The character of Miranda Hobbes in Sex and the City turned out to be the one I idolized most out of the four main ladies, although I certainly imagine myself sitting and blogging like Carrie as she wrote her column by her New York window.

Miranda was all about herself, her friends, and her career, before any notion of settling down or committing to family-life, but that isn't where I identified with her back then, or even now.

I respected the fact that the character resisted giving up her space and a lot of her independence, until it felt right to do so, with her heart eventually opening up to love when it was real and right. Things certainly weren't conventional though, seeing as she had an unplanned pregnancy resulting from a friends-with-benefits situation. But then she eventually re-united with the doting father, Steve, after realizing she truly wanted a life with him. Her anti-convention stance was spurned eventually, as they married in the final season, in a low-key ceremony in a Manhattan garden.

But I've been thinking about something else her character did too.

In the SATC movie (the first one, aka the best one) Miranda's husband Steve sleeps with another woman. Feeling neglected amidst Miranda's focus on her high-flying career (oh, and that whole motherhood thing) he has a one-night stand.

Guilt-ridden and utterly broken by his own actions, he confesses and is kicked out by Miranda with little hesitation. 

Miranda fights against even a conversation, let alone a reunion, for months and months, with her trust completely destroyed and her heart shattered.

When she does relent a little in her anger, she agrees to marriage counselling, which appears to start the mending process.

During the last session the therapist tells the couple that to move forward, they need to let go of the past and start afresh. The therapist suggests they choose an agreed meeting point, whereby their mutual showing-up means it's go time; they are willing to forgive, forget and are committed to one another once again.

They set an agreed time and place, which for them, with their geographical history of Miranda being the Manhattan girl, and Steve being the Brooklyn boy, is the mid-point of the Brooklyn bridge.

On the day, Miranda is writing a pro-con list whilst sat in a coffee-shop. Always known for being practical and logical in how she lives her life, she of course wants to try and break this down to the facts. As she then stands to leave, finishing her coffee with an unsure look on her face, she catches sight of her reflection and notices she's given herself a fetching foamy milk moustache...

This triggers a memory of a moment from many months before, back when she also had a foam moustache, but this time it was during a disagreement with Steve, who then gave himself a moustache too, totally defusing the tension and making his stressed out wife smile.

On that note, she heads to Brooklyn Bridge and they have a tearfully moving reunion.

I think this scene leads you to believe that the pragmatic Miranda couldn't argue with her heart, and it was the foam that did it in the end. Memory foam, if you will (god). But I have a different take on things. (I found this article which actually disagrees with my take, and you may well also.)

If you note Miranda's pro-con list, there's a whole lot of things in Steve's favour. Steve ticks the practical boxes, he's a good father and husband (when he's not having a one-night-stand), but he is also a ton of other things Miranda considers important for a long-term union.

All in all, it made rational and emotional sense to reunite. Not only is he good on paper, historically consistent in his qualities, but he loves her, he gets her and he knows how to make her happy. In the end, it was an open-shut-case, in Miranda lawyer terms.

Which leads me to ask, if you are considering a reunion after a break-up, can you honestly argue that it makes rational and emotional sense for you to go back to that person, and call off the hit-man?

Could you choose to think like Miranda and put truth and fact above emotional attachment and romantic love, even if just for a moments consideration?

I need to point out that my own relationship was not lacking in the kind of chemistry-driven and soul-bearing love that some believe is worth holding onto, despite all the difficulties and differences that arise. It would be easy for most of us, if we were told that all our problems within our relationship would disappear, to go back to that person in favour of our love-infused memories and feelings.

But lasting romantic relationships, need more than just love and laughter.

The first days after a break-up are a beast, one some of us have encountered several times over. Many of us try to put off a break-up for fear of re-living these painful and jarring first moments of adjustment.

Crying endless tears and noises coming out of you with vigour. Loss of appetite combined with random binging. Overwhelming thoughts and anxiety about the future.

Wondering if you did the right thing (if it was a mutual choice, or you were the one to end it).

Wondering how you can get them back (if they unceremoniously let you go).

I think the case for writing a pro/con list, not about the person per se, but about the true reasons for your split, is pretty strong. I don't think there's a right time to do this in the aftermath, and it will feel incredibly hard when you take the plunge, but I think it might help in more ways than you expect.

When you are in the middle of the break-up, emotions take over. Hormones even play a role, as all your good ones dip amidst the loss of your dopamine triggering lover. You may be rendered incapable of thinking logically, and you will also be over-thinking with a million different things a minute.

If you aren't thinking things over endlessly, you are trying hard not to. You might be numbing yourself with drink or drugs. You might be sleeping more, eating weirdly, maybe binge-watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix in 13 hours, like I might have done...

You should let these feelings, in all their brutality, flow through you. This is a stage of grieving a lost relationship, a broken connection. But even during this horrific time, you are not powerless to seeing the light through the dark.

Write down why things might have come to this and why you think you had to break up; what underlying feelings and factors lead to this choice. Don't list why you love/loved that person, or why you think you should be with them, but focus on why you have been driven apart.

  • Was it a relationship where you felt you had a shared vision of the future?
  • Did you feel respected, listened to and cherished?
  • Was it a relationship where both parties were open to compromise and maturity in the face of disagreement?
  • Did you feel chosen and prioritized, wanted and appreciated?
  • Was it a union that involved more good days than bad days?
  • Did your relationship elevate you both, as individuals, and partners, helping you reach your own personal goals too?

The more you focus on the rational reasons, the more you will be able to re-wire your brain to be contemplative in a way that helps you move on.

If these questions, or the list itself, doesn't help you immediately, it will at least force you to off-load your thoughts and get them out of your head long enough to feel clearer.

List everything, from the trivial to the serious, because even the minor things relate to bigger issues in how a relationship dynamic works, or doesn't. Let everything just pour out.

I don't mean for this to be an exercise in assassinating their character or stirring up even more emotion, but clearly, if they ever read your list it could potentially hurt them. But, this process is about you, and aiding your healing.

In this process, you are finally considering all the things that maybe you denied or kept pushed down in favour of avoiding reality. Now the feared reality is here, you don't need to do that any-more.

Compromise, and a commitment to watering the grass you have, instead of seeking greener pastures, is the rational but integral part of a mature relationship. I truly believe in letting some things go in the face of others and I don't accept that two people must be entirely sorted or solid in their own minds for love to last. Whilst emotional and romantic love is beautiful, it doesn't trump incompatibility. In unravelling the concept of our emotions versus our rationality, we can find a way to navigate the windy road ahead. Who knows what your list will reveal or how it will impact you. It could even come out in favour of giving love a second go, but if not, it still may help you through.

Good Intentions Blog