As a writer who's penned a sex column in the past, I owe a lot to Carrie Bradshaw. Yet when I pause to think about how much has changed since the 12 years the show went off the air, the outdated dating and relationship references on Sex and the City are totally comical. This fictional anti-hero made writing about relationships not only seem super cool and erroneously lucrative, she legitimized the idea that some women can spend hours having an inner dialogue about nothing other than dating and relationships. Even as I write this I cringe, because while I do spend a lot of time pondering dating, I also have an inner dialogue about, well other stuff. Like family, books, politics, spirituality.
Don't get me wrong, I love the show. And every time I start an article with a rhetorical question, I think of Ms. Bradshaw. Even though the show wrapped so long ago, you don't need me to tell you that it's still relevant as hell. Before reality television took over the airwaves, this show held a magnifying glass to the dating habits of New Yorkers and covered every absurd relationship mishap in a way that was pioneering and mostly empowering to women. But, we're in the new millennium, folks. So while Carrie Bradshaw may remain a golden goddess in pop culture forevermore, there are a couple dating and relationships references on the show that have become flat out archaic.
1. The Post-It Note Break Up
Remember when Carrie freaked the f*ck out when Berger dumped her over a Post-It note? Girl, how would you survive ghosting? In 2016, disappearing from your SO's life whenever you feel like it, has become a trendy, even if totally uncool dating practice.
2. The Idea That Having Sex On The First Date Is "Wrong"
Carrie had a panic attack after sleeping with Mr. Big on their first date, and the entire episode debated whether or not a relationship can blossom out of first-date sex. Huffington Post recently interviewed 14 women on having sex on the first date, and what they had to say about is — like how it depends on the person or first-date sex might not leave enough time to have the STD talk — was more evolved than whether or not first-date sex was right or wrong.
3. The Idea That No One Goes On Blind Dates
Remember life without Tinder? Time to swipe right, Carrie.
4. The Idea That Having The Monogamy Talk Is Such A Big Deal
Carrie had one of her famous meltdowns when she realized she wasn't in a monogamous relationship with Mr. Big. But the two had never discussed monogamy, so why would she assume that? These days, that assumption is pretty laughable. See above.
5. The Idea That Saying "I Love You" Has A "Shelf Life"
When Carrie told Mr. Big she loved him and he didn't say it back, his silence did more than just bruise her ego. Does anyone even say "I love you" any more these days? Kidding. There are like a zillion emojis for grown ass adults to express their undying love and devotion to one another.
6. The Idea That Bisexuality Is A Lifestyle Choice
As Cosmopolitan noted, Sex and the City misrepresented bisexuality as being a "crazy, young boho lifestyle!" That's not really how bisexuality, a distinct sexual orientation, works. These days, people get that. Carrie back in the day, not so much.
7. The Frequency With Which These Women Date
Sure this was pre-recession, but what was with the early aughts? Didn't anyone have jobs?
8. How People Deal With The Ex Factor
It's hard to imagine how you spent your nights before you could stalk your exes and their new partners on social media.
9. The Idea That Women Are Naive About Slut-Shaming
The show uses these terms "whore" and "slut" freely, and even the sex-positive fab four engage in the lingo of slut-shaming. Totally archaic. These savvy gals would never do that today.
10. The Idea That Watching Porn In A Relationship Is Perverted
Remember when Miranda has a boyfriend who likes to watch porn while doing it? OK, he might have been a little extreme about it, but, it's not the apocalypse, Miranda. Women watch porn, these days too, you know, and BuzzFeed has the sky-high analytics to prove it.
11. The Idea That You Have "To Play By The Rules" In Dating
The premise of each episode revolved around a dating adventure that was supposed to teach women a lesson. Um, no.
12. The Idea That Dating Younger Men Is Taboo
These days, if you're an older woman dating a younger man, you're no Mrs. Robinson. You're just doing your thing. Recently, Today reported on why men love to date older women and the taboo is pretty much gone.
13. The Idea That If You Can't Find A Man To Be Your Soul Mate, You've Got Your Girlfriends
Here's a revolutionary idea: love yourself!
As outdated as these dating and relationship foibles may be, you gotta give it up to these women for starting a mainstream dialogue on what women think and feel about relationship. Who knows what the future generations will be saying about me? I can only wonder.