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What I Learned From Binge Watching Sex and the City

by Maggie Suszka

New York City has a bug: that city that never sleeps, best slices of pizza (even as a Chicago native), go anywhere-in-the world subway freedom type of bug. So when I settled back into my home in Los Angeles after my weekend away in the Big Apple, I wasn’t ready to let go of the high or be hit with the comedown. So what did I turn to in my desperate times? Sex and The City.

I was lucky enough to learn about the show from my mom. It originally aired in 1998, when I was only two years old, but my first memory of the iconic series is still clear. I remember my mom leaving for the first movie’s premiere, her beautiful blonde hair done and her tight white t-shirt with Sex and the City written across her chest in neon pink glitter letters. After that moment, I was inspired to watch myself and have since then cherished the advice it inadvertently instilled within me.

Admittedly, I’ve watched the show three times completely through, so I’ve started to get to know it like the back of my hand. In this time there are a few invaluable lessons that I’ve learned since witnessing the show for the first time – some for the better, maybe some for the worse.

Cherish Your Friendships

First and foremost, I learned about the importance of friendship. The power squad of Carrie, Samantha, Charolette, and Miranda has surely inspired many women to love and support one another. I personally learned that the friendships you create and the women you hold dear to your heart are invaluable to your life and your mental well-being. It’s so important to never lose the relationships you might have with those that have stuck around, those who offer you love, and most importantly, the ones that lift you up and make you feel good. Friendship can be an important form of self-care because good friends will keep you sane, push you when you need it, and encourage you when you’re down.

Leave Social Media Out of Relationships

One thing that startled me when bingeing was how easily social media can muddy a relationship. *Spoiler alert!* When Big starts calling Carrie at home when she is with Aiden, I could only imagine how it would translate to the world of online interactions. Would this be the equivalent to watching your S.O. comment and like all of the photos of a past love? And as harmless as that can be, wouldn’t that still feel like salt on a wound? Seeing as a call is much more intimate, I couldn’t help but wonder how Aiden survived that.

It’s Okay to Eat Alone

Through the example of my favorite fiercely independent New Yorkers, I learned that it’s okay to go out to dinner alone – and that you should fully enjoy it. Did Carrie ever look sad in her Manolo Blahniks? Didn’t think so! Eating alone is heavily stigmatized, but it isn’t something to be embarrassed about, or even something you should be afraid to do. Going out for a meal you love, treating yourself, and keeping your phone away for an hour of undisturbed silence would do wonders for people’s minds and is a delicious form of self care.

He’s Just Not That Into You

Sex and The City also dropped some unbelievable knowledge on the world of single women: he’s just not that into you. This episode was unforgettable and those stinging words are something Miranda wanted to share with every New York woman she crossed the street with. It’s startling to hear perhaps because it deals with a truth you might not want to hear, but if there’s anything Miranda excelled in, it’s giving it to you straight. If he likes you, he’ll make it known. If not, time for the next.

Looks Aren’t Everything

Speaking of the next, keep in mind that looks aren’t everything! This lesson comes courtesy of the preppiest of the bunch, Charlotte. Though she might have seemed to be incredibly superficial throughout the series, her marriage to Harry was something no OG watcher would have suspected. Not only did she choose not to judge a book by its cover, but she ended up converting to Judaism for him. In the world of Bumble, Tinder, and countless other online dating sites, I think this lesson is especially applicable. You never know when or how you’re going to meet the love of your life, so be open to whoever might cross your path.

Getting Dumped via a Post It Isn’t Always Bad

Let’s not forget the infamous Post It breakup. Jack Berger, Carrie’s once writer and partner in love, couldn’t handle her success, especially in the face of his failure. While Carrie was gliding through life, Berger couldn’t handle the heat. He tried his best to admire and support her, as he should have, but he didn’t have enough love for himself to be able to love another at this time. The relationship ended when he disappeared in the night leaving only a sad Post It note behind. The lesson? Yeah, it’s pathetic to be broken up with that way, but isn’t it more pathetic to be the person running from your loved one’s success? If I were Carrie, I would have taken it as a compliment.

Forgiveness is Key

One of the most important things I learned from this series was forgiveness. Though I didn’t necessarily learn how to forgive, I learned how crucial forgiveness is to living a happy and full life. The series taught me that if you continue to hold onto wrongdoings of the past, you can’t move forward, but only backward. To forgive someone else is to allow yourself to let go and carry on.

Feature image via Emma Craft

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