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‘Sex and the City’ lied to me about female friendship

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Photo: Hbo / Darren Star Productions / Kobal / Shutterstock

Sex and the city sees me as a high school virgin, and I cling to it like a miniskirt over tights. It was my outlet for college (and the skinny boys in Penn State), graduate school (and my first move to New York), and finally my most important first (who my first serious boyfriend, the first time I met my parents, the first time I was heartbroken) – and then than better relationships, sex, and more frustration.

Today when I think about SATC, I think of the third. Carrie, then 34 years old, met Aidan, fell in love and fell in love with Big. Miranda and Steve move in together, then break up the night before she becomes partners. Charlotte married Trey, kissed the gardener (!), and they parted. Samantha slept with an FDNY firefighter, with Viagra, with another very clingy Sam Jones, and with an Irishman, among others.

As a single woman living in New York City, I turn 34 in October and yes, SATC really the first and only television show that exposed me to the glamorous, exciting life that I was able (and did) here – a program filled with book parties for the best writers. Best-selling fakes, hairstylists create beautiful hairstyles and delicately blended cocktails.

Thing is, I said I wouldn’t do it alone.

Popular culture artifacts as early as SATC (See more: Friend, How to lose a guy in 10 days, Bridget Jones’s Diary), helped shape younger generation women’s expectations and understandings of adulthood, which is comforting because they follow a formula: bad dates, brunch, and repeat until you have it. be happy forever with best friends. I realized that I was so focused on pursuing my first new relationships and relationship milestones that I had been taught to look forward to settling down that I forgot to prepare for deep loneliness. importance comes from being the only one among my friends. (This is where I say I love my married friends and my friends in serious relationships, and I really mean it. I don’t want them to be single for me; they found me. Seeing life partners makes them happy and that’s all we want for each other.)

SATC overlooked the part of sorority that happens when one is married and the other is not: The married friend stops talking about sex (exception: when trying to have children). In fact, they absolutely do not share about their relationship. So, in turn, I feel silly sharing news of my first dates with them, as if I’m showcasing myself even when I’m ready to talk about something promising. appointment.

Sometimes it feels like the only naked person in the room.

Recently, a married friend told me she was “not worried” about me finding my person because – I forgot her reasons, but I definitely remember the “don’t worry” part. . “This means she do worried about singles,” I then asked my therapist, “and maybe think less of me because of it? My therapist has worked with me on “perceptual biases” or incorrect and biased habitual ways of thinking. “You wouldn’t be too sensitive to what this friend is saying if, on some level, you haven’t thought about these things about yourself,” she says. That friend doesn’t judge anyone but on the contrary, reacts to the fact that I just told her I am ready for a new relationship. It stings just because it implies I’ll find it myself.

SATC wants to make single women in their 30s feel more seen and less alone. But that’s the problem. Many single women in their 30s, even today, still feel left out. Most of our friends are married and have children. We see each other less often. We have less tortuous, more intimate conversations at brunch. The idea of ​​four friends all single and closely tied in their 30s seems to me almost as lavish as the show’s iconic clothing budget.

I couldn’t have known this from watching the show in my early years. Now that I’m at the age of the characters, I can clearly see what the structure is like. But did SATC really Failure us single women? No, because it did exactly this: Friendship can, and often does, overcome relationship status. My friends, whether they’re with someone or not, have slept over when I’ve had too much to drink and lent me their apartment after a bad breakup and surprised me with immersion blenders random from Target that they think I like. Just like I will always be there for them.

I recently went on a second date with someone and was facing a table of eight friends, all young women of seemingly all walks of life. Throughout the night, traces of their conversation reached me. Looks like they’re mostly single and are certainly content to meet decent men in New York. A waitress approached with a tray of wine as seven women sang “Happy Birthday” to their friend.

Then it dawned on me that while those early pop culture artifacts can make me feel alone, real life is there to remind me that I’m not.

https://www.thecut.com/2021/12/sex-and-the-city-satc-female-friendships.html ‘Sex and the City’ lied to me about female friendship

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