CMWKFO – Social Penetration Theory (SPT)

Please answer the questions after reviewing the following information:

The film “When Harry Met Sally” is all about peeling the onion; it explores a variety of interpersonal intimacy issues. The following scene comes from the beginning of the movie as the two main characters are embarking on their road trip to New York:

Harry and Sally have just met and are “feeling each other out” to see if they want to continue their relationship once they get to the city. You may want to watch the rest of the scene before pursuing this question:

This discussion question has to do with the meaning of their time together in the car after they have just met. Because of the length of their road trip, Harry and Sally eventually penetrate some important areas of intimacy.


Why do they NOT continue their relationship at this point in the movie? What strikes you about the level of self-awareness of Harry and Sally? Do you think this movie promotes the SPT idea that self-disclosure is what people must do to grow closer in their relationships?

Do men share the same strategies for getting to know other men as friends in the same way women make friends with other women? Why or why not? When does a man know that he has a true friend with another man?

What do you think about the fourth assumption of SPT: Self-disclosure is at the core of relationship development? What other ways could people get closer to each other, if not through self-disclosure?