Sex and the City Myths & Lessons: Do The Rules Still Apply?

There’s something about Mr BIG, something that Carrie could never shake. In the end, she ended up with him but went through an emotional Olympics just to get to her not so fairytale ending. Let’s be honest, he married someone else first (remember Natasha, I think that’s what her name was, the one he cheated on with Carrie), then finally proposes to Carrie, leaves her at that altar because he was scared, then marries her at city hall. So romantic right?! I know we all loved it when we watched them finally say I do in the movie. But if we are honest, BIG played a lot of games and Carrie kept on rolling the dice in hopes for a BIG win. With matters of the heart, there are no rules and if it’s worth it I guess you have to go through the trenches. In my opinion, Carrie is more of the hero than BIG in this scenario. She took a chance on something she really believed in, him and regardless of how bad it was at times, she knew that this was her guy. Well, life isn’t a TV show and many of us aren’t as emotionally fit as Carrie for the love Olympics. I get why some just throw in the towel and move on when it gets too hard or rough on their self-esteem. It’s hard to continuously nurse a broken heart. It’s hard to forgive the same person over and over again. Not everyone has to be Carrie, so don’t feel the pressure to stick it out if you just can’t take it anymore. Alas, the romantic in me, will say don’t give up either because if it’s worth having you have to keep the faith in love alive. You will know when you have met the ‘I shouldn’t walk away from person’, if so, give it all you’ve got.

In this episode, Carrie is going on a first date with BIG, so this is a way back episode. During this episode, Carrie and the girls discuss what’s the right time to do certain things when you’re dating. How long should you wait to have sex? When should you call? How many dates until…? You know the usual questions we all ask each other over brunch. We all want to know what the appropriate steps are in the dating tango. Do you remember the Rules Book…I know it seems pretty ancient now, it was published in 1995! Some of you may have never heard of it. It’s a book that many women have sworn by, it’s considered a must-read book if you want to score a husband. I have never read it, but a few of my friends have. They say it works, the rules are the way to go. Maybe I will read it for you?…Just to see what the hype is all about. I am sure it’s pretty outdated now, no one uses landlines anymore and most people are debating over text protocol rather than picking up the phone to actually hear someone’s voice. Haven’t you heard?! Calling is so 10 years ago if you didn’t know now you know! Ugh, anyway! That’s another post for another day. The creators of The Rules have expanded the rules to include modern dating (so texting is included), marriage and online dating secrets. If you get to read any of these books before me, please let me know what you think. Let me know if you have tried the rules and whether or not they’ve worked for you.

I am sure ‘the rules’ have worked for many. At some level, there must be some truth to it, it worked for grandma?…so why wouldn’t it work for you? It’s also true, that the rules are also playing off of how men view women and dating. Men are often told what they should look for in a woman and how to spot the so-called bad girls. They are told how to spot the desperate girl and to question if she’s too forward or zealous to be with them. It’s all a little strange, assuming that he likes the lady in question. Don’t you want her to show signs that she is into you? Or do you like the game? I am exhausted typing this, true story! It makes me tired thinking about it. But just like women, men think about it, they think about expectations and what’s required and I think this is why the rules have worked because it was based upon a social milieu, a social code everyone knew about.

Fast forward to 2016, it seems that it’s a 50/50 chance as to whether or not someone goes by these old dating rituals. It all depends on their upbringing, it all depends on their age as well. Are they 25 and up or 25 and under? The modern love child is a certified Tinder champion and those sitting in the middle are struggling just a little with old school versus new school. If you actually spend time studying the current dating terrain you will see that no one knows what they are doing anymore. People are skipping the serious questions and just running through relationships at a surface level. Everyone is scared, everyone is guarded, everyone is wounded or has a list that looks better on paper but will never work when actually interacting with people. You know, when you put down the phone and have to meet face to face. Another issue and some of you may not agree, but in my opinion, we date too much and date too many. We don’t spend enough time getting acquainted with ourselves, working on self-worth and as a result selecting quality over quantity. We don’t seem to understand that quality and a real connection isn’t as easy to find as the one swipe game has made us believe. We don’t understand that when you find a good thing you work on it and nourish it so it can grow.

I wonder, should women follow these old rules if they hope to get married? Or does it matter in a modern world? What are the rules now? Should we just go with how it feels? There’s a lot of debate as to whether or not women can be casual. There have been scientific studies that support the idea that it’s not possible. Maybe, this is something that women are told so they don’t run around like the boys? It could be that men are just as incapable as women but we have been conditioned to believe otherwise. It could also be that we are all casual lovers by nature so maybe being polyamorous is suitable?  Who knows? What I do know, is that if you are looking for a one on one relationship, the game has changed and you will have to adapt to these changes a bit. But even with the changes, one thing that’s true, many men still appreciate a lady that doesn’t make it so easy for them. It’s a double standard and I am sure you are a little pissed at me for saying it. It’s the truth, I am sorry. There’s a reason, why someone wrote a book, Why Men Love Bitches! Maybe she isn’t a bitch after all but there’s something about the not so nice girl that lures them in according to this dating manifesto for women. Don’t get mad at me, I didn’t write it. Like The Rules, many women swear by it. Here’s the thing, as crappy as all of this sounds one could argue that at least on some level you had something to reference and it did, in fact, work for grandma, mum and all of your aunts. Well, what are the rules now? No one knows.  You are free to work with the old rules and mix them up with your own and see what happens. Even if that means just being yourself, which is frowned upon if you are following any of the books mentioned above. You may never get married…just kidding!


