In my twenties, I loved Sex and the City. Poor, poor Carrie had to navigate through the world of singledom with Mr. Big, who raked her through the coals with his indecisiveness. The “will he or won’t he” dilemma was too much for one girl to take; by that, I mean for me to take.
Before Game of Thrones, Sex and the City was one of the first hit dramas created by HBO. It ran from 1998 to 2004 and had women worldwide asking, who are you: Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, or Samantha?
I faithfully watched each episode, outwardly hoping Carrie would dump Big but secretly wishing they could finally have their happy ending. Through Aidan, the Russian, and even Ray King (remember “the jazz guy”?) I wanted Carrie and Big to walk off into the sunset together, and in Episode 20 of season 6 (An American in Paris Part Deux), I got my wish. Carrie and Big finally lived happily ever after.
Or did they? The popular show spawned two movies and a reboot. I won’t give any spoilers, but I will say the happy ending may not have been so happy.
Almost twenty years have passed since the last episode of the original series aired, and now as I watch repeats, I cringe. Maybe it’s because I’m now married with kids, whereas eighteen years ago, just like Carrie–I was a single girl looking for love.
Now that I’m older and wiser, I have a broader perspective and see things differently. The empathy I bestowed upon Carrie was because I was in the same situation. I didn’t want to believe she could have been a self-centered, spoiled mini-Karen even before Karens existed. If I saw that in Carrie, I would have to see that in myself. To prove it, here are 5 reasons that point to that very fact.
1). Carrie Is Self-Centered
My younger self called it taking care of your feelings, but now I know that’s a lie. In the episode titled “Critical Condition,” Carrie’s past comes back to haunt her when she runs into Nina Katz, the woman who dated Aidan right after Carrie. And let’s just say Nina wasn’t impressed.
Carrie spent the entire episode whining about how Aidan’s ex gave her “the face” when she found out Carrie was the reason Aidan was so screwed up. Carrie phoned her friends incessantly, wondering if Nina, who by now Carrie called “The Face Girl,” was running around town telling everyone what a total bitch Carrie was.
Then, at the next day’s lunch, Carrie monopolized the conversation once again by talking about “The Face Girl” and what her friends thought about it.
Even when Carrie called poor Miranda, who was struggling with being a single mother, she was oblivious to the crying baby in the background. Eventually, Miranda told her to–in not so many words– f*** off and call somebody else with the time. Good for her!
Later, Stanford tried to console Carrie, as she still talked about Nina and her face even after totally blowing off his issue. Once again, Carrie demonstrated that it was all about her.
The funniest thing about that episode was that, in the end, Nina didn’t give two shits about her.
13 Signs Your Partner Is Self-Centered
According to Insider.com, self-centered people “constantly make everything about themselves or seem to have little to no consideration for others.” Self-centered people tend to want everyone to empathize with their needs, yet they lack compassion for others.
- Not attempting to change or fix what upsets you
- They never ask how your day was
- They never compromise
- They decide when to move forward in the relationship
- The “me” is more important than the “we”
- Great at making excuses
- They make plans without considering you
- They make achievements more of a priority than you
- Acting impulsively
- They’re never happy with your successes
- They constantly interrupt when you talk
- They take, take and take but never give
- They dismiss your needs and feelings
You can’t change a person. You can only communicate your feelings; if they deem the relationship meaningful enough, they’ll alter their behavior. However, if you still feel frustrated, it may be time to move on.
2). Carrie Exercises Poor Judgment
In the episode “Sex and the Country,” Carrie’s boyfriend, Aidan, asks if she’d like to visit his cabin in the country. This is the one time Carrie exhibits support for her man because she (grudgingly) accepts the invitation. However, she also invites her best friend, Samantha, to come.
That’s not the lousy judgment part. In this episode, Carrie forces Aidan to accept her friendship with her ex, Mr. Big. Hesitantly, poor Aidan agrees, but he has no idea what he’s getting into. And did I mention that there is animosity between the guys because
- Mr. Big is Carrie’s ex
- She cheated on Aiden with Mr. Big
My question is, how do you tell the guy you’re currently dating that the guy you’ve cheated on him with in the past is going to be a part of your life, so take it or leave it? Personally, I would’ve left it, but Aiden gave Carrie another chance.
As Carrie is at the country house with Aidan, Mr. Big (her ex and now friend) needs to see her. She allows him to come to Aidan’s country house to talk. Carrie asks for Aidan’s blessing, but c’mon, what’s the poor schmuck gonna say? In what universe is this okay? Carrie’s crappy judgment led to an all-out muddy brawl on the front lawn that ended with Mr. Big getting exactly what he deserved; a bite in the ass…literally.
How to Be Emotionally Supportive in a Relationship
Let’s face it, Carrie completely blew off Aidan’s feelings, or she would not have asked permission to invite her ex to their cozy retreat in the first place.
If you want to offer emotional support to your significant other, here are a few ideas.
- Ask how you can support them. Sometimes we don’t know, and asking is the best way to find out.
