February 1, 2022

5 Keys for Relationships I Learned from Sex and The City’s Miranda & Steve.

Justice for Steve!

It’s the outcry being echoed around the world by us angry and disappointed fans of the original series of SATC.

I am not alone in the love for this show. It came of age whilst I was coming of age, and it spoke to the oft unspoken truths and vulnerabilities of navigating relationships, friendships, dating, and sex in a way that hadn’t been shown before on national television.

I watched it with my partner at the time, and since then, I’ve been delighted to hear of so many of my straight male friends who felt the same love and appreciation for a series that tackled, amongst other issues: miscarriage and accidental pregnancies, erectile disfunction, mothers-in-law, cancer, jealousies, not to mention, yoni gazing, spunky tasting cum, analingus, and loving sex any which way and often!

Though it was the women’s friendships that really touched upon something universal and beautiful about sisterhood, the ever-revolving, ridiculous, cookie-cutter, stereotype-ticking, and frustrating roundabout of dating and men was the side kick, and raison d’etre of Carrie and co.’s existence.

The search for the one. The quest for love.

We all knew that one, didn’t we?

Alongside Big, whom we won’t speak of right now, there were the other male characters who endeared our hearts: Aiden and his turquoise, California-vibed, laid back cool; Smith’s loyalty and love for Samantha; Harry Goldblatt’s mensch-esque realness; and Steve Brady, the main on and off and then on again romantic interest who captured Miranda’s heart and stole her away to parenthood, marriage, and Brooklyn!

Oh Steve.

What have they done to you?!

David Eigenberg first appeared as Steve way back in Season 2 in 1999 in “The man, the Myth, the Viagra,” as the barman one night stand, who wouldn’t take no for an answer. The Queens-born, glasses-wearing, bartending (and then bar-owning) basketball fan who was smitten with Miranda from the start.

By the way. What the f*ck has happened to his bar? Does he still have it? Has it done so well that he no longer needs to be there, rolling in at 4 a.m. like the good ole days to snuggle up to Miranda as she was waking up to go to work?

He was the good guy. Honest. Nice. The one who you probably felt safe with. He sees good in others and has a caring heart. He probably helped to ground Miranda with his simple, steady, sweetness. Oh. And he was hot too. Still is. Despite that hearing aid.

Yep. In the latest incarnation known as “And Just Like That,” a monstrous, character-destroying, joyless, and pointless piece of work, Steve is deaf. He wears a hearing aid. Now there’s nothing wrong with that, but God Almighty, why the hell do the writers (Are they bitter people? Sad and lonely?) have to make this such a shtick for him?

Poor Steve has become this boring, bewildered, bumbling, shadow of his former perky self. He’s literally either sitting on the couch, eating dessert, or unsuccessfully trying to get some “dessert” by lamely attempting to finger Miranda in the kitchen in the most unromantic, passionless, and ick scene that I’ve been unfortunate enough to watch.

Apparently, though, just as an aside, when contacted to reprise his role as Steve, nearly 20 years later, David admitted straight away that he now wears a hearing aid. So fair enough that they captured that in his character’s development (if you can call it that!).

And now, after viewing episode eight, Miranda has gleefully asked him for a divorce, leaving him adrift, on his couch, with his puppy-dog lost look, as she sails off into never never land, toward her red-flag-toking, non-binary lover.

I get it. There may well be a number of reasons for Miranda’s failed marriage, and the deep unhappiness that she feels about it and her life. For one, she’s probably going through menopause. This can make a lady bat sh*t crazy and turn her whole life upside down in some red-raged, unvoiced, release of the woman that she truly is. Secondly, she’s questioning her sexuality. Fair enough.

And thirdly, maybe Miranda’s lack-of-lawyer, hotshot, empowered, dominant-b*tch alpha, pant-wearing woman identity has caused her to deflate into some love-struck, sorry, lust-struck, teenager, who, as she puts it herself when speaking with Carrie, feels like she’s in a romcom!

As I’ve always pointed out, you never see what happens six months down the line after the credits smugly proclaim the end to that sob-wrenching movie you’ve just consumed. The adrenaline and buzz of all the chase and drama is addictive and seductive as hell! Some of us get off on drama. But it can’t sustain anything real.

What Steve and Miranda had was real. Comforting. Loving. Caring. Accepting, and they both chose it. We have to keep choosing our other half. Consciously. Even on those days when we find our romantic sense of love has been covered up by a cloud of irritation and disconnection.

