Last update: April 23, 2022
“I love that you're cold when it's 25 degrees outside. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love the little wrinkle that forms on your nose when you look at me like I'm crazy. I love that after spending a day with you, I can still smell your scent on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before falling asleep at night. It's not that I'm lonely, and it doesn't have to do with the fact that it's New Year's Eve.
I came here tonight because when do you realize that you want to spend the rest of your life with one person, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible".
It is perhaps one of the most beautiful declarations of love ever, uttered by Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) to his best friend Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) in the movie "When Harry Met Sally".
When there is a relationship of friendship between man and woman, we tend to believe that they exist only two possible endings: a great love story or, if the spark does not go off, an impossible love.
However, following a research conducted by the American psychologist Heidi Reeder, about a hundred men and women were interviewed in about how they felt for their best friend. After analyzing the results, the psychologist came to the conclusions that we will present to you today.
There are 4 different types of attraction between friends
- The attraction of friendship it is the most common; it is the attraction we feel towards a person whose company is pleasant to us.
- The romantic attraction it is the least common in friendship, although most people have experienced it at least once in their life, especially in the initial phase of the friendship relationship. It is about the desire to change the friendship relationship with a real couple relationship.
- The subjective physical or sexual attraction. A third of the interviewees confessed to having felt it towards their best friend; it deals with of the desire for sex to become part of the friendship relationship.
- Objective physical or sexual attraction. More than half of the study participants tried it; consists in thinking that the friend is objectively attractive, but no attraction is experienced on a personal level.
Given the results, it is clear that friendship and love are intense and very close feelings. For this reason, it is easy to think that the leap from the first to the second is possible and simple. Nevertheless, there is the fear of revealing an attraction towards the other, especially for fear of rejection or the loss of the friendship itself.
This research, however, tells us that true friendship also resists that impact.
Lasting friendships and friendships that wither
What is the difference between those who manage to maintain a friendship and those who leave permanently?
The data analyzed showed that the success of a friendship depends on the way you behave first, but especially after, the confession.
Heidi Reeder argues that friendship can be maintained if some suggestions are taken into account and, in particular, if you remain calm.
Encourage friendship, intentionally collaborating for this to work and maintaining the same previous habits, is a fundamental first step for the friendship to continue.
Is very important accept that feelings are not mutual: suffering is caused by the rejection of reality. We must remember that acceptance is not synonymous with resignation, but consists in the release of negative emotions.
In general, strong and lasting friendships have a lot of chances to weather the storm; recent friendships, on the other hand, are more vulnerable. In the friendships that have withstood the impact, there was a greater complicity: these are open relationships, in which we spoke freely about very intimate topics without taboos.
When the passion breaks out
"Sex without love is an empty experience, but of the empty experiences it is one of the best."
Sometimes, si has the need to let off steam with his or her friend, a person who really knows us and who can give a new perspective to our thoughts. And then one night it happens: what seemed to be just a faint flame of friendship flares up in an explosion of passion.
Of the 300 individuals interviewed, the 20% say they have had sex at least once in their life with a friend. 76% acknowledged that that friendship, later, it was fortified.
In these cases, it is possible to re-establish the climate of complicity and friendship that existed before that passion would surprise them. We must remember that, for this to happen, dialogue must be the basis of friendship: it is not good to hide behind trivial excuses, which only make the situation worse.
"It's just sex with friends!" … Are you sure?
Harry and Sally are fictional characters; in real life they would be the exception that proves the rule. The same research just presented highlights a very interesting fact: only a low percentage of respondents came to have a couple relationship with their friend and, among them, 50% had a very stable and lasting relationship.
You are friends? The first thing to do, then, is to be honest with yourself and your friend.