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Sex and the City's 10 Fiercest Lessons on Life, Sex, Love and Success
Sex and the City girls in front of NYC backdrop
Pop Culture

Sex and the City's 10 Fiercest Lessons on Life, Sex, Love and Success

Once upon a time in New York City, four bold women have changed the way millions of women around the world thought, talked and behaved. Sex and the City was milestone television, not least because of its witty writing. Here are some of its finest lines.

Sex and the City is a romantic comedy-drama that premiered in June of 1998 and concluded in February, 2004. The series follows the lives of four women (Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte), who despite all of their differences, always stick together and confide in each other.

Carrie is the main character of the show. She is a column writer who is looking for “ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.” In her “Sex and the City” column, Carrie mostly describes bits and pieces of her life -- the romances she or others have experienced, and tries to find answers to existential questions we all think about at some point. 

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Samantha is an unapologetic, strong woman who simply owns it. She’s not looking for love, she’s looking for fun. Samantha is very straightforward, enjoys life to the fullest and is very open about her sexuality. She is 10 years older than the other girls and is just fabulous.

Miranda is the sarcastic character who you just can’t hate because she is so hilarious. After having her heart broken, she stopped believing in true love. Thus, she chose to invest all her time and energy in becoming a successful lawyer.

Carrie from Sex in the City walking down the street in a pink dress

Charlotte is the Episcopalian princess who’s always looking for her prince charming. Elegant and very well-mannered, Charlotte may seem like the shy one in the group, but appearances can be deceiving. That’s the beauty of these four characters. They seem quite different, but there’s a bit of Samantha in Charlotte and vice versa.

All characters are beautiful and relatable, but what they all have in common is… let’s call it a “rich” sexual life. While nowadays people seem to be more relaxed regarding someone’s sexuality, women who choose to have more sexual partners are still being criticized and labeled.

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Due to this, Sex and the City is often referred to as “dirty” and its message can be misunderstood. SatC is not limited to a bunch of women being promiscuous. It’s about sex positivity, career empowerment, independency, emotional vulnerability and feminism. 

For all the ladies out there who wish to live life on your own terms, here are 10 iconic Sex and the City quotes that are both controversial and empowering.

“Being single means you’re sexy and you’re taking your time."

Carrie in Sex in the City in her closet

FULL QUOTE: “Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.” – Carrie

This is a subtle message about how things should be. There are a lot of open minded people who think like this, but sadly, there are still plenty who disagree -- both men and women.

There are still a lot of women out there who are single-shamed. Once you reach a certain age, people suddenly seem to pay more interest in your hands -- or rather, what's missing from your finger. It doesn't matter how much you’ve accomplished by then. If you don’t have the ring, what follows is usually some kind of pity -- “Oh, I’m sure you’ll find the right guy one day, sweetie!”. 

But being single is sometimes a choice. It means that you don’t want to settle for less than you deserve. Being married for the sake of being married so that society won’t judge you shouldn’t be a goal. Your goal should be to be happy. If you’re perfectly happy in a relationship, stay there. But if you’re single and happy, why change that?

“I love you, but I love me more."

Samantha in a blue sequin dress in Sex and the City

FULL QUOTE: “I’m just gonna say a thing that you’re not supposed to say: I love you, but I love me more.” – Samantha

All Sex and the City fans sobbed when Samantha decided to break up with Smith Jarrod. After all, he’s been there for her in every way possible, even when she was battling breast cancer. Samantha knew she had a great guy next to her but something wasn’t working. She didn't want to be in that relationship from the very beginning, but they made it work for a while.

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However she realized that this is not what she wants. She still cares for Smith, but she loves herself enough to know that if she stays in that relationship, it will only make her feel miserable.

Sometimes you find a guy that seems to be every other woman's dream, but he's just not yours. As egocentrically as it may sound, in this scenario, it’s best to let him go and live life your way.

“I want to enjoy my success, not apologize for it.”

Miranda from Sex and the City

Miranda met this great guy, Steve, who is a bartender. Steve invited Miranda over to his apartment that doesn’t look too good and that’s when she starts feeling guilty for making more money than him. Later on, she invites him to an event and she knows Steve can’t afford a good suit so she offers to buy him one. Tension starts to build when Steve doesn’t want to accept Miranda’s treat.

We still live in a world where it’s considered normal for men to make more money than women. But the truth is, there are plenty of women who earn more than their significant others. Those women should be able to enjoy their success as they’ve worked hard enough and they should definitely not apologize for it.

These types of situations women have to face are pretty ironic -- if you don’t have enough money, you’re after his. But when you make more, the male ego gets wounded. It shouldn’t be like this. If you find a successful woman, celebrate her and her effort, don’t make her feel bad about it.

