This is a contribution to the October 2021 edition of the Carnival of Aros, whose topic is friendship.
Friendship may develop from different contexts, like acquaintanceship, common-interest association, or social attraction. Anyway, regardless of its origin, friendship is an unlimited format which may grow as close as desired by the involved friends, at least in principle.
However, in practice, there is a glass ceiling on friendship, be it external (imposed from society) or internal (self-imposed by the person), that limits it in different ways. One of these ways is prioritizing other relationships regarded higher in hierarchy, like romantic relationships. Another way is self-limiting the closeness of friendship for deeming it inappropriate between «just friends.» And the last kind that comes to my mind is «solving» the «just friends» issue by migrating to another format of relationship when the desired format was still a friendship. There are probably more ways in which friendship is limited against its nature, but I think they are enough.
I am an aromantic person and consider the format of friendship the most intimate format of relationship I desire, and I don’t see it limited because I can see through the glass ceiling. I have even broken it once with a queerplatonic relationship, which was labeled as friendship while it lasted. We acknowledged our respective squishes, but we called each other «my best friend.»
So, is a queerplatonic relationship a kind of friendship. In my opinion it can be without contradiction and it’s still a friendship unless the partners decide otherwise. The problem is that there are as many concepts of friendship as people, and incompatible in key points, but we should seize what is common for two potential friends and exploit this common terrain to develop their friendship as far as they agree.