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Thursday, May 3, 2012

"Two Great Loves"...That's It?

Anyone familiar with the Sex and the City mythos knows that of all the ladies, Charlotte York was the one who was a hopeless romantic, the one who believed that a prince would come to sweep her away, the one who longed for a Happy Ever After the most, the one with all the theories on how to be successful in meeting "the one".

Ever the romantic.
(Courtesy of

Many times I've wanted to barf hearing her expound on her "philosophies".

Watching a re-run of SATC recently, one of her "theories" came to fore (yet again) but it struck me because I think it is something that people relate to very much - I would go so far as saying that some might even cling their hopes onto it - as evidenced by the number of questions and search words of the same "theory" in cyberspace, and most probably in real life.

"Everyone knows you only get two great loves."

If you've seen the episode, you know that Charlotte was roundly met with incredulity by the other ladies, asking her where she got her "theory": "I read it in a magazine!" she says, with conviction.

"Convenient Theories For You Monthly?" quips Miranda, bar none, my favorite SATC character.

Cynical Miranda, my favorite SATC character.
(Courtesy of

The said theory struck a chord with all the ladies, though, and the entire episode ended up revolving around it.

Does anyone subscribe to it, in real life?

Of course, we are strictly speaking of romantic love, as this was the context it was intended when Charlotte said it. If the "great love" was in any category, it can't be limited to two. Most people would cite their parents and siblings as great loves. You have friends who go far and beyond the "call of duty" who can even surpass blood relatives as far as love and affections go. Many people also call their pets as "loves" of their lives, and I am lucky to have known my Twiggy as one. And parents would 99.9% answer their children as their great loves.

So, since it has been narrowed down to eros - romantic love - does the theory hold water?

It seems to be a dangerous theory.

If you've already had one such "great love", it exerts enormous pressure on the next one to be "the final one". What a "screening process" it must be in order for anyone to determine if the next blind date or chance encounter is "the one" who realizes the said theory. The relationship would fall into the trap of falling in love withh the idea instead of the parties relating to each other because they genuinely feel that way mutually. The song "Last Dance" seems to have been written with this theory in mind: "Last dance...last chance for love..."

If you've had two great loves already - as Carrie did at that time in the series, Aidan and Big - then you would come to the same conclusion that she also did. "One. Two. And according to you, I'm done." Of course, Charlotte, ever the diplomat, rushes to take back her words. "No, was a stupid article. It was at the dentist's." You would resign yourself to "meaningless dates" since your "time is up" and filled your supposed quota in this lifetime. It cuts out expectations for another chance at a romantic relationship.

Carrie, who used up her Two Great Loves quota.
(Courtesy of

And if you've never had one, it could set you up for disappointment and frustration. One could be asking, "Why the hell is it taking so long?!? How can I get to the second great love, when I haven't even had the first one?!?" It also gives you a sense of failure if everyone else around you has had at least one "great love".

You could take the pragmatic route, like Samantha: "I'm done with great loves. I'm back to great lovers."

Resident sex maven Samantha.
(Courtesy of

One thing that Carrie demanded to know was "what does that phrase even mean, great loves?"

To which ever-idealistic Charlotte responds, with even more conviction: "It means a love that changes you...shakes you to your core...after which, you are never the same again."

My response to that is: If you're lucky, you will find one such great love before you draw your last breath on this mortal coil.

And it has nothing to do with time or how long a couple has been together. As reiterated by Carrie when SATC became movies, "Some love stories are novels. Others are short stories. It doesn't make it less filled with love."

May everyone know the joy of having your life turned upside down, inside out, because of a core-shaking Great Love.

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