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友達でいたいと考えた。

What do you guys make of this でいたい structure?

I have never come across it before.

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    Hi! Welcome to JLSE. Please avoid giving your question vague titles. The title should give users an idea of what the question is about before they click it. – Flaw Mar 10 '16 at 9:18
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Maybe you will understand it better split up: 友達 + + いたい

Now いたい is referring to 居たい, which you could interpret as meaning to exist. So, a rough translation would be Want to exist (居たい) + as (で) + friend (友達).

A better translation while also adding the と考えた part would be:

I thought about staying as friends.

I could see someone saying this after they break up with their partner and they thought about still hanging out with them, but just as friends instead of lovers.

The で居たい form is pretty common though so I would recommend remembering it.

For example,

いつも笑顔でいたい ⇒ I always want to stay smiling

私は独身でいたい ⇒ I always want to stay single

I would add the always in English because when using 居たい it does not refer to a temporary thing.

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