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I don't know if you're a big Sex in the City fan. But you should be. It's a great show. I particularly like the character of Mr. Big. He and the main character, Carrie, have an on-again/off-again relationship. He can't commit, although he did marry a model for about five minutes. He also can't stay away from Carrie. Even when they are broken up, in times of emotional crisis, Carrie is on the phone with Mr. Big.

I think every woman needs a Mr. Big in her life. He should be someone she has a long romantic history with, and someone she can call at 3 a.m. and sob with. He will know her well enough to distinguish the booty call from the need to let her vent for 10 minutes before going back to sleep.

Even if they are dating other people, he will be her escort to the party of the year if she needs a security blanket who looks good in a tux. They both know in their hearts that there is no chance of a lifetime together, but there is a strong attachment. It is more than friendship, and the sex is too infrequent to be considered lovers.

For a long time Todd was my Mr. Big. We never lived in the same state, but we kept up a long-distance relationship for decades. I would visit. The sex would be great. We could talk about other lovers, past and present. We'd go our separate ways. We wouldn't talk for months, but it was understood that either one of us could pick up the phone and call, and things would pick up as if no time had passed. We kept in touch even after I married, at least by phone. For the sake of my marriage, I'm glad he lived a good six-hour drive a way.

Most relationships end with a finality that is clear to both parties. Men and women both say, "Let's be friends," but in reality you either lose all contact or are friends in such a superficial way that it dissolves into mere acquaintanceship with biblical knowledge of the other persons genitals. I have a great relationship with the beau before my current man. We run into each other all the time and talk about stuff that's going on in the news and the last movie we saw, but we are now merely two people who shared a past for a few months. We are not friends. We simply know each other and are comfortable enough to converse. I will not be calling him in the middle of the night because my man and I had a fight.

It stands to reason that if all women would be enriched a Mr. Big, then men should have a Carrie. What man wouldn't like a woman who knows a man inside and out but isn't begging for commitment? I personally don't know many men who have an ex-girlfriend who is still a close friend and an occasional booty call. I'll bet that every guy who does have his own Carrie is a happy guy. For one, it gives him hope that not every girl he dumps is going to turn into a vengeful bitch, stalking his every move. It also gives him insight into what will make the next relationship work, because he has a woman who loved him as a lover and now loves him as a friend to guide the way.

I doubt anyone goes into a relationship hoping it won't work out and he or she will make a great ex. However, it is reassuring to know that not all relationships end in bitterness. Some say a great relationship is built on friendship. Sometimes a great friendship is the aftermath of love.

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