Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between two or more people. Friendship is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an association. Friendship has been studied in academic fields such as sociology, social psychology, anthropology, and philosophy. Various academic theories of friendship have been proposed, including social exchange theory, equity theory, relational dialectics, and attachment styles.
Although there are many forms of friendship, some of which may vary from place to place, certain characteristics are present in many types of friendship. Such characteristics include affection, sympathy, empathy, honesty, altruism, mutual understanding and compassion, enjoyment of each other's company, trust, and the ability to be oneself, express one's feelings, and make mistakes without fear of judgment from the friend.
Friendship is the most important relationship in the culture of the Race. Among Tosevites, friendship is secondary to family relationships, which neither the Race nor its two subject peoples, the Rabotevs and Hallessi, keep track of. Tosevites also privilege sexual relationships over friendships. As the Race is only sexually active a few weeks out of the year, and undertakes sex with the most casual of attitudes during that time, sexual relationships are extremely unimportant.