Crossing over from friends to lovers...

When Harry met Sally-

Probably one of the quintessential relationship movies of our time. Why? Because it gives us ultimate hope that best friends can actually end up together and get married. When I think back on that movie I wonder to myself- was it that Harry and Sally were such the perfect couple or was it a case of being lonely at the holidays and turning to your best friend. I know reducing the theme of the movie to a timing issue takes all the romance out of it, but I need to ask the question. Is it possible, probable even that they both just woke up on that one morning and realized that they couldn’t be without each other? Absolutely. But as we approach New Year’s 2005 most of us can relate to the other possibility that perhaps their feelings of loneliness that the holiday season brings were so strong that they just went for it because the timing was right. Perhaps Harry and Sally were just feeling what a lot of us feel in December, alone, sad and desirous of sharing the holiday season with someone, or at very least, desirous of kissing someone on New Years.

For those of you who have forgotten the specifics of the movie---

Harry and Sally hated each other at first glance. She was a bookish, high maintenance, pain in the ass kind of girl; very proper when it came to dating and she took her salad dressing on the side. Harry, on the other hand, was a dog of a guy, he slept with random women, whispered sweet nothings in their ears if it meant scoring a date or a love making session and did everything on the fly. There could not have been two more opposite people. But then they find themselves sharing a cross country drive and of course, the close proximity to each other in the automobile makes each one of them warm up to the other. They arrive at their destination and say goodbye and good luck.

Some time goes by and they run into each other, feel that feeling of “it’s so great to see and catch up with an old friend” and determine that they should become best friends. So starts a series of, “let’s watch an old movie in our pajamas, let’s grab Chinese food on Sunday night, let’s be each other’s backup date for annoying obligatory functions and let’s set each other up with each other’s best friend”. Well, as a proper romance movie goes- when they set each other up with each other’s best friend, of course, Harry and Sally themselves are connecting better with each other than their friends are connecting with them, And , Harry and Sally are “completely clueless” to this. And of course, their friends fall in love and get married, all the while hoping that Harry and Sally will wake up, smell the coffee realize they are in love and then the two couples can head off into “our kids are best friends and we go on every vacation together” land.

As the movie continues, Harry and Sally remain oblivious, however they both begin to hate on site anyone that the other dates, and chalking that dislike up to thinking that such person is not good enough for their best friend. Unrecognized jealousy continues to flair up and in a pivotal crying scene where Sally has been broken up with and is convinced that she will be alone forever, the kiss between the two ensues and they wind up in bed, finally!

Then starts the normal relationship banter and discord because as the producers never let us forget, Harry and Sally are really polar opposites. Eventually they break up, maybe out of fear, maybe out of dislike, it’s unclear. But we as viewers know that there are still feelings there. And then the crescendo comes on New years eve when each one is alone, feeling particularly suicidal, that they get back together and decide to live happily ever after. End of movie.

Yes, very romantic, very feel good, very ‘we all want that to happen with our best opposite sex friend who knows us so well already and who has already seen us with Clearasil on our face”. But how often does the friend to lover conversion really work? We all want it to work, but does it?

If you are looking to make that conversion here are some words of advice….

Do go for it during the holiday season, meaning right now- people are most vulnerable right now, looking to be with someone right now and looking not to be alone.

If you can’t do it right now, second best time, in January. It’s a New Year, people are looking to try new things, people remember that they were alone and sad on New Year’s Eve and in most parts of the country, people are friggin freezing and would love someone to cuddle with.

Do just go for it; don’t do the whole big discussion thing. If you guys talk about it, and analyze it, you will talk yourselves out of it. Just go for it, and discuss later. Trust me.

Have a plan of how you are going to go for it. Make sure liquor is in the mix- liquor will give you the courage you need. You might think you are ready to cross the line but in that one moment when its time to do it, you will feel chicken, the booze will help.

Make sure that on the night that you plan to cross the line, that there is no talk of other men or women, no talk of ex’s. Definitely play up the two of yours connection, do something that the two of you really enjoy doing together. Set the mood.

Make sure you look good when you are going for it. Not too good where the other person will notice and wonder why, but good enough that when they come up from that first kiss they will see someone who looks really pretty.

Be prepared to go for it on a whim as well. Even the best laid plans can sometimes backfire. If you see your opportunity, and it feels right, abort plan and go for it, this might be your chance.

Be prepared for rejection- he or she might say no, he or she might not be having those cross over feelings like you have. This is another reason why having alcohol in the mix is good. This way, if the plan backfires, you can blame it all on your inebriated state.

Don’t not go for it because you are afraid it will ruin the friendship. Keep in mind that statistically more than 70% of guy/girl friendships are curtailed and expunged from reality as soon as the guy marries another woman, Women are very territorial. Once they get the ring, they tend to clean house of platonic opposite sex friends. So keep in mind that your days in his or her life might be numbered, so why not see what happens.

It worked for Harry and Sally after all!