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What If Carrie Had Stayed with Aidan?

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher

We got to thinking- how could things have turned out differently? For this video, we’re going to be taking a deep dive into one of Carrie Bradshaw’s relationships from “Sex and the City” to see how things would have turned out differently if she had ended up with Aidan rather than Big. Join MsMojo as we ask What If Carrie Had Stayed With Aidan?

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Script written by Savannah Sher

What If Carrie Had Stayed with Aidan?


We got to thinking- how could things have turned out differently? Welcome to MsMojo and today we’re asking What If Carrie Had Stayed With Aidan?



For this video, we’re going to be taking a deep dive into one of Carrie Bradshaw’s relationships from “Sex and the City” to see how things would have turned out differently if she had ended up with Aidan rather than Big.





How many great loves does a person get? Charlotte says the answer is two (she read it in a magazine), but Carrie isn’t so sure. For audiences though, it’s clear that Carrie had two key relationships throughout the run of “Sex and the City”: Aidan and Mr. Big. Sure, she dated plenty of other people and you could try to argue that Berger or Petrovsky were contenders for “great love” status - but in the end, it always comes down to these two. Anyone who has watched the final episode of the show knows that it all ends with Big going to Paris and bringing Carrie home to New York, saying that she’s “the one”. While this made for a nice fairy tale ending, fans couldn’t help but wonder how things would have differed for Carrie if she had ended up with Aidan instead.



Watching the two movies (which we don’t necessarily approve of), we get to see what happens to Carrie and Big after “happily ever after”. Unsurprisingly, they have their share of problems, and in the second movie, Carrie even kisses Aidan when they unexpectedly run into each other in Abu Dhabi. Clearly, Carrie has some lingering “what ifs” of her own.



So let’s delve back into Carrie and Aidan’s relationship to see not only where it all went wrong, but also to imagine what things would have looked like had they stuck it out. When Carrie and Aidan first start dating near the beginning of the show’s third season, it’s clear that she has met a man who is going to challenge her and pretty much serve as Big’s polar opposite. Aidan is soft-spoken, considerate, he works with his hands and he hates that she smokes. The biggest issues that these two encounter at the beginning of their relationship is that Carrie is searching for drama where there simply isn’t any. If she’s looking for a tumultuous relationship, she isn’t going to find it here: unless she creates the drama herself.



One thing that is abundantly clear is that if Carrie had stayed with Aidan, she would have likely been totally bored. When it comes down to it, these two are pretty deeply incompatible. While Carrie enjoys the high life, getting dressed up and checking out new club openings, Aidan wants nothing more than a quiet night at home with his lady. Carrie makes it clear that this isn’t her style while they’re dating, and in the second movie even starts having the same issues with Big. We’re not saying this issue is totally insurmountable, but it would be a difficult one to navigate. Aidan loves his little country home and Carrie vehemently hates it, but then again, maybe with enough time together she would learn to appreciate the simpler things in life and embrace his more down-home lifestyle. Maybe she could have even worked with him to jazz the cabin up, making it more shabby chic than just shabby. Or maybe not.



One thing we can say for sure is that if Carrie had picked Aidan over Big, she would have been treated very differently. From the very beginning of their relationship, Big shows a total lack of respect for Carrie’s feelings as well as an unwillingness to commit to her or give their relationship any real weight. She’s constantly kept on her toes by how emotionally unavailable he is, and is left wondering time and time again whether he even cares about her at all.



With Aidan, things couldn’t be any more different. He makes it clear that he’s into her from the very start, and the worst thing he does at the beginning of their relationship is taking things slow before jumping into bed together. It’s hard to think of an instance where Aidan treats Carrie badly, as he is patient with her almost to a fault throughout their time together. He’s sweet, he’s understanding, and he always has her best interests at heart. They haven’t been dating for long when he proposes to her, and it’s Carrie who shows a reluctance to take the leap into a more committed relationship. If Carrie had chosen Aidan, she would have more likely to be emotionally secure for the rest of her days, knowing she had a man in her life who worshipped her and would never hurt her. We definitely can’t say the same for Big. And this probably goes without saying, but Aidan would have NEVER left Carrie at the altar.



Carrie and Big never end up having children, and by the time we see them in the second movie it’s clear that this is a final decision. If Carrie had married Aidan instead however, we’re guessing that he could have persuaded her that she could be the maternal type. We can’t say for sure whether this would have been the right thing for Carrie or not, but when we imagine Carrie and Aidan together, we can picture them moving into a Brooklyn brownstone a la Miranda and Steve and raising a little family in the city. In the end, it seems most appropriate for the Carrie we know that she decided to remain childless, but it’s interesting to imagine what the alternatives could have been.



We’d be remiss to not address the elephant in the room: Carrie and Big’s affair. While Carrie and Aidan are together, she cheats on him with Big, which causes their first breakup. Aidan somehow manages to forgive her, and they get back together the following season. It’s indicative of Carrie’s feelings for Aidan that she was able to treat him this way, and it makes us wonder if it’s possible that it would all happen again. Big always seems to be present in Carrie’s life, whether she likes it or not, so even if she had married Aidan, we wouldn’t be all that surprised if she ended up having another affair with Big. Even though she showed true remorse after it happened the first time, that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t repeat her actions - especially after a few years of living the quiet life.



So while we may hate to admit it, it’s possible that staying with Big was the best thing Carrie could have done. Big gives Carrie the drama she craves; these two very flawed characters are kind of meant to be. Carrie’s reluctance to marry Aidan shows that her feelings for him were just never that strong, and while she may have enjoyed a simpler and happier life, she probably would have always longed for something more. Aidan may have been the better guy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they were the better match.
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