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10 Things “Sex and the City” Taught Us About Relationships

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Elon chapter.

Admit it. At some point in our lives (or in my case, every day), we’ve all wanted to live vicariously through Carrie Bradshaw. “Sex and the City” has changed the way I look at relationships forever. There was scandal, there was cheating, there was love and there was, well, the relationships Samantha embarked on. Every stage of a relationship was portrayed through this show, and every bad aspect of a relationship was strikingly made eminent. Whether Carrie Bradshaw and friends were trying to make us believe in true love, or believe that true love doesn’t exist, they always said it in a creative way that truly makes us think. While they’ve taught us a lot about what NOT to do in a relationship, they’ve also given us ideas for exactly what we SHOULD do.


Remember who you are. Samantha Jones once said, “I love you, but I love me more.” When you’re in a relationship, you can feel like the other person is consuming your life. You want their love to be consuming, not every single aspect of their life and personality. Stay true to yourself like Samantha did because otherwise, you’ll slowly start forgetting who you are and what you value, and it’s going to be an emotional road trying to get back to yourself that just isn’t worth the calories (Cookout binges are real).


Find someone who loves you for you, and doesn’t care to change you. Even someone as perfect as Carrie Bradshaw says, “I think I’m in love with him and I’m terrified he’s gonna leave me ‘cause I’m not perfect.” If he is trying to change you, change him into someone who will stop blowing up your cellphone (which Carrie managed to do oh-so elegantly). Even if you love someone, they should love you back for exactly who you are. Otherwise, who did they even fall in love with in the first place? 

Appreciate the relationship to its fullest. Relationships can be a blessing and a curse, but focus on the blessing. Carrie Bradshaw said, “I’m looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.” All I can say to this is UGH. If you have something that amazing, why even let go of it? Yes, there’s going to be rough patches here and there, but the good memories will always outshine the bad. If you’re one of the luckiest people out there and find this kind of love, appreciate it, and learn from it. You won’t regret a second of it.


Follow your heart. What would a Carrie Bradshaw relationship be like if it weren’t compared to fashion? “A relationship is like couture—if it doesn’t fit perfectly, it’s a disaster.” No one ever said a perfect relationship means that everything is going to go 100% smoothly. A perfect relationship sounds more like a relationship full of happiness, and rough times that are used for future growth. If your relationship is just full of rough times, then is it even a relationship anymore? If it just isn’t making you happy, or something just doesn’t feel right, talk to your guy and figure out what’s best. It’s the only way you’ll be happy again, and when Carrie’s with Big, she proves Audrey Hepburn’s statement that the happiest girls are the prettiest girls.


Remember looks and sex appeal aren’t everything. Hot blooded Miranda Hobbes believed that, “Sexy is what I try to get them to see after I win them over with my personality.” This is a statement every woman should live by. Don’t go after a man simply because he’s hotter than Chuck Bass (not possible, though). You wouldn’t want a guy to want you simply for your looks, either, so give him the same respect. You want to make your man feel like he’s funny, intelligent, charming and all the other good things. Make sure he knows you appreciate him!


Live for the moment. “Sometimes we need to stop analyzing the past, stop planning the future, stop figuring out precisely how we feel, stop deciding exactly what we want and just see what happens.” Carrie helped me realize that we just need to stop trying to overthink every little thing, and stop worrying about the “what if’s” of a relationship. Don’t try to force anything, don’t overanalyze anything and just enjoy every moment you have with the person you love. Relationships require patience and strength, and you’ll be way too cranky and tired from all the overthinking to achieve either of these qualities.


Be faithful. As shocking as it is to say, we all remember Samantha Jones’ actual long-term relationship with gorgeous blonde Smith. “I think I have monogamy. I caught it from you people.” Being faithful in a relationship was one of the best things to happen to her. And when Carrie broke Aidan’s heart because of her affair with Big, she was left begging for him back while he plainly rejected her. Think about it if you were the other person. Being a cheater like Carrie only you leaves you alone and guilty in the end of the relationship. Everyone deserves more than that.

Never give up the people you love. Relationships are TOUGH. They’re never going to be easy, and even then, easy is never fun. Carrie Bradshaw’s undying love for Big echoes in my mind with the words, “Eventually all the pieces fall into place…until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment and know that everything happens for a reason.” It’s a hell of a rollercoaster to be in a relationship, but if you aren’t willing to ride it through the ups and downs, you shouldn’t be in one. Committing to someone means that you’re committing to working through issues maturely so you can learn and grow as a couple. Easier said than done, but it’s necessary.


Be with someone who understands who you are meant to be. A favorite SATC quote of mine is, “Maybe some women weren’t meant to be tamed. Maybe they’re supposed to run wild until they find someone just as wild to run with.” You and your man should encourage either to follow the wildest of dreams, not to hinder one another. Talk about your passions, your aspirations and your pasts. If you’re both equally open with one another about who you want to be, it’ll be easier in the long run because you’ll have an incredible support system.  


NEVER let a relationship become your whole entire world. “But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.” Amen, Carrie Bradshaw, amen. Simply put, don’t forget about your friends whilst in a relationship, and don’t try to keep your guy away from his friends. We all need a little girl and guy time, so trust one another and keep enough space to avoid unhealthy suffocation. Don’t give up your hobbies or events for anyone, and encourage your guy to keep living his life, too. After all, it makes great talk at the dinner table!