Sex & The City Rebooted: Life Lessons From Real Women In Their 50s
Sex & The City is coming back and I’m beyond excited.
I can’t wait to see what’s become of Carrie and the girls in the news series ‘And Just Like That’.
I’m so curious. With the main characters now in their 50s, will any of the girls be single and looking for love again? What will they discuss over brunch?
Perhaps career success will be on the agenda, maybe Miranda has her own law firm? If Carrie could afford Jimmy Choo’s on her columnist’s salary – what sort of amazing accessories is she buying now? And just how much do they really understand about what life is like for women at this age?
While we wait to find out, I’ve spoken to several Hampshire women in their 50s to get their views. Here’s what they had to say on love, sex, single life and more.
Hot & bothered: Let’s talk about men…opause
Menopause is hardly ever portrayed on screen. This can make women in their 50s feel incredibly isolated.
How can something so life-altering be reduced to little more than a few references to hot flushes?
The women I spoke to had a lot to say. One Hampshire woman explained, “Something my friends and I are discovering is that our mothers never told us anything about the menopause.”
……….“Thanks to Google, we’ve found out that there are a gazillion different symptoms you might be blessed with. In addition to the most common symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats and poor sleep – we all seem to be getting thinner hair and ‘meno-brain’ – which is a bit like ‘baby brain’, but without the nappies or sick on your shoulder!
………..On some of the useful websites and Facebook groups we’ve discovered that people suffer from a wide range of symptoms, including itchy skin, tingly toes, tinnitus and acne.”
It’s not all bad though, my source added “The good news is that in your 50s you have enough money to buy plenty of wine and gin, and you no longer have PMT or periods. The section in the bathroom cabinet that once held tampons is now full of anti-ageing remedies!”
Menopause is such a huge experience for women everywhere, the reboot must cover it in a meaningful way. And Just Like That is uniquely positioned to be able to tackle the topic with humour, sensitivity and empathy. Perhaps we will see Carrie picking up the subject for Vogue or her latest book?
Real love and relationships
Can Carrie’s famous ‘Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love’ really last into her 50s?
The women I spoke to in long term relationships told me about all the ups and downs. When it comes to intimacy and romance, things do change.
One Hampshire woman in her early 50s confessed that “Things definitely dipped when we had children and I actually hated the sight of my husband. But now the kids are older and they’ve become more irritating, my husband and I are closer again.”
Finding a new closeness with your partner was widely echoed by others too. Another source said: “My husband and I have a far better relationship now than we did in our 30s, we have grown together, we have learned to navigate our lives together. I feel that I know him so much better now. However, I still want to kill him at least twice a day!”
While the passion between the sheets may change (one woman even told me sex was her recreational sport back then) – it’s replaced by something deeper. The bond couples share in their 50s is extra special. One wise Hampshire woman concluded: “We may not have the insatiable lust and passion from our youth, but we really enjoy each other’s company and I still get excited when I know I’m going to see him or we are going on a date.”
Love is strong but relationships are tested at this age. Women are calling out to see real issues covered in the new series. From rediscovering sex to the challenges of looking after teenagers and ageing parents – it is not an easy time for any couple.
The single life
Is Carrie set to be a single gal once again? Reports suggest that Chris Noth (aka Mr Big) will not be in the reboot. What on earth will the dating scene throw her way this time around?
Dating apps and social media are some obvious changes, but what about the emotional differences?
Singletons in their 20s and 30s could learn a lot from the women in their 50s that I spoke to.
Single women at this age set high standards. I doubt we’ll see Carrie settling for toxic types like Berger this time around.
Speaking about single life at 50, one Hampshire source told me: “I am single, it is the first time really since I was a teen! In my 30s I settled for the wrong men very quickly, all down to my lack of self-esteem. Since adopting my children, I have finally learnt to value myself and that has mainly been through them. I will never settle again. If a man comes into our lives he has to knock me off my feet and I am not actively looking.”
What was resoundingly clear was how much more women in their 50s knew themselves and their worth. This has a powerful effect on your love life.
I’d like to see a strong storyline where the ladies won’t put up with any emotionally unavailable men. As for the dating apps, somehow I just don’t see our girl Carrie on Plenty of Fish, do you?
The F word
Carrie once said ‘friendships never go out of style’ – but do they change, I wondered? Like a treasured outfit over time, do friendships need alterations and repairs?
As situations, locations and lives change what do friendships look like for real women in their 50s? I discovered that the effect of knowing yourself better doesn’t just impact romantic relationships. Ultimately, by your 50s it’s time to move on from anyone who isn’t good for you.
I liked how one Hampshire woman put it: “In learning to value myself, the ripple effect is that I truly value friendships. I realise it is important that you get as much out as you put in. I have held onto draining and sometimes toxic friendships in the past where it was 80% me, 20% them. I have re-evaluated old friendships and have made new ones more recently with likeminded ladies.”
Another added “I don’t have the need to feel accepted as I used to in my 20’s. I am far more confident in myself.”
I found it truly heart-warming that many women in their 50s were still close with friends from their teenage years. Those old school connections and memories really do bind us together for life, as my source in her early 50s explained, “I feel incredibly lucky that my closest girlfriends are ones I’ve had for over 30 years. We bonded then over boys, bands and Breezers now it’s more moody teens, martinis and menopause.”
Comments like these really resonate with me. It’s comforting to think of life in my 50s with my original girl gang still by my side, sharing the highs and lows together as we always have. I can’t wait to see this play out on screen between Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte (RIP Samantha Jones, you will be missed).
And just like that … my hopes are up
Writing this article has had a real impact on me. I set out to take a lighthearted look at storylines for the Sex & The City reboot. I’ve come away with so much more.
This experience has given me an incredibly moving glimpse into life at 50+ and maybe even what lies ahead for me. Being in my mid-30s, I confess that I’ve had a few concerns (okay mild panics) about getting older. I wasn’t prepared for the positivity and the power that women at this time of life have.
Instead of worrying about ageing, I’m now looking forward to a stronger sense of self-worth and deepening connections with those I love most.
There’s no denying that I can’t wait for all the glamour the reboot is sure to bring. However, I sincerely hope it’s well mixed with a good dose of reality. Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte will have a whole set of new issues facing them – as well as a whole new wardrobe.
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