When Harry met Sally

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…did he realise that their quirky love story would be used as the main example of what it means to have a platonic relationship? Probably not, considering that he was a fictional character…

I’m sure the writers and producers did not anticipate that this film would be ingrained in pop culture history as the go-to movie for all those seeking the answer to that age old question; Can you really have a purely platonic relationship without any funny business?

One lonely Sunday afternoon, in the middle of my usual channel surfing and Sunday can of Pringles, I stumbled onto a Hilary Duff movie. Since I was home alone, and free from the judgemental eyes of others, I decided to bask in the glory that is Hilary Duff’s terrible acting. Who am I kidding, I loved Lizzie Mcguire. Seriously, that show got me through most of my teenage years. Well I was like, in my late teens, but hey, it was still inspirational!

I can’t really recall what the film was about. I may have blocked it from my memory because it was pretty damn terrible. All I remember is that Amanda from Melrose Place played Hilary’s mother, and apparently she had a hard time finding a man. Heather Locklear having a hard time finding a date!? She went out with a Bon Jovi, fah cryin’ out loud!!

Despite this memory loss, one line in the film resonates in me. “Love is friendship on fire”. My word! How true these words were! Lizzie friggin’ Mcguire, you’ve done it again! I felt like someone smacked me over the head with an epiphany bucket, and I could see clearly again!

“Love is friendship on fire”. It makes so much sense! From what Hollywood has taught me I’ve seen in most relationships, the main pillar which makes this works is friendship. Couples start as acquaintances, then mates, then good friends, maybe even great friends. Then BAM! Relationship status on Facebook.

In most cases, if I was friends with this newly developed couple before they became, well, developed, I could usually see what was going to happen from a bajillion miles away. Then when the news becomes public, I feign the whole, “Ah mah gahd…yay…so happy for you…high-fives for all…” I kid, I’m usually genuinely happy. It’s great seeing two people who have been dancing around each other for several months, finally realise they WANT to dance with each other exclusively. It’s like, guys, seriously, hasn’t The OC taught you anything? Pfft.

So if love is friendship on fire, and all romantic relationships are based on friendship, how can we mere mortals, ever just have a platonic friendship? Speaking solely on behalf of heterosexual males and females in platonic friendships, is it possible to be close/great friends with a person of the opposite sex, without wanting to take things further? Whether its to a relationship level, or purely a sexual level…can guys and gals just be mates without any funny business?

sally

Studies have been conducted on this topic. This is some serious sh*t. Never mind cancer or trivial stuff like that…This year, some smarty-pants Scientists from the University of Wisconsin asked some unsuspecting (I’m exaggerating, they were notified that they would be in an experiment, but didn’t know what about!) volunteers to take part in a study of heterosexual male and female attraction. Male and female participants were asked to bring along a friend of the opposite sex. They were then asked a series of questions, designed to infiltrate their innermost thoughts *insert evil laugh here*. These Scientists went deep into the volunteer’s psyche, and basically found that, despite their claim to the cliche statement of, “oh! *insert friend’s name here*, we’re just friends”, many of the volunteers did indeed have some kind of unresolved, sexual attraction for their so called friend. This was more prevalent in the male volunteers, who all seemed to have some secret desire to hook up with their female bestie. Furthermore, their female bestie seemed to be totally, and utterly oblivious to this truth. If you want to check the article out for yourself, click here!

The experiment, was of course all confidential, and the findings were not revealed to the volunteers. Imagine finding out you have been subconsciously lusting after your friend. How awkward! So these poor men (and a handful of women) collected their experiment $cashola$, took their BFF out for dinner (probably somewhere nice and romantic. “Romantic!? Pfft, no way. This resto had great reviews on Yelp…so yeah…”), and had no idea that they will probably remain the mayor of Friend-zone-ville. You guys know where Friend-zone-ville is, right? It’s the capital city of, It’s-so-great-that-I-have-you-as-a-friend State. The State flag has an image of a guy holding back his BFF’s hair as she pukes, due to a night of binge drinking, after seeing her ex on a date with someone else. State motto, “you poor sucker…”

So science proves that it’s part of our biology to be attracted to the opposite sex (If you’re heterosexual! I repeat!). It’s inevitable…right?

From my observations (meaning my lack of respect for other peoples personal business, because I do have a tendency to just plain out ask, “so…you have a thing for *insert name here*, right? ) this seems to be the case for many people. I have yet seen a close friendship between a heterosexual male and female that hasn’t resulted in some kind of weird, one sided (or luckily, in some cases two sided!) mating ritual.

I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum. “Whaaaat? Gurl you trippin’! Surely not! Both sides? Puhlease! But you so fine!” 😛

Sadly, I was once the Mayor of Friend-zone-ville. 6 years running, actually. At some point in my life, I was the oblivious one, but more so than not, was the person that was pining for something more. The experience of the latter, of course sucks more, but It’s also quite devastating to tell a close friend that you just don’t see them that way. Either way, everyone loses.

So, going back to the original question, are platonic friendships possible? Well YES. Of course they are! In a weird way, it’s cyclical (that’s a word, right? Correct me if I’m wrong!). It all begins with a friendship. If romantic feelings ensue, and it all gets complicated because the feelings are not reciprocated, then most mature adults would weigh up the pros and cons of salvaging that friendship. If it’s too much, then you walk away. However, if the pros outweigh the cons, and after all is said and done, you want to continue to be friends, then to me, that is the measure of a true platonic friendship.

Of course, there is the period which I call, “the crazy, angry, passive aggressive black hole”. But when you finally make it out of your hate cave, and wade through the multiple tubs of ice cream you’ve consumed, and push aside the iPod full of Adele songs, which you have been singing and weeping to, then you can start appreciating the platonic-ness (definitely made that word up) of your friendship, and just continue being awesome.

Wait, I do know ONE perfect example of a platonic friendship. That would be Dawson Leery and Joey Potter. After a million seasons of “will they, won’t they”, they finally decide that they are better as friends. Best friends! See! It does exist! Even though they do hook up a few times…

So in conlusion, shutup science, you’re not the boss of me!

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