“I’m a Sagittarius, outdoorsy in the sense that I love grabbing drinks on a rooftop in the summer. I consider myself a Carrie even though all of my friends say I’m a Samantha.”
If you know more than five women, you’re familiar with this particular kind — the one who considers her “Sex and the City” characterization a personality trait. I’ll admit I’m one of them. As someone who relies on the experiences of slightly misinformed yet fashionable television characters for guidance, I truly believe that there’s something sublime about knowing your kindred character — not to mention it’s proven quite useful as I navigate through the unpredictably chaotic yet magical world of dating.
Now, I’ve dated quite a bit over the years. And though I’ve grown to cherish and appreciate single life, there was a time when I literally would’ve given away all $400 of my life’s savings to be part of a couple. I went on countless dates, wasted a concerning amount of my salary on Ubers and NARS foundation, and still could not find someone who I felt was even close to my equal. I began to mistake my inability to settle for being undeserving of a relationship. That is until I spent a lonely Friday night rewatching “Sex and the City” for the 60th time. I was on the season two finale when Carrie (who you should know, though imperfect, is my guiding light) has an epiphany in the middle of Central Park: “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 them.”
I know you’ve seen this quote pinned to a bunch of Pinterest boards and on cheesy artwork. I cannot help that it’s now a cliché. However, that night, I poured myself another glass of 2015 Nobilo from Trader Joe’s, looked in the mirror, and made a toast with my reflection “to singlehood.” It cannot be tamed nor predicted, and neither can I, which is why we’re perfect for each other. It was the night I stopped dreading life sans plus one and started enjoying every enchanting moment of it.
A couple of years later, I found myself in a relationship that was fading faster than Jordyn’s friendship with Kylie. Every day, I could feel that relentless and untamable piece of me itching to instigate a breakup. Taking hours to respond to texts, starting stupid arguments just because I knew I’d win, and getting early 2000s socialite wasted with my girlfriends and posting it on Instagram for the world (and my boyfriend’s mother) to see were all behaviors that screamed “break up with your boyfriend, you’re bored.”
This was around the time that I was introduced to Issa Rae. Aside from our mahogany skin tones and ever-changing hairstyles, I didn’t think we had much in common. Then, I watched end of the first season of “Insecure” when Issa, who in a fading relationship of her own (with Lawrence, who is quite possibly one of the sexiest men on TV, but I digress), makes the bold decision to self-sabotage and cheat on her man, subconsciously ruining her relationship so that she has no choice but to end it. While I did not cheat, I was definitely dabbling in the dark arts of self-sabotage. I knew I could not be like Issa. I had to pull myself up by the bra straps and break up with this guy like an adult. Sure, his feelings would be hurt, but my erratic behavior would cause more harm over time. And, I couldn’t live with myself if I hurt him the same way Issa hurt Lawrence. I ended things immediately and excitedly rejoined the single force.
I’ve managed to avoid several dating-disaster-induced meltdowns thanks to the guidance of my TV soul sisters. For example, let’s just jump back to when a guy I had been dating for six months abruptly made the decision to move to another state without my knowledge. Yep, you read that correctly. This guy picked up and moved to Indiana without even sending me a fucking text message. Completely blindsided, confused, and heartbroken, I danced alone in my room as “Moon River” played in the background (dramatic, I know), much like Carrie did when Mr. Big relocated to Napa after giving her only a few days notice. While this ritual didn’t completely heal my emotional wounds, it proved therapeutic enough to keep me from sending several nasty letters to his new home address.
I’ve managed to avoid several dating-disaster-induced meltdowns thanks to the guidance of my TV soul sisters.
Oh, here’s another good one! Three years ago, I found out an estranged friend was sleeping with one of my exes. My anger and blood pressure reached heights I wasn’t aware were humanly possible. Naturally, I wanted to print out flyers that exposed their transgressions and hand them out on the streets, exactly like Samantha Jones did when she found out she was being cheated on. However, I recalled how, on “Girls,” Hannah Horvath handled this exact situation with an uncharacteristic amount of poise and tact. This forced me to do some deep, Buddha-like introspection. How would making my estranged friend’s and my ex’s lives miserable benefit me? It wouldn’t. I made the very tough choice to let them (and karma) be. Khloe Kardashian, take notes.
Now, when the time comes for me to date more seriously, I will without a doubt turn to “Entourage’s” Sloan McQuewick for guidance. She’s incredibly smart (like me, some days), beautiful (like me, most days), and rich (like me, one day), yet falls for Eric, who’s not nearly as wealthy, smart, or tall as she is. So when I am ready to take the plunge, I’ll be sure to do so with my eyes closed so as not to allow superficial matters stop me from falling for my Mr. Big.
Or Aidan because, let’s be real, he was the best.