How Sex & The City Is Ruining Our Real-Life Expectations

Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
By Maya Kachroo-Levine

We’re often warned about the challenges of city living, but it’s always painted in a delicate way. Even with the cautionary tales of people moving to the wrong areas, going into debt, and winding up with awful roommates, we see the city as an alluring place that we must flock to in our 20s. We figure no city problem can be too overwhelming if Carrie Bradshaw can package it up with two to three puns in one sentence. And there will be always be jobs in big cities.

We’re tempted by the Sex and the City dream version of urban life that we see on television and social media. Buzzwords like “brunch,” “young professional,” “up and coming,” “local breweries,” and “great shopping” are more dazzling than we care to admit. So, we move, quickly understand the pitfalls of city life, become disillusioned, and learn to temper the unrealistic expectations we started off with. But we still keep up the charade of hoping to attain the SATC dream.

On and off social media, I think our generation has a knack for pretending things are going well, even when they aren’t. We spin our apartments as glamorous, our relationships as flawless, our jobs as perfect stepping stones to our dream careers, because we feel like we need to keep up. We strive to maintain the SATC-esque life we thought we’d be getting, on Instagram at the very least. Because that’s more glamorous than reporting our concrete salaries, monthly financial anxieties, and the challenges we’ve faced since moving. And so, we end up adding to the conversation of perfect city life, and heightening other people’s expectations, fueling the idea that your life really starts when you move to the big city.

With that in mind, here are eight ways our Sex and the City dreams ruin our real-life expectations.