'Just as we can't fully explain what is beautiful, so we can't fully explain why we are friends with someone in a way that will make the grounds of our attraction obvious to another - and even to ourselves. Our efforts always leave something out. And it is what is always left out that we try to gesture toward when we say that it is not something about our friends that we love but our friends themselves. But the self that we love is always just one one step behind whatever we can actually articulate. And so we are faced with a choice between saying something that seems informative but is never enough of an explanation ("loyal, practical, unworldly and so on") and saying something else that seems like an explanation but is completely uninformative ("the individual, in the uniqueness and integrity of his or her individuality").'
Alexander Nehamas, On Friendship, p.131.