How to get over a Breakup: Sex and the City Edition by Kelly Hartlage

Fresh off a good cry, with cartons of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, and bottles of wine, my girlfriends and I, like we always do after someone goes through a breakup, pull out the entire DVD (yes DVD!) series of “Sex and the City” and play it from the beginning. What better way to spend an entire weekend than with our favorite girls Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda, and of course, Mr. Big. Like many friend groups, we always talk about which one out of our friends relates the most to the characters in the show. Naturally, we all fight about which one of us is Carrie, but eventually assume our character positions that we are matched with. (Can you guess which one I am?) The four main characters in the series perfectly display a little bit of me in different situations which is why I love watching the show so much. The show made its debut in 1998, almost two decades ago and it is still one of the most relatable shows for women on television. The show, as the article I am Woman Hear me Roar: Gender Representation in Sex and the City states that it aims to dismiss female stereotypes by encouraging women to have the right to sexual pleasure and live in a place of independence where they have ownership of the ‘gaze’ and men are the sex objects.



According to the article, Sex and the City Screws with Feminism, the creator of the show Candace Bushnell is a feminist, encouraging the “second wave of feminism” – the embodiment of sexual liberation for the new millennium. Bushnell, on her show states that “Sex and the City is a show about female choice, not female rejection. All the straight men are crazy. Women viewers get the naughty thrill of seeing their own gender portrayed for once as sane, sentient and decent, while men are trolls and buffoons, mommy’s boys and neurotics.”

As I talk about the breakup that just occurred with my friend, I first relate the most to Miranda Hobbes. Her cynical viewpoint on men and relationships is how I first approach the breakup. “Soulmates only exist in the Hallmark aisle!” Miranda states, and boy do I agree with this quote right now! Miranda is always there to talk with her friends about men, no matter how many times they need it, and is not afraid to tell the brutal truth when you actually need to hear. “Jesus, every time you get near him, you turn into this pathetic, needy, insecure victim. What pisses me off the most is that you are more than willing to go back for more.” I swear I used this exact same quote from Miranda at least 10 times before my friend and her (now ex) boyfriend finally broke up for good!

After being cynical and downright depressing about the fact that their relationship was probably doomed from the start, I move on to start acting more like Carrie Bradshaw. Carrie is very good at encouraging her friends that whatever happens it is going to be OK and that the most important thing is that you can be happy with yourself without having to be with a man. Although she is off and on again with the ever-so-dreamy Mr. Big, she points out (like I did to my friend) that “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.”

With this said, I turn it over to the flourishing single woman in this show, Samantha Jones. Samantha is a women with great sexual pride, and she is not afraid to talk about it with her girlfriends. She is very adamaenhanced-buzz-28496-1382637185-15nt on not getting married, and at age 50 is still smoking hot and having sex with a multitude of beautiful men. She encourages her friends to try new things, and put themselves out there, especially after relationships end. It is true you have to get over your ex somehow! She makes sure to keep her friends in check, and is the girl you call to tell all of your craziness to. Samantha Jones could never judge anyone since she has probably done it all ten times worse! What’s great about Samantha is she is able to view her mistakes as learning experiences, which is very important when talking about how to move on from a breakup.

With all of this said, our conversation ends with a little bit of Charlotte. Charlotte is the most conservative of the group, hopeful to find her perfect man. She is old fashioned about love and marriage but always takes her friends situations into consideration and turns them into optimism. She has a huge heart and compassion that makes any girl feel loved by her friends which is necessary when feeling hea4b6413cd17377237b005224635e81e11rtbroken over a boy.

As my friends and I sit together, chatting away about how we wonder if we’ll ever find our Mr. Big, I think back to something Charlotte said to the rest of the girls. “Don’t laugh at me, but maybe we can be each other’s soul mates. And then we can let men be just these great, nice guys to have fun with.” And in that moment, I knew my friends and I will get through this heartbreak together like we have with every other in the past and every other that will come in the future.

4 thoughts on “How to get over a Breakup: Sex and the City Edition by Kelly Hartlage

  1. I loved this article Kelly! I enjoyed how you went through each character of “Sex and The City” while analyzing and trying to help your friend and her fresh new break up! I think “Sex and The City” breaks down the door of female stereotypes and flips the normal way of viewing the everyday woman especially in terms of sexual liberation. The show really emphasis “choice” over “rejection” which I feel as though most shows highlight rejection more so (not all) especially in terms of woman. The one quote that stuck out to me the most was when you quoted Carrie Bradshaw, “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.” I found that to be something that should be preached more to young girls and girls in their 20’s! Being single is not bad and finding a significant other should not be the only thing one thinks about. It should be time for girls to figure out themselves and what they want versus what their partner wants! – Alexa DiFilippo


  2. I think this post was actually really relatable for both genders. I think it’s safe to say most men haven’t seen Sex and the City. I haven’t but I think it’s relatable in the sense of having you and your group of friends all talk about who would be which character on the show. I like how you then talked about each character from the show, and how they related to the conversation you were having with your friends, which was the reason for you watching the series that weekend in the first place. I also like the last paragraph emphasizing the importance of friends. This was a really well written blog post that displayed this show really well and was a good almost summary for it. -Zack Lander


  3. Great article Kelly! You did a great job of relating both genders into the show and clarified what the show is really all about. I personally have only seen one episode of this show but learned a lot about the characters from this show. I liked how you related the show to your own personal life and talked about how each character in the show relates to the conversations with your friends. Also, I liked how you talked about being single which is something everyone looks down upon but in fact it can be a good thing. It is a time for someone to learn and grow and you showed everyone that you girls do not need a man to be happy. The characters in the show are so relatable to real life which is why I can see why the show is so appealing to young women. Overall, this was a very well-wrriten blog post. Good job!-Derek Lawton


  4. I thought this was an interesting read because I for one have NO idea how girls work. The opener to the blog “fresh off a good cry” with Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and a bottle of wine was a great, I laughed, and wanted to read the rest. I also liked how she made the blog personal to her and her friends by mentioning that they would talk and argue about which character in the show related the most to her or one of her friends. The set up of the blog is also great as Kelly goes from character to character in the show, and relates back to how she portrays a part of each of them to her friends. She also tackles the point of the show which is to highlight what it means to be a female dealing with men and how the gender script of the show flips the stereotypes that are often portrayed by society in that females can and should be the strong and dominant person within a relationship. She mentions female choice and not female rejection, and describes the show herself by explaining that with the show women are seen as sane and that men are often seen as the “trolls and buffoons, mommy’s boys and neurotics” which, from my point of view, even I as a male agree with! I also liked how she explained that, like with the characters in the show (which I have not seen), that Kelly is always there to talk with her friends about men not matter what, and is not afraid to tell them the brutal truth, which maybe the show helped inspire Kelly to do! – Aidan O’Leary


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