12 Dating Rules From Sex And The City — That Still Apply!

It’s hard to believe but Sex and The City premiered 15 years ago. It burst onto our screens, a complete breath of fresh air, towering in its heels over all its competitors. Finally we had a show that women could champion, where we called the shots and then drank them.

Six seasons and 94 episodes later it ended, and I remember shedding a tear as I bid farewell to Carrie et al. I felt like I’d lost my buddies. (I know, I know, there were 2 movies, but the less said about those the better, eh?)

Do you remember playing the game, ‘Which SATC character are you?’ And everyone hoping that they wouldn’t be Charlotte?

How about those fabulous outfits that Carrie never could have afforded on her writer’s salary in a million years?

And all the amazing quotes that Samantha dryly delivered? I should have listened when she stated, “Don’t play hard to get, with a man who’s hard to get.” Instead I got burnt.

Sex and The City showed us every dating mistake you could ever make with every type of man. And so, with that in mind, I thought I’d celebrate its birthday, by giving you 12 MUST READ dating rules that SATC bequeathed us.

If you can think of any others, let me know!




  • No. 1 – It’s ok to be single 1 of 12

    Did Samantha Jones ever look like she wasn't having a good time? Nope. Remaining single for the majority of the show, Samantha had more fun than the other 3 women put together. Confident, successful, and super smart, Samantha viewed men as the lesser species: "Men aren't complicated. They're kind of like plants."

    Her life was filled with hot men and cold showers and she made no apologies for not wanting to settle down. In her mind NYC had too many men and too little time... If there ever was a patron saint of the singles, it's our Samantha.

  • No. 2 – How to tell when ‘he’s just not that into you.’ 2 of 12

    In one of my favorite episodes, Miranda tells Carrie's then-boyfriend Berger that she invited her date upstairs and he politely declined the offer. Berger explains that 'he's just not that into you.' That, if a guy is interested - HE'LL CALL YOU. There are no mixed signals, no excuses. If he is into you - he'll show it. Later Miranda overhears two women talking about why a guy hasn't called one of them, making up all kinds of excuses. Miranda, trying to he helpful, explains that clearly 'he's just not that into you.' So ladies take note. No excuses. No waiting by the phone and wondering. If a guy doesn't make time for you.... you know the rest.

  • No. 3 – Opposites Attract 3 of 12

    Charlotte, in the throws of divorcing her 'perfect' husband, meets lawyer Harry Goldenblatt. He is everything that Charlotte shouldn't want in a partner: bald, hairy, overweight, crude, and very sweaty. Yet she jumps on him! What begins as a rebound fling suddenly becomes a serious relationship. Once Charlotte is done trying to change him to suit her image of what a man should be, she accepts him for who he is, hairy back and all, and they are married. Ahhhh.

    Likewise, Miranda falls for bartender Steve. He may not be a hotshot lawyer like she's used to dating, but he is kind, warm, and makes her laugh. And he loves her, right from the start. The moral here is to write down that list of everything you want in a man - then tear it up! What should be your ideal mate on paper, isn't often the case. So date outside the box - hairy backs included.


  • No. 4 – There is such a thing as a ‘good way to break up with someone.’ 4 of 12

    There are ways to tell someone that you're just not that into them. A post-it note is not one of them. Carrie, after a tumultuous time with writer Jack Berger, gives him another chance when he shows up at her apartment with flowers. She wakes the next day to find Berger gone, and a POST IT note on her laptop, saying 'I'm sorry. I can't. Don't hate me.'

    Later, in a club Carrie advises a group of strangers (in a kind of slightly psychotic way) that there IS a good way to break up with someone - by having the guts and the courtesy to say it to a woman' s face. So take note, (no pun intended) if you are gonna ditch someone, don't email/text/ or god forbid leave a post it note, instead call them up, or better still, have a face-to-face chat. We're all grown ups, aren't we?

    Photo Credit: IMDB

  • No. 5 – If in doubt, (DON’T) be a stewardess 5 of 12

    Remember when Miranda tried speed dating? (In a bid not to be dateless for Charlotte's wedding?) Every time she mentioned being a lawyer, the men all switched off. So, she changed her story. She became a 'stewardess.' Immediately all the men at the multi-dating event were smitten. It proved that men can be threatened by women in powerful positions.

    Same happened to Carrie when she dated Berger. He just couldn't hack the fact that she was a more successful writer than him. Gals, men like this are to be AVOIDED. If they don't like you for who you are (or what you do) - their problem. There is absolutely nothing wrong with women being the breadwinner in the relationship. Only men with small minds and big egos are threatened by successful women. So really, if in doubt, DON'T pretend to be a stewardess.

  • No. 6 – Make him chase you 6 of 12

    Carrie declared, "I am someone who is looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can't-live-without-each-other love." Who isn't? But boy did Carrie get it in the end. After what felt like FOREVER, Big finally got his butt in gear and flew to Paris to rescue his fair maiden from the clutches of a slightly creepy, selfish French artist. He announced his love for her and... you know the rest (well, if you saw the woeful movies that is).

