Friendship in Germany--how contract-natured is it?

Mars Man

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This has been an area of interest for me, to a degree, since I first heard of it from my cousin who has lived and worked in Germany for some 5~6 years. The nature of the arrangement of making true, buddy-buddy friendships in Germany.

According to him, and to the reflections of one assistant teacher who used to work part-time at the uni here, to become a close friend with another, some type of verbal (orally usually?) agreement is made.

Also, I reall my cousin having said that one usually has only two or three such friends at the most. He had complained about how one lady had turned down an invitation to a party he had arranged, due to, according to her, the improperness of his having invited someone (herself) without having the proper 'friendship relation'--for lack of correct words.

For those who are of German nationality, or have lived there for a long while, I would like to know more about this, and hear your experiences and thoughts. To me, it seems quite unnatural, based simply on the way natural bonding patterns seem to work; but of course, it could just be a lack of insight on my part. :?

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