Six seasons of Sex and the City were full of one-night stands, breakups, and marriages. Watching Carrie Bradshaw, Samantha Jones, Miranda Hobbes, and Charlotte York Goldenblatt navigate their personal lives in New York City was a rollercoaster, to say the very least. Ahead, Grazia is taking a moment to reflect on the ten most important love lessons we learned from the iconic television series.
Lesson 1: He’s Just Not That Into You
Think of how many times we’ve solicited our friends, just like Miranda did with Carrie, Berger, and Charlotte, to agree that there must be some cosmic complication to explain why we’ve been ghosted. “He’s just not that into you,” Berger blurts out. “If we’re into ya, we’re coming upstairs, we’re booking the next date. There are no mixed messages.” Instead of shooting the messenger, Miranda finds his words liberating. Clearly, this brilliant advice made an impact on America — it became a book and then a hit movie!
Lesson 2: Trust Your Gut… Not His Jet
Samantha and Richard are a match made in Mile High Club heaven. But when he says straight out “I like to sleep around,” you can’t fault him when he reverts to his old tricks and strays. Even more destructive to Sam’s confidence than catching him in the act, though, is her paranoia over Richard’s potential philandering in the future. Her gut instincts kick in and remind us that if you have to worry, it isn’t worth it — even with a canary-yellow diamond on your finger. “I love you, Richard, but I love me more” is perhaps Samantha’s most honest and affirming moment.
Lesson 3: Men Are Like Cabs
Miranda illuminates a simplistic, yet often ignored dating truth when she likens guys to taxi drivers: “They wake up one day and they decide they’re ready to settle down, have babies, whatever, and they turn their light on. The next woman they pick up, boom, that’s the one they’ll marry.” When a partner pumps the brakes on meeting your family and planning your shared future, he’s off duty. Better to be back on the market than spin your wheels while the meter’s running.
Lesson 4: A Flawless Diamond Can’t Hide a Flawed Relationship
Carrie’s engagement ring from Aidan is jaw-dropping, but is it enough to say yes to a lifetime together? Fact is, Carrie wants Big. She convinces herself she wants Aidan — despite his mumble kissing and KFC munching — but her desire wanes whenever he pulls closer. No wonder she wears her engagement ring on a chain necklace and breaks out in hives while trying on wedding dresses. Listen to your body, even when your mind says, “He’s the one.” Maybe he isn’t.
Lesson 5: Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover… Especially Under the Covers
It’s only because Charlotte is muddling through a messy divorce that she is open to Harry’s grunting overtures. Miranda lets goofy Steve join her for an all-nighter even though they have little in common. All of these so-called lapse-of-judgment moments eventually lead to marriages. It’s not about lowering standards — it’s about letting our guard down enough to let the unlikely — but perfect — person in.
Lesson 6: Be Proud to Be Complicated
We’re all high maintenance, so what? Thanks to Miranda, Carrie has an epiphany: that the reason Big chooses Natasha is because Carrie is too complicated, like Barbra Streisand’s character in The Way We Were. Sure, it’s schmaltzy when Carrie graciously lets Big go in front of the Plaza after his engagement brunch, but it’s also a reminder not to apologize for our unbridled, fiery, passionate natures. Simple, perfectly composed women are overrated. Men who can’t handle the fabulous can step aside
Lesson 7: MIL Hell Is Real
Trey’s manipulating mom, Bunny, tests Charlotte from the start, from bed shopping to sitting and smoking by his bath (ewww!) to blocking her dreams of adopting. But clever Charlotte finds Bunny’s Achilles’ heel (her pride in keeping up appearances), nibbles away, and soon usurps her as “the lady of the house.” MIL relationships are often dicey, even when you don’t have someone like Bunny banging on your door. Watching Charlotte put Bunny in her place is a playbook for any tortured daughter-in-law.
Lesson 8: Career Competition Isn’t Cute Berger
Oh, jealous Berger. He doesn’t want to be “that guy who’s threatened by her success,” but he is. His fake-supportive face when Carrie shares her fat “advance from France” isn’t cool. Granted, it’s a tough nut to swallow when your partner is outdoing you in your own industry. But if you’re truly in love, that discomfort should be secondary. Career competition also comes Carrie’s way from Aleksandr Petrovsky, when a party in her honor takes a backseat to his art exhibition. Take it from Carrie: It’s worth a big, messy conversation — even a breakup.
Lesson 9: Don’t Point a Finger, Put Out a Hand Lawyer
Miranda is a pro at cross-examining and blaming, particularly Steve. According to her, they shouldn’t date because he’s a one-night random; they shouldn’t have a baby because she carries the financial burden, and he shouldn’t propose because their marriage would be a disaster. But had Miranda stayed firm on her “Hell, no” points, there would be no Steve in her life, no baby Brady — and no kinder, compassionate Miranda. Tuning into your heart, having faith in the unexpected, and finding forgiveness is more important than always being right.
Lesson 10: Girlfriends Are Forever
Samantha says it best: “We made a deal ages ago … men, babies, it doesn’t matter. We’re soul mates.” Being soul mates doesn’t always mean you’re simpatico, but if we’ve learned anything from watching these four women, it does mean working through the tough stuff and being there for each other. As Big tells the girls before flying to Paris to win back Carrie, “You’re the loves of her life, and a guy’s just lucky to come in fourth.” Better believe it, Biggie.