So, whilst I fondly remember the memories such as on Season 6’s “One,” when they both confessed their rekindled love for one another at Brady’s first birthday party (yes, the same one with Samantha’s “clown” pubes!) and when they made a kid with his one ball and her defective ovary, I would like to share the five keys for relationships that Miranda and Steve have taught me!

Respect:

Now, I don’t know about you, but there was always a slight imbalance in their power dynamic. You could say that Miranda always had a sense of superiority over Steve. Looking down on him like a sad little puppy who needed rescuing. Sure, she was making good money and was highly successful, whilst he was working as a bartender and made nowhere near her level of income. Remember when they first split up and she helped him to find an apartment in that damp basement hellhole that they viewed together?

Okay. So, it was Steve who cheated on Miranda in the first SATC film whilst they were going through a dry spell. But they found their way back to each other again, and that scene on that bridge toward the end of the movie?! Oh my! That was so romantic.

You have to have respect for each other and for who the other person is. Celebrate each other’s differences. Allow the other to be who they are. Without respect, love cannot prosper. It’s the foundation stone for any relationship.

Safety:

Okay. So sure, they’ve been together for a while. They have a teenage son (Dear God Brady!), and as we know, the honeymoon, infatuation stage of a relationship doesn’t last forever. What does, though, is the depth that we dive and lean into as time goes by.

Loyalty and trust become anchors and, happily settled, we can often get stuck in a rut and the normality of settled down, domestic bliss becomes a bit “meh.”

It feels good to feel safe in a relationship. It’s important. But when safety becomes comfortable, then we have a problem. Nothing grows in comfort land. It’s all brown hues and dullness, with lack-less air and stained drab walls.

On Season 3’s “Drama Queens,” heavily swimming in blissfully unaware domestic bliss, nothing can shatter the illusion of Saturday nights in, curling up, and eating ice cream—until Miranda does their laundry and finds an icky stain on Steve’s pants. (Note to self. Never. Never. Do your partner’s smalls laundry. There are some lines not to be crossed. I know that you can’t uphold the air of mystery forever, but…well, this also includes, sh*tting whilst in the same room, having a good blissful pick of your nose in front of your S.O. (significant other), and stuffing your face with a large pack of Doritos whilst Netflix-ing the whole series of “Too hot to handle” till dawn!)

Shake things up. Get dressed up and go on a date night. See your partner for the first time again—because we can get to a point where we stop seeing them, being curious, interested, in this unique human being who we’re so comfortable with that we stop wondering who they are. For God’s sake, we don’t even know who we are, so let’s stop pretending like we know them completely either!

Communication:

This is a biggie! If we’re not communicating anymore then what is even the point?! It sounds like Miranda and Steve not only stopped being surprised by each other, liking each other, or trying to save their marriage, but they stopped communicating how they were truly feeling. Miranda’s not enough and needing more was heartbreakingly opposed to Steve’s this is enough. I mean, hell, if they’ve been unhappy for a while then why was this not brought up?! When did they stop talking about things? They were always so open and honest with each other. It’s sad.

Intimacy:

And sex. They used to have fantastic sex. Multiple orgasm sex. I can imagine Steve’s hoop tricks and strong sports legs had the right moves and stamina for Miranda once upon a time.

But again, we change, our libido changes. Our desire shifts, and, particularly for women of a certain age, as our bodies change, so can our libido, our needs, what turns us on. We’re complicated like that. And fabulous too!

We have to adjust with these changes over a long-term relationship and flow into the unknown. It strikes me that intimacy, true intimacy, is what keeps a connection strong. And this has to be tended to. There’s a certain amount of work needed and that requires both partners to show up.

The other one:

Oh yeh. There’s three of you in a relationship, don’t you know? Nope. I’m not counting Che or the woman Steve had a fling with. There’s you, there’s your partner, and there’s the relationship itself.

It’s a thing. It’s alive and organic and evolving. It has its own needs and wants and desires. And it needs to be listened to and fed. We forget this third creature. And this can make or break us.

So, there’s two more episodes in this hell season car crash to watch. And though I’m hating what they’ve done to the characters that I loved so much, I’m glued to it. I’m loyal like that.

Like any relationship, with work and time, it might get better. The loves still there, you know!

Justice for Steve? “Hell yeah!”

~

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