17 Important Lessons Sex and the City Taught Us About Love and Marriage

It might have been a long time since Sex and the City was on our TV screens, but the important lessons about love and marriage still stand

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We were obsessed with Sex and the City – Carrie’s fabulous outfits, all the cocktails and of course, the handsome guys. When we weren’t being dazzled by the striking shoes and amazing accessories, it also taught us some key facts about love too…

If you’re a Carrie and co obsessive, don’t miss our edit of the most famous wedding shoes – we’re pretty sure you’ll recognise the Manolos!

Love Happens When You Least Expect It

One thing you can’t fail to notice in SATC is when the girls are keen to find a boyfriend, they won’t. We’ve all nodded along to Charlotte’s anguished outburst of "I’ve been dating since I was 15, I’m exhausted! Where is he?!" But Charlotte meets her knight in shining armour when she least expects it – whilst she’s sorting out her divorce.

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Love is Blind

It’s a lesson from Charlotte again! The Park Avenue princess had certain expectations when it came to her dream man – tall, dark, handsome, well-spoken and refined. That was Trey MacDougal and we all know about Trey. When she met Harry, who was short, chunky, coarse and had no hair on his head but a lot on his back, she did not think he could be the one. But he was perfect.

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You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs

It’s not a case of marrying the first person you have a relationship with (could you imagine?!). Instead it might take quite a few Mr Wrongs before you find that Mr Right.

Carrie goes on those weird dates with that odd jazz guy with the world’s shortest attention span, and don’t even get us started on the guy who owns the comic book store, smokes weed and lives with his mum. Carrie, you’re meant to be fabulous. Act like it.

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READ MORE: 23 Wedding Lessons We Learned from Friends

If it’s Not Right, You Can’t Force It

This is being written by the world’s biggest Aidan fan and even I have to accept that whilst he was perfect and lovely and handsome, he wasn’t right for Carrie and they were right to go their separate ways. Even if they seem perfect on paper, it’s about how they make you feel in person that counts.

Same goes for when Miranda gets set up on a blind date with another woman and tries to make it work as she thinks it’ll help her career. Why?!

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Listen to Your Friends

You might be totally smitten, but if your friends have a problem with your partner there is usually a reason why. Carrie gets annoyed when Miranda tries to tell her some home truths about Big, but she’s doing it because she loves her and doesn’t want to see her get hurt. Likewise, when your friends love your other half, it’s an excellent sign.

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Mother-in-Laws can be Tricky

No matter how difficult you find your mother-in-law sometimes, thank your lucky stars she’s not Bunny MacDougal. For an old lady with a silly bow in her hair, she was scary. A raise of an eyebrow, the pursing of her lips – this was a woman who knew how to strike fear into the hearts of daughter-in-laws everywhere.

Miranda also had a hard time dealing with Steve’s mother but learnt to tolerate and eventually live with her because she valued her relationship with Steve. That could never happen with Bunny.

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Everything Happens for a Reason

People say this so often it can lose all meaning, but hear us out. If Charlotte hadn’t met, married and then divorced Trey, she never would have met Harry. And we all love Harry.

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Chemistry is Important

Chivalry is fine and romance is lovely, but passion is really what drives a relationship. Look at Carrie and Berger – the fact they had to put so much effort into their sex life to make it work was a sign from the start it probably wasn’t meant to be. Samantha dated – and even fell for – James, but he lacked in crucial departments and it was a deal breaker for her.

And Charlotte discovered just before her wedding that whilst her and Trey were fine in vertical situations, when it came to more horizontal ones there was a lot of work to be done. Chemistry is important.

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READ MORE: Romantic Date Ideas for Newlyweds

There’s Nothing Wrong with Holding Out for a Big Love

When Carrie explained: “I’m looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love,” romantics across the world nodded in agreement. When it comes to the person you’ll spend the rest of your life with, you can’t settle for anything other than real love.

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It’s Not Always Easy

Just because you’ve found that one person who you love with an all-consuming love, it doesn’t mean it will forever be rainbows and butterflies. You’ll have your bad times too, but the fact it’s real love means you’ll work it out.

Miranda and Steve’s relationship was tested a number of times – they broke up, she turned down his proposal, their marriage went off the boil a little and he cheated – but they forgave each other for the bad things and worked on it to save the good stuff.

We all hated Big when he left Carrie at the altar (we hated Big many times, to be honest), but Carrie wasn’t entirely without fault – she planned the big, lavish wedding and ignored his wishes and he freaked out. Ultimately, they worked through it all – ten years of drama.

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You Make it Work by Compromising

When Charlotte finally admitted to herself and everyone else that Harry was perfect, she hit a bit of stumbling block in that he could only marry a Jewish woman. Whilst her faith was important to her, Harry meant more so she met with a Rabbi and worked on converting to Judaism as she knew it was so important to him.

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Decide Who You Need to Put First

Much like the above point – a good relationship and a good marriage works on compromise and taking turns. Sometimes you have to put yourself first and your relationship should be able to withstand that – not like when Carrie was with artist Aleksandr Petrovsky. She gave up her job, her life in New York and her dreams of settling down to move to Paris with him and ended up losing herself. And he turned out to be awful!

In contrast, Miranda puts Steve first to allow their family to work, and moves to Brooklyn for him, even though she can’t be clearer about how much she hates Brooklyn.

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READ MORE: The Stages of Wedding Planning Told in Kim Kardashian GIFs 

It's Not All About the Lavish Gestures

Aleksandr the artist is seriously fancy - he takes Carrie to lavish events and buys her amazing dresses, but she faints from the pressure (how?! We don't know) and they end up going to McDonalds. Sometimes Big Macs can be romantic when you're in love.

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Custom Vows Are Cool

Come on, who didn’t get shivers when Carrie and Big finally tied the knot and he whispers ‘Ever thine, ever mine, ever ours’ to her? Why not be bold and write your own wedding vows like Carrie and Big?

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Diamonds Have Their Place

Big proposes with a fabulous shoe, but later on he gives Carrie a diamond ring because it's important to 'seal the deal'. She chose to wear her engagement ring from Aidan around her neck, and was adverse to the idea of a diamond in general, but we think there's a sparkly ring out there for everyone - check out our edit of the best alternative engagement rings if you're a bit of a Carrie at heart. 

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A Wedding is More Than Just a Party

So much of your life can be consumed by wedding planning – Carrie becomes a bit of a wedding planning addict when Big finally comes around to the idea of marriage. But in her haste to plan the elaborate wedding with the designer wedding dress and fancy library wedding venue, she loses sight of what’s really important – finally making her relationship with the love of her life official. They end up marrying at City Hall, followed by brunch with her best friends.

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Love is Worth the Wait

It’s not always easy, and it’s not always straightforward, but love is worth the wait – that’s probably the most important lesson you can learn from Sex and the City. Carrie and Big, Steve and Miranda, Charlotte and Harry, and Samantha and her own self-confidence. They all get there in the end.

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If you’re in a boxset frame of mind now, make sure you check out all the things Gossip Girl taught us about love and relationships – it’s worth it for the Chuck Bass GIFs alone. 



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