“I feel the same way about being a bridesmaid as you feel about Botox..."

Samantha in a red dress in Sex and the City

FULL QUOTE: “I feel the same way about being a bridesmaid as you feel about Botox. Painful and unnecessary." – Samantha

Let’s face it! As women, after a certain age, we don't want to be bridesmaids anymore. We’re either the bride or a guest. Not to mention when you’re a forty-something woman.

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If a good friend of yours gets married and asks you to be her bridesmaid, elegantly say “no” if you don’t want to do it. That parade of matchy-matchy dresses might be a dream for some. But if you feel uncomfortable, simply refuse. Your friend will surely find someone else for the role.

“He's just not that into you. So move on."

Miranda and Steve hugging in sex in the city

Miranda had a revelation after asking Jack Berger for his honest opinion about a guy that she’s had a date with and hasn’t called since. He told her that if a man doesn't answer your calls, finds excuses to postpone a date, or doesn’t call you at all… he’s just not that into you.

After she unwillingly heard a similar conversation between two younger girls, Miranda tried to pass the wisdom of “He’s just not that into you. So move on.” The advice was obviously not well received because not all of us can so easily accept the fact that a crush doesn’t like us, especially if the date went well. But sometimes this is the ugly truth, and the faster we deal with it, the less time we spend ruminating on “what ifs”, blaming ourselves.

“Being a mother just isn’t enough. I miss my job.”

Miranda and Steve from Sex in the City

FULL QUOTE: “Sometimes, as much as I love Brady, being a mother just isn’t enough. I miss my job.” – Miranda, Sex and the City 2

Miranda was definitely the kind of woman who wanted to take care of her career first, then decide if she wanted to have a baby. But she happened to get pregnant with Steve. She had her second thoughts, but kept little Brady and loved him as much as any mother would.

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The thing is, when you love your career and for more than 35 years you've been living your life differently, it gets a little harder to adapt. She needed to feel that she can still be the successful woman she used to be before Brady. And that's okay.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, you don't have to feel bad for thinking like this. It doesn’t mean that you love your tiny human less, it just means you need to find some time to do the things you used to love, whether it’s getting back to the office or something else. For some women, being a mother is enough, but if you feel like something's missing, go after it.

“Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed..."

Carrie from Sex in the City with curly hair smiling off camera

FULL QUOTE: “Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed, maybe they need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with.” – Carrie

Mr. Big (the man Carrie was in love with), had just had an engagement party with a younger woman. Right before that, Carrie asked him to become friends -- too much has happened between the two for them to turn into total strangers. 

This was obviously not a good idea since Carrie clearly still had feelings for him. But even though she did, she knew they would never be good together. So she thought to herself that maybe Mr. Big couldn’t break her. Maybe she wouldn’t have been tamed as a wife and maybe he wasn’t the one for her.                

“I didn’t get married to follow what society wants us to do..."

Carrie from Sex in the City in an Adore Diore 8 top and tutu

FULL QUOTE: “I didn’t get married to follow what society wants us to do, we are married, we have the luxury to design our own life.” – Carrie, Sex and the City: The Movie

Turns out, Mr. Big was, in fact, the one for her as Carrie ends up marrying him. But even after marriage, neither of them wanted to live the “traditional” life of a married couple.

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They didn’t want to change anything about their lifestyles and they didn’t want children. So they decided that from then on it would be just the two of them and that will be enough.

“If I worried what every b*tch in New York was saying about me, I’d never leave the house."

Samantha sun bathing in Sex and the City

After Carrie breaks up with Aidan, she bumps up into one of the girls he dated right after her. The woman gives her a look that made Carrie understand that she really messed her ex up and she feels really bad about it.

The truth is, Carrie did break Aidan’s heart, but breakups are almost always ugly and they should be private. Except for the two people that have been involved in that relationship, no one knows exactly what happened there and no one has the right to criticize. 

After seeing how concerned Carrie was with this issue, Samantha tries to comfort her friend by telling her that she shouldn’t worry so much about what other people say or think.

“Life gives you lots of chances to screw up..."

Carrie from Sex in the City looking shocked

FULL QUOTE: “Life gives you lots of chances to screw up which means you have just as many chances to get it right.” – Carrie

We’re first and foremost human, so we’ll make mistakes. No matter how much of a perfectionist you may be, sometimes you won’t get it right the first time.

The good news is that you get another chance to analyze your situation, take a look at what you’ve been doing wrong, and fix it the second time around. Or the third… who cares anyway? The important thing here is to try to better yourself everyday. 


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