Through pop culture media and our own personal conversations, we’ve learned that dating and theories go hand in hand. It’s as if one can’t live without the other as we navigate ways of “finding the one.” Back in the days of in-person dating being the sole option, theories circulated around availability, sincerity and exclusivity. Now, with online dating fostering increased options, theories have increased too.

The internet’s developments have also impacted our access to old media like sitcom episodes causing us to revisit via conversations on TikTok. The taxi cab theory, in particular, is nothing new although popularized by an episode of “Sex and the City.” The stern, intelligent lawyer character named Miranda Hobbes compares men to taxi cabs saying that when their light is on, the next woman that they pick up is who they’ll marry. Here is our take on the taxi cab theory. 

What Is The Taxi Cab Theory?

Taxi cabs, popularized pop culturally by New York, were the mode of transportation all the way up until the early 2010s. So much so that one of media’s biggest moments with regards to the big city dating climate, Sex and the City, used taxi cabs as a reference when describing the behavior of men during their dating years (leading up to marriage). The toughest of their careers, at least on paper, Miranda Hobbes compares men to taxi cabs by saying that when their lights are off, no matter how right a woman might be for them, they aren’t willing to budge and settle down. When their light is on, however, they’ll stop for the first person they see.

Similar to actual taxi cab drivers and companies, this is how it’s been alleged that men approach dating and settling down. Though many cases have proved this theory to be true, what does it say about dating and power dynamics?

What Does The Taxi Cab Theory Say About Dating?

Based on the taxi cab theory, one could infer that dating is one sided, giving men sole decision making power in the growth and development of a relationship. Simply put, this just isn’t true. It may feel like it based on the experiences of people around us or how relationships have been p[rotrayed by films and television shows. There are women who are not looking for long term commitments. There are men who know that they’ve wanted that since they were a kid. And then there are the differences and similarities experienced within the dating scenes of the queer community. Whether dominant, submissive, masculine or feminine, these tropes are isolating and unprogressive. Any individual has choice in the matter of who they date and marry, including the people who are “seen first” by the taxi cab that just turned its light on. 

How To Overcome The Taxi Cab Theory  

Emotional availability is one of the major keys to honest and open dating. Acknowledging and sharing whether that openness is within a person’s capacity can prevent future troubles on both ends. Asking for what we want without wavering or settling also has the power to contribute to an increasingly self-aware dating experience. All of that being said, none of us are perfect. We meet people and fall in love. We get to know people and fall deeper or fall completely out. We’re tender and ever changing and speaking to that is the only thing that can make room for that. None of us are limited to the taxi cabs or their lights whether on or off; no matter how serious or unserious we’d like to be about our connections.

I can’t help but wonder if women led the taxi cab revolt or whether men would subscribe. In any case, we have choice, we have agency and we have authority. Wishing free flowing traffic exempt from taxi cab jams in either direction to all who are dating!