- Listen to them. If you ask the question, listen intently to what they’re telling you to eliminate miscommunication.
- Validate them. When they tell you what’s wrong, try to understand. They may not even need you to provide a solution. Instead, they only want someone to validate their feelings. Say things like
- “I’m sorry you have to deal with that situation.”
- “That seems upsetting. I understand why you feel this way.”
- Avoid Judgment. Don’t offer your opinion unless asked. Sometimes a person just needs a sounding board.
- Offer encouraging words. Don’t be condescending or blow them off with comments like “It’s no big deal.” Instead, tell them, “I’ll be here if you need help.”
3). Carrie Is a Cheater
Carrie spends several seasons whining for a good man, and when she finally gets one in Aidan, she cheats on him with a guy who spent years putting her through an emotional roller coaster.
In episode 10 of season 3, titled All or Nothing, in a voiceover, Carrie says that her relationship with Aidan is perfect. She describes how comfortable she is with him and that she couldn’t ask for better. But, apparently, that was a lie.
On a girl’s night out, Carrie admits to her best friend, Samantha, that she cheated on Aidan with Big. However, she claims it will never happen again. Spoiler alert: that’s another lie. Then, she begs Samantha not to tell Charlotte or Miranda. Of course, this doesn’t have anything to do with cheating, but thank you for placing the entire pressure on Samantha!
After the girl’s night out and the secret conversation with Samantha, Carrie returns home and hops into bed to snuggle with Aidan as if nothing happened.
How to Get Back on Track in Your Relationship after You’ve Cheated
Research from the last two decades indicates that between 20% – 25% of married men and 12% – 15% of married women cheat.
Relationships are built on trust, and if you’ve made mistakes in the past but you and your partner are willing to work it out, you can take steps to fix your relationship.
- Ask yourself if you regret it. If so, you can move forward
- Be accountable
- Rebuild trust
- Be transparent. Do not lie about it or try to hide anything
- Cut ties with the person you cheated with
- Address all issues that led to the infidelity
- Be patient. Your partner may need time to process and heal
- Forgive yourself
- Discuss a plan for moving forward
4). Carrie Is Oblivious
Have you ever done someone dirty, but you feel kind of bad about it, so you want to apologize to them, and no matter whether or not they want to hear it, you will stalk them around the entire city until they hear you out for why you intentionally screwed them over? No? Me neither. But Carrie did.
In season 3, episode 11, titled, Running with Scissors, Carrie and Big continue their illicit affair, typically meeting in hotel rooms. But after she is mistaken for a prostitute in one of the hotels, they decide to take the romance back to the home Mr. Big shares with his wife, Natasha.
He failed to realize that Natasha had come home early from a trip to the Hamptons and literally caught Carrie with her pants down. As Carrie attempted to flee, Natasha ran after her, tripped, and ended up chipping her tooth—a death sentence for a model.
Fast forward, Carrie is having lunch at the same restaurant as Natasha. Poor Carrie feels so bad she attempts to clear her conscience by apologizing to Natasha. She tells her she called several times to no avail, so completely surprising her and disrupting her lunch was the only way to confront her. So imagine Carrie’s surprise when Natasha told her to eff off! How insensitive can Natasha be?
How to Recognize That You’re the Problem
Do you have lots of drama going on in your life and can’t figure out why? Sometimes all it takes is a hard look at yourself because you may be the issue.
If you’re constantly negative and attract the same, stop looking to blame others. You are the one that needs fixing. You are the problem if…
- You’re bored being with yourself. This is a disconnect from your authentic self
- You think material things are the only essential things in your life
- You complain a lot
- You always find the problem but never the solution
- Being in silence for a minute makes you restless
- You constantly say things like “I can’t,” “I won’t,” and “I don’t want to.”
- You lack empathy for others
- You constantly feel negative
5). Carrie Is a Hypocrite
In season 3, episode 16, titled, Frenemies, Carrie gets paid to teach a class on how to meet men. This is interesting because, yes, Carrie can meet men. That’s not the hypocritical part. However, the issue is when Carrie:
- Meets the dud but keeps going back for more punishment
- Meets the good guy but dumps him for the dud
Okay, so she was only paid to teach how to meet a man, but she may want to add a class on how to keep the man (or does that cost extra?)
In another episode, Carrie looks down on one of her acquaintances because she “parties” with wealthy men for a price.
However, in that same episode, Carrie sleeps with a man she barely knows but then gets upset and complains he treated her like a prostitute when he left money for her on the nightstand table. Just like her friend, she slept with him after one afternoon of hanging out. Did Carrie expect differently? Oh, and FYI, she took the cash.
How to Know You’re Being Judgmental
- You label people
- You look down on others
- You make moral evaluations
- You see your criticism as truth and not opinion
- You always have an opinion
- You expect perfection from others, but you’re allowed to make a mistake
- You have a negative outlook
Carrie Bradshaw is not all bad. But in my 20s, I saw her as the quintessential single that I wanted to be. Today, not so much. However, I will still watch all the reruns because I’m curious about what I’ll think of Carrie in another ten years.