When Harry Met Sally
Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan starred in a 1989 romantic comedy directed by Rob Reiner and written by Nora Ephron called, “When Harry Met Sally.” The descriptive blurb for the comedy asks, “Can two friends sleep together and still love each other in the morning?” or it could also be posed, “Can a man and a woman be friends, without sex getting in the way?”
Have you watched this movie?
I know that “When Harry Met Sally” is considered a chick flick, but there are so many excellent truths in this movie that I feel it is a winning choice for anyone who takes the time to watch it. In other words, men and women both could learn a thing or two about each other if they watch this movie.
“When Harry Met Sally” is often showing on television and seems to be shown more around a holiday. It aired at least four times last week. I can say that with certainty because I watched it that many times! Yeah, the girl who doesn’t really watch television does really enjoy watching movies and will watch a good movie many times.
Anyway, in one of the verbal exchanges between the two lead characters in “When Harry Met Sally,” his impending divorce and her recent breakup with her boyfriend were the topics. Both characters live in New York City and as you may already know, real estate is a big deal there:
Sally Albright (Meg Ryan): At least I got the apartment.
Harry Burns (Billy Crystal): That’s what everyone says. But, really, what’s so hard about finding an apartment? What you do is look in the obituary section. You see who died, find out where they lived, and tip the doorman. What they could do to make it easier is combine the two. You know, Mr. Kline died yesterday, leaving behind a wife, two children, and a spacious three bedroom apartment with a wood burning fireplace.
At first, the whole scenario is humorous and then it just seems logical, but as I have watched the movie multiple times, the exchange has taken on a different meaning.
The Truth Of A Loving Relationship
When you are in a love relationship, you have to decide what you really want in the relationship. You have to look at the other person and decide if you are in love with the person or if you are in love with who the person can become…which in essence means you are in love with a dream person that doesn’t exist.
Women need to especially think about that last statement.
Are you willing to take the risk and bank on the dream becoming reality?
It is also important to know that you will not have to sacrifice your own goals and life in order to be with the person. Are you a maid, a wallet or their partner?
Are you as important to the person as they are to you? Do they spend more time window shopping with the girls or hanging out with the boys than they do contributing to the relationship with you?
Definition of important: having serious meaning or worth : deserving or requiring serious attention
Can you depend on the other person? Can you count on them in good times and bad?
Are they honest with you no matter how painful the truth is or how ashamed they may be for their actions?
Definition of honest: free from fraud or deception : good and truthful : not lying, stealing, or cheating : not hiding the truth about someone or something : not meant to deceive someone
Is your companion proud to be known as your partner or are you hidden like a dirty secret?
Is there respect between you both or are they condescending and demean you?
Definition of respect: a feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important, serious, etc. and treated in an appropriate way : high or special regard
Do you both have the same mentality when it relates to finances, family, sex and future goals? That simply means things like: Do you believe in working hard and saving money? Do you believe the other person should work and you should just reap the benefits of their labor? Do you want children? What kind of interaction do you want with family and extended family? Do you like holding hands, hugging, kissing and having sex or is that the stuff you only do when you’re a young adult with raging hormones? Do you believe physical contact is important in the relationship? Are you working towards buying a home, having your own business, retiring at 50, or traveling the country in an RV motor home?
Does your companion enjoy talking to you? Can you share experiences or discuss problems with ease? Are the lines of communication open at all times or do they break down into a screaming, cussing crazy person the moment they don’t like something you say because they feel guilty?
Definition of communication: the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., to someone else
Are they willing to be the shoulder you cry on and comfort you when you need a loving hug?
Will you be cherished?
Definition of cherish: to hold dear : feel or show affection for : to feel or show great love for : protect and care for someone lovingly.
Are they faithful and loyal to you or do they have intimate relationships, conversations or rendezvouses with someone else?
Do you both feel that each other is your solid foundation of love? When you roll over in the morning are they the person you want to see laying next to you? Do they know how much you love them and can you feel their love for you?
Definition of love: a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person : attraction that includes sexual desire : the strong affection and tenderness felt by people who have a romantic relationship
At Least I Got The Apartment
When two people fall in love, they hope it will last. I believe that selfishness is the basic emotion that destroys all loving relationships. If a couple enters into the relationship unselfishly, it can last forever.
