Like most women in their 30s, I’ve been bingeing the Sentimental Garbage podcast mini-series, Sentimental In The City. All about Sex and the City re-watched as adults by hosts Dolly Alderton and Caroline O’Donoghue, the podcast has taken the globe by storm as we revisit Carrie Bradshaw’s love life decades later, and work out which boyfriend we preferred more – Big, Aleksandr Petrovsky or Aidan Shaw.
Sure, there are plenty of other discussions around sex, women and sex, friendship and more to be had when it comes to Sex and the City. But I find myself always coming back to who I believed each woman should have ended up with. I have a lot of controversial opinions here – while I love Miranda and Steve, I always found Harry and Charlotte to be a bit unbelievable (Charlotte was so fixated on image! She constantly sniped at Harry, no one is emotionally secure enough to handle that for a lifetime!) and Samantha dating Smith, while adorable, felt completely at odds with her character.
However by far my most controversial opinion is that Aidan Shaw, he of the sexy furniture talents and love for the country, was Carrie Bradshaw’s perfect match.
Hear me out.
1. Opposites Attract
I’ve often found my best chemistry when it comes to dating, both in the bedroom and in conversation, is with people who are my opposite. I’m chatty, full of expression, passionate. I love the energy I have with people who are different to me – reserved, considered, more private. It challenges me and makes the world feel new again.
Carrie and Aidan had very little in common, but they WORKED. It felt like Carrie’s time with Aidan made her a better person, got her out of her glam New Yorker bubble and grounded her, but in a good way. He was such a strong anchor to Carrie’s flighty nature, I felt they really complemented each other in a way Big and Aleksandr never could.
2. He Was Useful
Okay, practicality wise no one else in Carrie’s romantic life held a candle to Aidan. He could make furniture! Bulldoze apartments! Chop wood in a hot way! This is all very superficial but I kind of love a man with skills – like, yes please do come into my life and help me do my tax return, or build me a coffee table.
What could Big do? Prepare you with emotional damage so you have more to tell your psychologist?
3. Aidan Was Supportive
Of all Carrie’s partners, Aidan felt like the most supportive. I’ve already mentioned how he was a calm sea to Carrie’s chaos, but more than that – he wasn’t just unruffled by life, he was supportive of Carrie.
The episode when Carrie’s laptop dies famously features them fighting, as Carrie snipes at Aidan for his clunky “help” and Aidan gets mad at Carrie’s attitude. But he goes with her every step of the way, which I just can’t imagine Big or Aleksandr doing.
4. He Wasn’t Trying To Change Her
Okay here is where most people start arguing with me, but I’d say that Aidan never pushed Carrie to change for him, he simply wanted to share his interests with her. Well, aside from the smoking thing, but smoking is a terrible habit and I’ll never shun anyone who draws a line in the sand about it.
The cottage house episode is often cited as Aidan not knowing Carrie as a person and expecting her to fit into his life, but can’t we as partners want to share our interests with our significant other? Shouldn’t Carrie have made a better effort to at least somewhat enjoy the experience?
I will say that Aidan didn’t really, from my memory, make much of an effort to embrace Carrie’s interests. That’s obviously a flaw in his character but I adamantly refuse to get on board with the idea that he wanted Carrie to change.
5. She Seemed Confident With Him
When Carrie is with Big, even in the films, she seems to be on eggshells a little. She doesn’t seem her full, confident self. Obviously early on in the series this is because Big keeps coming and going, being mysterious. But even when they’re happily married she doesn’t seem completely at ease.
She also, clearly, was never at ease with Aleksandr. But with Aidan, Carrie seemed to relax. I didn’t get the impression she was worried about who she was around him, because he just loved her for who she was (aside from the smoking!).
Isn’t that what the best relationships are meant to be about, anyway? Finding a person you can be your complete self with, who embraces all the parts of who you are?
6. He Was Hot
End of story. Aidan was the hottest, I don’t even think we need any other factors here.