Can someone write new rules?

I think it’s time…

Here are some new rules to follow that I came up with:

1.If you’re interested in someone and they keep giving you the runaround. Maybe it’s time for you to buy a nice new pair of runners (we always need excuses to shop) join a running club and run the track instead. You will be happier, fitter and might meet someone who will run with you.

2. I think it’s important to look your best, take good care of your skin, eat well, surround yourself with good people…do this for yourself and not simply just to get someone – this should be a long-term quest – being the best you.

3. Going on an actual date is essential. I know everyone is about that chill life, but I mean come on! I am not dissing it but it does say a lot about a person who actually puts in that effort. They actually want to experience life with you because life is a series of moments and the experiences we get out of it.

4. Texting is basic communication, so respond…because it’s basic, it’s the alphabet. People barely call these days and you are on your phone all the time so no excuse. If you aren’t into someone just send them a simple text (yuk) and let them know. Saves your time, saves their time. In the old days, people met in person to do this so you’ve got it pretty easy. No Ghosting and definitely no benching. What is ghosting? When you completely vanish without a quick explanation. What is benching? When you put someone on the bench while you date a few then return to them. You’re in the game so let them play the game too; no one should unknowingly be your bench warmer.

5. What are the texting rules? Well, since this is the only form of communication do what you want. I know some people will disagree with me, but I have seen it all and dating apps kind of broke the possibility of any rules staying intact. I don’t think there are any rules with texting if it’s a simple conversation. It was a lot easier with the phone call method if someone didn’t answer your call or return your call you didn’t really sweat it or you were left to assume what happened and then move on to the next caller.  Either way, since texting is pretty much the FBI of dating because it has a time stamp and people can see you’re online, it doesn’t serve you well to take it more seriously than what it is. It’s also hard to gauge someone’s interest over text. For example, someone could text you non-stop, it appears they’re into you but if you scroll down to rule #7B you will see what could be going on. In my opinion, you don’t really know unless you talk on the phone or see someone face to face. Texting has made our lives slightly easier in a sense but it has also taken us two steps back when it comes to connecting with each other. So be yourself, try not to send messages non-stop all day like it’s a job and keep it real.

5. Hanging out is the new relationship non-relationship. What does this mean? Well, it means you’re not an item unless otherwise stated so don’t think otherwise unless you have talked about it. Yes, even if you spend a lot of time with someone. If this isn’t for you then stop ‘hanging out’.  Hang out with your friends instead.

7. If you meet someone and they say they’re not looking for a relationship  A: They aren’t looking for one with you; B: They have a few people on the go and they’re keeping their eyes open for more prospects. You maybe a prospect but you aren’t numero uno, in other words, you are not the only one. Just listen to Sam Smith’s “Not The Only One”, if you still don’t get it watch the music video…ahhh makes sense now!  C: You need to keep your options VERY OPEN, read that a few times. D: Whatever reason they come up with, just make sure you don’t let that one slip over your head. This is when you need to work with logic and not your heart. F: If you are looking for more, don’t wait around hoping and praying…’pick me, pick me’ you need to really go out there and find it. Refer to rule #2 again and keep it moving. If they think you’re worthwhile they will find you so don’t wait around.

8. Know what YOU WANT, yeah, I know this is probably the toughest rule for the modern dater to follow because we have soooo many choices. Where do we start? Well sit down, get real with yourself, figure out who you are, what you want out of life. This will help you with your dating choices. Remember, quality over quantity. In most cases, the grass isn’t bright green on the other side and needs tending to. Make sure you’re not surfing for the next best thing to make yourself feel better, but look for someone who makes you want to be a better person.

9. Kisses will never be contracts and in today’s world nor is sex. So if you want to know, ask. End of story. If you’re not into casual then don’t do it, wait, wait, wait. Just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean you have to. Let them do it, and tell them you will sit this game out. If waiting a few months or until marriage is what best suits you then wait, if this doesn’t work for said person then they’re not for you.

10. Get the f**k off your phone for a second, look around you and start enjoying life in real time. You may just meet that someone…and guess what you can actually talk to them in person, look into their eyes, you know that romantic stuff. Are they polite? Or are they a little rude, pushy perhaps? Or wow, what an awesome person I would like to see you again. You get it!

11. Don’t hide your voice…speak up! If you’re not happy with how things are then say something. Life is too precious to be miserable and being with someone shouldn’t be at your expense. Say how you feel, what you want. Be authentic. If love and a real connection is the end game and not just simply a skip down the altar (I am sure you know by now, there are a lot of people who are married for all the wrong reasons and love isn’t one of them) then you need to really work on building a solid connection that you can grow with.

12. Don’t follow any rules and just see where life takes you!

If you watched the Sex and the City series you will remember the time Carrie bumped into BIG on a date (Are We Exclusive?). She didn’t ask the all so important question…”Am I the only one?” (#7B) Of course, Carrie never hid her feelings and asked BIG what was going once she spotted him with another woman(#11). I don’t want this to be you. Remember the swiping games are in full effect these days, so don’t ever assume. It’s your life and you only get what you want out of it. Sure, you will have some really low moments when it comes to matters of the heart, this is unavoidable. There’s one rule that will trump all rules written by anyone…


13. Don’t Settle


Cover Image Courtesy: HBO

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Hanifa Sekandi

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