'And Just Like That' Normalizes Never Finding Love In A Way No One Else Has Ever Been Able To

People feel compelled to give you optimism when you're unlucky in love. But what if it's just a normal part of life?

Sarita Choudhury aka Seema shocking an entire group of internet of middle age people never finding love with her truth, and in that comfort lev radin via Shutterstock / nico_blue, golubovy, PeopleImages, Denis_Vermenko and vitomirov via Canva

I've never been in love, and at almost 45 I have had to consider the possibility that I may never find it.

It is pretty much impossible in our culture for me to say that without people assuming I’m being self-pitying or pessimistic, but I’m not — it just is what it is, one of the myriad ways that no one's life turns out exactly as planned. But as simple as that is, nobody in my life, from friends to family to even my therapist, has ever been able to understand it. In fact, in my experience, the only person to ever do so is, of all people, a fictional character on, of all things, a show purpose-built to hawk love-of-your-life fantasies: Seema Patel on HBO's "Sex and the City" reboot "And Just Like That."


Somehow, with just two simple sentences, the show was able to cut to the heart of what it's like to stare down the possibility of being single forever. I didn't know how much I needed to hear it until I did.

Seema and Carrie's argument on 'And Just Like That' normalizes never finding love in a way nobody in my life or our culture has ever been able to do.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for "A Hundred Years Ago," episode eight of season two of "And Just Like That."

The disagreement centers on Seema, played by Sarita Choudhury, backing out of a planned vacation with Sarah Jessica Parker's Carrie Bradshaw because her rekindled relationship with Aidan Shaw has turned the outing from a duo to a trio. 


RELATED: 31-Year-Old Man Who Has Never Been In A Relationship Cries While Confessing How Lonely, Insecure & Overworked He Is

In the process of Seema explaining why she doesn't want to go on a trip on which she'd be a third wheel, a moment occurs that will be instantly familiar to anyone who's struggled to find love. 

"From everything I've heard," Seema says, "it sounds to me that you've had these two great loves, and I've had none." Instantly, Carrie's face explodes into the familiar rictus of forced optimism, and I reflexively rolled my eyes at the "but you'll find love one day!" that you can hear exploding from her mouth before she even says it. 

But Seema instantly cuts Carrie off at the pass. "No — please don't say I will because I might not," she says, "and I can live with that."




I was so startled by this line I had to pause the show and sit for a minute, taking it in. I’ve never seen this feeling reflected in real life, let alone in a piece of media — which, to my mind, shows just how poorly understood it really is.

RELATED: No, There Isn't 'Someone For Everyone' —​ Some People Actually Do Die Alone

People seem to often feel the need to project their own anxieties about loneliness onto people who have never found love.

There are surely lots of reasons I’m single, but it certainly isn’t for lack of trying. I've been in therapy working through my trauma since I was 30, and I spent a decade on every dating website and app I could get my hands on. I even tried reverse engineering a relationship by having a wild and varied sex life, which didn't work any better than dating — though it was more fun.


Now in my mid-40s, it’s not that I’ve given up, but life has shifted. Middle age is far more about taking it a bit slower than grabbing life by the balls and, thank God, being who you are rather than who you think you should be. And unless you have a sincerely keen interest in trawling bars and apps — which have reached a level of toxicity that makes them more trouble than they're worth — those dynamics aren't exactly conducive to meeting a mate.

I won’t lie and say I’m not disappointed that I've crested life's bell curve without ever finding love. But like Seema, I can live with the idea that I may never fall in love. I no longer worry about reaching the end and feeling like my life was wasted because I never found a boyfriend.

RELATED: 5 Completely Realistic Ways To Stop Feeling So Incredibly Lonely

It is a testament to how utterly terrifying the notion of never finding love is, though, that simply acknowledging this seems to knock most people back on their heels. It's similar to how people respond to grief and death — optimistic platitudes explode from their mouths, as if accepting reality will choke them if they don't vanquish it. "How can you be single?! You're such a catch! Don't say that, you'll find someone someday!" 


But aside from being underpinned by the notion that never finding love is tragic or shameful, this insistence on putting a positive spin on things just ends up making you feel the very way these people are trying not to make you feel in the first place.

"How can you be single?! You're such a catch!" just makes me stop and think — wait, I was fine with this. Should I not be? It drags me back in time to when I used to panic that I really was too fat, too weird, too loud too broke, too... much to ever find love, to when I felt like I had a bizarre secret to hold — psst, I think I might be so broken I'm unlovable, please don't make me talk about it. 

Seema's acceptance of the possibility of never finding love and her forceful rejection of Carrie's pity and optimism healed me in a way I didn’t know I needed. 

I know that sounds overwrought, but it felt revolutionary to me. Here’s a woman who, despite having it all together on a level most of us will never achieve, has never been able to find this one thing we all want most. But while she’s obviously not happy about it, she’s unwilling to let it define her, and she's certainly not about to feel bad about.

RELATED: No Relationship, No Problem: Why I'm In Love With Being Alone


"Please don't say I will because I might not. And I can live with that." I didn’t realize how powerful and necessary that was until I actually heard it come out of my TV.

Seema, of course, is not a real person, but the people who wrote that scene are, and I can only assume they’re speaking from experience. I’m just one person, but I cannot quite verbalize how glad I am someone finally said it. (That such a lesson could come from TV's frothiest romcom is a testament to how richly our striking television writers deserve to be paid fairly, but that's a whole other essay.)


Here's hoping we can all learn to face our unlucky love lives not with the desperation and terror we've been programmed to feel, but with acceptance — and maybe even gratitude for the other parts of life that lack has made space for.

And as for the Carrie Bradshaws in our lives, may they learn to have the grace to simply stand with us, and let us feel it.

RELATED: I'm 40 And I've Never Had A Boyfriend

John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.