Jennifer Gilby Roberts

Women's Fiction/Chick Lit Author

Going From Friends to Lovers

on May 24, 2014

Part of the TDPP anniversary celebrations.  Posted on Relatively Yours.

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At the end of my book, The Dr Pepper Prophecies, my protagonists decide to let 25 years of friendship develop into a relationship.  (That’s not a spoiler, because it’s chick lit and so it’s a given that the couple will get together at the end.)  It sounds like the perfect position to be in, doesn’t it?  But I don’t think it’s going to be so very straightforward for Mel and Will, or indeed any couple in their situation.  Here are some of the problems I think they’ll face:

No Romance

Mel’s always loved the excitement of the early weeks of dating.  In fact, they’ve often been the only fun bit.  But this time she’s skipped them all together and gone right to the comfortable stage.  Will she feel she’s missed out?

When’s the Wedding?

Well, they already know everything about each other.  And everyone knew they’d get together eventually.  So, why wait?  Mel’s parents are already planning her big day, but she’s not so sure.  It’s not that she doesn’t want to marry Will, it’s just that she’s only 25 and she doesn’t want to do it yet.  Will, meanwhile, is older and doesn’t necessarily feel the same.  Will Mel cave to the pressure?  And, if she does, will she regret it?

Role Play

Mel and Will have had 25 years to settle into roles.  Will is used to occupying something of a “big brother” position in Mel’s life, and Mel hasn’t always appreciated his “guidance.”  Now that he’s her boyfriend, will she still be able to take it?

Balance of Power

In the career stakes, Will is streets ahead.  A qualified accountant, working for a big firm, he has money, prospects and status.  Mel, meanwhile, is still very much in a starter job and has a poor degree and no professional qualifications.  Her traditional upbringing should be a help in accepting this state of affairs, but then Mel has spent much of her life fighting against it.  I fear the career gap between them may start to grate on Mel, especially if they come to combine their finances.

Losing Her Friend

Mel is used to having Will to rant at and support her through her dating disasters.  As he moves into boyfriend role, she’s going to have no one to complain to when they clash.  Can she find a substitute from among her existing friends, or will she feel the loss?  If she does, how will Will feel about being replaced?

What If It Doesn’t Work Out?

The biggest fear: if they decide they can’t live together, will they lose their friendship too?

I have to say writing this guest post has been fantastically useful.  I never realised they would have so many issues to overcome.  I’m obviously going to have to write the sequel!

Can you think of any other issues a new couple with a long friendship behind them might face?  Leave a comment and let me know.

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