Definition of unselfish: having or showing more concern for other people/another person than for yourself : not selfish : willing to put the needs or wishes of others before one’s own : generous or altruistic : disregarding your own advantages and welfare over those of others
Since you can’t control the emotions or actions of another person, you go into a committed relationship trusting and somewhat blind. As the relationship grows and time passes, the rose colored glasses come off and you either fall more in love with them or their true character drives you away.
What happens when you fall in love with someone and then find out that most of what they told you was a lie? What if they don’t honor, respect, cherish and love you back unselfishly?
When you love someone, you love them. Love isn’t different if you are dating someone or are married to them. The emotion of love is the same feeling. Love is that beautiful warmth that hugs your heart so hard that it almost hurts and makes every nerve ending come alive with feelings that range from protection and nurturing to passion.
Even if you only admit it to yourself, deep down you know that there is no consolation or great reward received when a loving relationship ends. The longer you are together, the more experiences you’ve shared and more stuff you own together. The memories and possessions are what causes many people to try harder at fixing their broken relationship. However, if selfishness has reared its ugly head, a new path forward and reconciliation will be impossible. Both people have to be willing to lay down and forsake the past in order to move forward into a happier future.
Sally’s “At least I got the apartment” statement didn’t really express her true feelings. The apartment was not a consolation for the pain she carried in her heart which she expressed to Harry one night through sobbing tears.
Sally: He just called me up ‘wanted to see how you were’, fine. ‘How are you?’, fine. His secretary’s on vacation, everything’s all backed up and he’s got a big case to do, blah blah blah. And I’m sitting on the phone I’m thinking, I’m over him, I really am over him. I can’t believe that I’d ever be remotely interested in any of that. And then he said I have some news. She works in his office, she’s a paralegal, her name is Kimberley. He just met her. She’s suppose to be his transitional person, she’s not suppose to be the one. All this time I’ve been saying that he didn’t want to get married, but the truth is, he didn’t want to marry me. He didn’t love me.
Harry: If you could take him back right now, would you?
Sally: No, but why didn’t he want to marry me? What’s the matter with me?
So often we end up thinking that something HAS to be the matter with us that causes the other person not to love us. This is a terrible mind trap and will only make you feel worse, so don’t do it.
Unrequited love. There is no denying the utter pain you feel when the one you want doesn’t want you back. Rejection is a hard pill to swallow, however, it is even worse if they don’t admit their lack of love and just go through the motions of pretending to be in love with you. A forced, fake or pretended emotion of love is not real love and doesn’t feel anything like real love.
If the person isn’t that “into” you, it is obvious. There are not any gentle kisses, entwined fingers, warm hugs, soft caresses, romantic candlelight dinners, silly conversations, etc. Even if the person no longer talks to you or sees you, getting “over” them will take time, so be gentle with yourself. Just because they didn’t love you doesn’t mean your love wasn’t real.
When you are together, but they don’t love you back, their distance and separateness causes confusion, loneliness and gut wrenching sadness. This is the scenario when you have to decide if it is time to toss in the towel and give up on the relationship or if it is worth your time to wait it out a little bit longer. The cost could be high for waiting in this type of relationship because you will suffer more pain and a happy ending is not guaranteed. This choice involves risk. Are you a risk taker?
Is falling in love really worth the risk?
I do not believe it is “better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” as Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote in a poem “In Memoriam to Arthur Henry Hallam.” The pain and cost of losing love that I actually had or love that I thought I had, has been too much for me. Being naive and tender hearted is not a good combination.
Getting to keep the apartment, house, summer home or cottage will never dull the ache of loss in a broken heart. Nothing can soothe the pain of a lost love and only time will allow the heart to scar over enough so that it doesn’t ache so badly.
After watching “When Harry Met Sally” at least fifty times, I’ve had several bold truths about relationships hit me like a chair in the face. Whether or not I will be able to enjoy a lasting relationship where we both incorporate that acquired knowledge is yet to be seen.
Even if your significant other says that they love you and want you in their future in spite of their actions, if you don’t feel the love, then you get to the point where you have to ask yourself, “Is it going to be water under the bridge or did the dam break?” I think your answer will be determined by their actions after they admit how badly they screwed up and hurt you. Either they are going to give up the old actions/people and treat you right or they will hang onto the old actions/people until they lose you.
Harry: Well how about this way. I love that you get cold when it’s seventy one degrees out, I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich, I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts, I love that after I spend a day with you I can still smell your perfume on my clothes and I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Years Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of the life to start as soon as possible.
I love a movie with a happy ending.
I love a real relationship with a happy ending even more.