Sex and the City: Is Mr. Big for Real?

 By Nina Atwood

sex and the cityMy husband and I saw Sex and the City the movie Saturday night. If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll love it! It was laugh-out-loud funny at times, and there were moments that brought tears to our eyes (yes, his too!). My favorite movies are the ones that make me laugh and make me cry – and this one hits all those emotions and more. It’s fun with a point.

I won’t give away the movie. Instead, I’ll go back to the television show. At the end of seven years of dating agony, Carrie and Mr. big finally got together, and it looked like they were going to make it. The ultimate Westbound Train, the emotionally unavailable guy, finally came through. But was that total fantasy or a portrait of real relationship journeys?

For seven years, Big was the classic commitmentphobe: charming, seductive, frightened of real relationships, and a heart breaker. What made him likeable was that he occasionally displayed vulnerability underneath the constant self-protection. Of course, the fact that he’s tall, handsome, sexy, and wealthy makes him a fantasy love icon that fits many women’s pictures of the ideal guy.

Mr. Big is mostly a fantasy character – meaning that in real life his evolution into a loving man would be extremely unlikely to occur. True commitmentphobes rarely transform into people who can commit, and almost never do as a part of an ongoing relationship.

Do commitmentphobes change? Sometimes, but very rarely. If so, it is through “hitting bottom” by feeling the emptiness of a life without love and the resulting despair, followed by seeking real help. That could be therapy or some other conduit that helps the person access the original wounds that created the condition and then heal them. It’s a difficult path. Commitmentphobes who charm their way into a lot of success do not go down the painful path of healing and growth. Insulated from the suffering that is needed to hit bottom, there is little motivation toward change. Mr. Big is that kind of guy – far too insulated from pain in life to be motivated to change.

The ultimate fantasy of the woman who loves a Mr. Big kind of guy is that he will change for her. We loved Big’s transformation in the television show. Suddenly, he realized that he was losing Carrie, the love of his life. You know the rest of the story, and the movie opens three years later with Carrie and Big happily in love.

But be aware. Loving a commitmentphobe like Big is a set-up for suffering. Instead of changing him, you’re much more likely to wind up hating him. Instead of learning to love you, he’s more likely to lose respect for you as you diminish your worth by struggling to get his love.

Far better to love someone like Charlotte’s Harry – a nice, steady Eddie kind of guy, already equipped with a big heart and the ability to commit. Harry and Charlotte’s story is far closer to the reality of relationships – two loving people who bump along, making some mistakes but ultimately just happy to be together.

Entry Filed under: Advice for Women,Celebrity Buzz

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