see them is as academic words for”best friends”. Intimate comes from the fact that you can share with them intimate details from your life, more like very personal stuff.

We talk about best friends more when we are a teenager than when we are adults, but we still have friends that are closer to us than other friends, so having a definition of what type of friend they are might help us.

But knowing what type of friend is hard if you don’t have clear differences between the friendship levels. That’s why in this article, we will list a few differences between close and intimate friends.

What is a close friend?

We consider a close friend someone who we want to hang out with and make an international effort for this to happen. We have a lot of things in common and share some interests but we don’t share every aspect of our life with them as we will share with an intimate friend or our partner/spouse.

close friends

Close friends are the type of friends most adults have, we rarely have intimate friends, and some adults have no intimate”best” friends, but the life partner can substitute those in your life in a healthy relationship.

I will not go into more detail here since you will find some of them in the differences between close and intimate friends that we will discuss next.

5 Differences between close and intimate friends

1. You feel like you can share anything with them.

You can feel at ease with close and intimate friends as well, but there is a difference between them. When you are with an intimate friend, you almost feel like you are only with yourself and your thoughts. You can talk with them about almost every thought that comes to your mind without thinking that they will judge you for what you say.

With a close friend, you will talk about all the things that you will consider important, and that matter to them and you but not all the things, and you don’t feel 100% relaxed when you are with them.

I will give you one example here, when you are with an intimate friend at your home, you feel like cutting your nails in front of them would not be a problem, while when you are with a close friend, you will never do that because you are not as relaxed with them. I know it is not the best example since it can show a lack of respect for the person in front of you, but I hope you get the idea.

2. The first ones to call when you need help or emotional support.

If you need emotional support or any kind of help, intimate friends are the first ones that will come to your mind, and you will call them first without thinking about someone else. Usually, when it comes to emotional support, you will not call your close friends anyway, but if you need help with moving something or things along this line, you will eventually call your close friends if your intimate friends are unavailable.

3. You are emotionally attached to intimate friends

The emotional bond between intimate friends is one of the biggest differences between any type of friend and intimate friend.

When it comes to intimate friends, you care about every aspect of their life. You care for them to have a happy relationship, a good career, to be in shape, and all those things.

You are emotionally attached to what happens to them like a sibling, and the feelings are more intense compared to a close friend.

When it comes to close friends, you care to get along with them, have a nice time when you hang out, and also a bit about their personal life, but you will not get angry if they are doing something you don’t agree with, or you feel they can suffer from, while with an intimate friend you will.

4. You make your plans according to their schedule

If you would want to hang out with more friends, you will first call the intimate friends to see if they are available and then will call the close friends.

It depends on the type of hanging out, if it is your birthday party, it’s obvious that you will not change the day as easy if someone can’t attend it. However, we’ve changed our schedule for our birthday party because one couple couldn’t attend, but we haven’t talked with many other friends before changing our plans. My wife and I celebrate our birthday party at once even if there are about three weeks between us, also this gives us a bit of flexibility when it comes to the day we choose.

5. How often do you hang out with them

When it comes to close friends is usually something like once a month or every other week but not more often than that, while with intimate friends you can hang out with them more frequently.

This can be influenced by the circumstances as well, you can have intimate friends that are in a different city, or you both have a very busy life.

Also, the type of hangouts you can have with your intimate friends differs from close friends. When it comes to close friends, when you hang out with them, it is a bit more formal, like a dinner or at their home, but you stay at the table and chit chat while with intimate friends, you will have no problem inviting them for a casual lunch or a shopping or other things that you would not bother to call a close friend.

Read Also: How Many Friends Are Too Many?


Close friends are the most friends we have, while intimate friends are actually the best friends we can share everything with. An intimate friend is like a brother or a sister that has almost the same age and interests you have. 

I hope this article helped you know what the differences between those to levels of friendship are and what you should expect from each of those types of friends.