Some girls dream of love and marriage, house and babies; my dreams revolved around becoming a power single in Washington, D.C. A series of events derailed those dreams, first foregoing work on Capitol Hill and then meeting the love of my life at the ripe old age of 21. Shortly after meeting the future Mr. Blondebombchelle, HBO launched their groundbreaking series “Sex and the City.” With every episode I laughed, cried, and mourned the end of my swinging single self. As each season progressed so did my relationship with Mr. Right, from friendship to marriage, with all the ups and downs that any relationship experiences.
However, as much as I love Sex and the City, it was difficult to watch these smart, attractive, successful women focus so much on finding a relationship and not embrace the freedom and joy they possessed. Sex and the City is not the only show that portrays single women on the hunt for a husband. If anything, Samantha, the sex crazed, “act like a man” character on the show, was a breath of fresh air in the entertainment industry that fuels an invisible war between the married and the single. She did not see marriage as the road to happiness and instead found happiness in herself, her career, and her friends. Perhaps she knew something that only a failed marriage could teach Charlotte; a wedding isn’t the finish line to finding happiness. Carrie did pose the question; “Is there a secret cold war between marrieds and singles?” There probably is; the grass is always greener on the other side, but there is far more press devoted to the trials and tribulations of a single person than the struggles of coupledom. Relationships are not easy, even the best ones, but that reality is never portrayed or published in our “happily ever after” world. Even in friendships there is a somewhat unspoken code not to divulge the less than stellar points of being married to your single friends. Saying “I Do” doesn’t make the issues and questions that the ladies of Sex and the City, and other single woman across the globe, have go away. If anything, getting married amplifies some of the problems and struggles because you have to work through them rather then just break up and move on. After tying the knot I realized a dirty little secret that would knock Carrie and her friends out of their Manolos; marriage comes with many of the same issues faced by being single.
“How often is normal?” (Season 1): I remember reading about a couple who included frequency of sexual activity into their wedding vows; no less than 3 times a week and no more than 5, and thought to myself, “wonder how long they’ll keep that up?” Normal is a relative term influenced by personalities, life events, free time, present health, work stress, kids, dogs, etc.
“Are there still certain things in relationships one should never say?” (Season 2): For those who believe there are no secrets in marriage, try asking a friend about their mother-in-law in front of their spouse and see if you get a much different answer then what they say to you behind closed doors. Even after marriage there are some things never to say in the relationship, things that are just not important or worth the consequences. Topics to consider adding to the “never say it to your spouse” category include hair loss (or odd growth), bowel movements, the hot person at the office, and in-laws.
“Are all men freaks?” (Season 2): Yes.
''Is it better to 'fake it' than be alone?'' (Season 2): This was in reference to faking happiness and strength in a relationship rather then being single. Honestly, I can think of nothing more miserable then pretending to be happy with a person because of fear of being single. Single does not automatically mean lonely and couples settling down in bad relationships can feel more forlorn then any single. Eventually the reality of a poor relationship is realized. All faking it accomplishes is wasting time that could be spent finding happiness.
''Can you be friends with an ex?'' (Season 2): This is a dicey one that can only be answered on a case by case basis. All I can say is the question still comes up once you are married, especially in the day and age of the internet where long lost ex’s can pop up in an instant. Personally, after nearly 7 years of marriage, I don’t care who he’s friends with, heck I can barely remember my own details of my past relationships. When it comes down to ex’s who are still friends it is all about trust in your partner and confidence in yourself; married or not.
“What constitutes cheating?” (Season 2): Again, this is something best addressed on a relationship by relationship basis but the question still exists after vows are exchanged. Some married couples engage in extramarital activities considered adulterous in 49 states but are perfectly fine with the arrangement. On the extreme side other couples have a hissy fit if their spouse makes eye contact with another person. It is important to set the ground rules early to avoid any issues and misunderstandings.
“Can you change a man?” (Season 2): No.
“How do you know if you’re good in bed?” (Season 3) : Marriage doesn’t necessarily make performance insecurities go away, but it should provide a comfortable and safe environment to address those insecurities and improve.
“In Relationships, what are the deal breakers?” (Season 3): Over 50% of marriages end in divorce so there are deal breakers after the wedding. While there are some people who give up too quickly when the going gets tough, there are some very legitimate deal breakers like abuse, infidelity, addictions, discovering homosexuality, or becoming a Red Sox fan.
“Do we need drama to make a relationship work?” (Season 3): As an Italian (German-Swedish-English-Irish-Finnish-Czech)-American I know drama. I grew up surrounded by couples who created drama, a way to make their relationships more passionate. Perhaps they picked up too many relationship tips from Soap Operas, because good relationships don’t need to be dramatic to be good. Drama is exhausting.
“Can we have it all?” (Season 3): In the words of the great Rolling Stones: you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need.
“In a relationship, when does the art of compromise become compromising?” (Season 4): This is one of the most profound questions Carrie posed in all six seasons of Sex and the City. Relationships take plenty of compromise, and ideally it works out to be 50/50, but maintaining that 50/50 is a struggle. It is too easy for one person to take on more then their fair share, or give in to the other more often then not. I see other people compromise their opinions, values, time, and opinions to their spouses quite often and wonder myself when it is no longer compromising for the sake of a relationship and just being a doormat.
“As we speed along this endless road to the destination called who-we-hope-to-be, I can’t help but whine, “are we there yet?” (Season 4): One of the biggest misconceptions people have about getting married. The wedding is not a destination; it is just the addition of another person along for the ride.
Marriage is no walk in Central Park and comes along with a whole host of challenges that people associate with being single and the dating scene. Marriage is hard work, but is worth all the sacrifice and struggle when you meet the right person? In the words of Mr. Big, “Absofuckinglutely.”