    The point is, that Carrie dreamt of finding real love and lo and behold she did. She refused to settle. She knew the man she wanted - but she wasn't going to be his bit on the side. Twice she had affairs with him - once when Big was married and once when she was with Aiden. Naturally, those times never worked out. She knew she wanted Big for keeps, but he'd have to want her, on her terms. In the end, she got exactly what she wanted. The lesson here is not to settle. Not to chase after that man. Have some self respect and let him chase you. If he is keen, he will. (See previous rule: if he is into you - he'll CALL).

  • No. 7 – Stop waiting for Mr Right 7 of 12

    If only Charlotte had heeded that advice.

    Charlotte: "I've been dating since I was 15! I'm exhausted! Where IS he?"

    Miranda: "Who? The white Knight?"

    Samantha: "That's what happens in fairytales..."

    But Charlotte continued on her quest and wed Trey MacDougal. He was a wealthy successful doctor who doted on her every whim. However, she planned to wait until after they were wed to consummate the marriage.  Samantha noted dryly, "Before you buy the car, you take it for a test drive." Charlotte discovered to her horror (on the eve of her wedding!), that they had no sexual chemistry whatsoever. (What did she expect from a man who still bathes with his Mom?) While he appeared perfect in appearance, status, background, and wealth - as a person, Trey didn't rock Charlotte's world.

    Mind you, when she mentioned getting married he replied 'all righty.'  - romance not being Trey's strong point, or indeed not having any sort of personality at all. So what should we learn from this? Mr Perfect doesn't exist. Only in fairy tales. It's all about you accepting HIS flaws and him accepting YOURS. Because believe it or not, you do have them. Yes you.

  • No. 8 – If you are wearing your engagement ring around your neck… the signs aint good. 8 of 12

    Call me crazy, but if a man proposes and gives you a big rock, and you choose to wear it AROUND YOUR NECK instead of on your ring finger, well, the signs aren't good, are they? Carrie may have bleated something about the ring being "closer to my heart this way," but we knew the truth. Aiden was never gonna cut the mustard. In the photo above, having been at the Black and White Ball, Aiden suggests they marry right now! After all, Carrie is in a white dress... When she refuses, he realizes the truth - she aint ever gonna want to marry him.

    Moral here, is that if it aint right - why bother? Don't lie to yourself, or him. If you don't really feel it in your heart of hearts, then it is time to cut the cord. Stringing someone along isn't fair on either of you.


    Photo credit: IMDB

  • No. 9 – Don’t pretend to be somebody that you’re not. 9 of 12

    We've all been there. We say we love football, or Coldplay, or hotdogs, just because HE likes them.  When in reality we can't bear all 3. In SATC Carrie was no different. She pretended she was an outdoorsy sort of gal, when she heads with Aiden to his 'rustic' country retreat. It is anything but luxurious. As Aiden builds and chops and sweats, Carrie skittles about, trying not to get her Manolos covered in mud. A farm girl, she isn't.

    Pretending to be someone that we're not, always ends in disaster. Better to be upfront from the start. Any guy worth his salt will like you more for standing up for yourself. I actually LIKE the fact that my husband likes different things than me - it means I get peace to watch my SATC reruns, and he gets time to watch cricket. (Cricket! Is there a more dull game?) Ladies, we don't have to agree with everything our dates like/say/do. And there is NOTHING wrong with watching SATC reruns.

  • No. 10 – Sometimes, you just need to STOP. 10 of 12

    "Sometimes, we need to stop analyzing the past, stop planning the future, stop figuring out precisely how we feel, stop deciding exactly what we want, and just see what happens." So said Carrie Bradshaw, who let's face it, had her fair share of heartache.

    This piece of advice is probably my favorite. We run ourselves ragged trying to find Mr Right, and then tie ourselves in knots over 'will he call or not? Am I being to keen? Should I introduce him to my friends? Will he like me if he sees me without make-up on?' etc.  Sometimes we just need to throw all the rules out the window and just focus on today, the here and now, and having some fun. Chances are, when we least expect it, Mr Right will come a knockin'.

  • No. 11 – There is someone out there for everyone 11 of 12

    Carrie believed, "If the world's fattest twins can find love, there is hope for all of us. Somewhere out there is another little freak, who will love us, understand us, and kiss our three heads and make it all better."

    'Tis true - there is someone out there for all of us. More than just 'the one.' Several I am sure.

    Reason being is that I was the most single of all my friends. They nicknamed me 'Jones,' As in Bridget. Sadly not as in Samantha. I lost count of all the weddings I went to, date-less, sitting at the reception dinner beside some idiot who could barely speak. But I met my freak. Like Charlotte, he wasn't what I expected. Like Miranda, he was a bartender. Like Samantha, he was younger.  So I do believe that you can find love - you just have to have faith and get out there! He is winging his way towards you, as I type...

    Photo credit: IMDB

  • No. 12 – All you need to get through the minefield of dating? Your friends! 12 of 12

    "No matter who broke your heart, or how long it takes to heal, you'll never get through it without your friends," said Carrie Bradshaw.

    Amen to that.


    Photo credit: IMDB


All photo credits (except where indicated) : PR Photos

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