Let’s Debate: Who Was the Better SATC Boyfriend for Carrie, Aidan or Big?

Mr. Big and Carrie may seem perfect together now, yet we couldn't help but wonder whether Aidan was really "the one"? Let's dE!bate this Sex and the City love triangle.

By Alyssa Ray, Samantha Bergeson, Jillian Fabiano Nov 27, 2021 8:00 PMTags
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And Just Like That... we're once again divided into Team Big vs. Team Aidan. 

It's been 17 years since we learned the first name of Mr. Big (Chris Noth)—it's John, by the way, and we learned via flip phone—and 13 years since Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) officially became Mrs. Big. Do the math and you'll realize that she was already married when she kissed her ex Aidan (John Corbett)—who was also married—in 2010, when they happened to bump into each other in Abu Dhabi. After countless heartbreaks and reunions, Carrie still seems to be holding a torch for both of these men...who are both good—and bad—for her, in different ways. 

Aidan wanted Carrie to change too much, where Big wasn't willing to change for her at all. And Big even got cold feet on their wedding day and left Carrie to be consoled by her true soulmates Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Samantha (Kim Cattrall).

Now, with revival series And Just Like That... premiering Dec. 9 on HBO Max, fans have already speculated that Big might have gone bye for good as Aidan officially gets back in the picture

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It's only right to see which man fit Carrie like a custom Manolo Blahnik: free spirit carpenter Aidan, or slick financier Big?

We debate the ultimate SATC love triangle below. 

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Mr. Big Is Carrie's Soulmate — Samantha Bergeson

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Carrie's friends are forever and Manhattan is her true love. I get it. But let's also get real: There is no one as good for Carrie as Mr. Big. There's a reason why they're considered the ultimate New York love story: They go together as well as berets and "le Big Macs."

Big was always there for Carrie, and if you don't believe us, just re-watch some of those early seasons. He gave her space when she didn't even know she needed it; they both had to grow up, but Big was the only one who seemed to know that. 

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Though they might have started out rocky (Carrie threw a tantrum when Big couldn't say he loved her before a tropical vacation), the two eventually built a friendship. OK, it was admittedly a complicated friendship, but still, they went to each other for advice...and sometimes extramarital affairs. Yet together, they changed, grew and ultimately created the foundation for an adult relationship that still respected each others' passions, boundaries and careers. 

Big struggled with commitment, but I still stand by the fact that if Lily hadn't stolen Carrie's phone, none of that wedding drama would have happened. And shouldn't Carrie have acknowledged Big's anxiety surrounding another big wedding? 

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At the end of the day, Carrie and Big belong in bed together, watching an old black-and-white movie and sharing the same pair of reading glasses. Their love story is one for the books, just like their New York Public Library turned courthouse nuptials promised. 

There can never be a reboot without Big, not because Carrie's happiness depends on him, but because they are so great at letting each other find happiness outside of their relationship—with friends, with work and yes, with New York. It is the Big Apple, after all. 

Aidan Is Carrie's Soulmate — Jillian Fabiano

Let's settle this debate once and for all. When choosing the better boyfriend for Carrie, Aidan Shaw is the obvious choice. He is a man who is sure of himself and what he wants, and what he wants is our fashion-obsessed, Vogue-for-dinner heroine Carrie Bradshaw. 

Aidan is the full package: An emotionally intelligent sexy carpenter with an adorable dog and a smile that makes you weak at the knees. He's like a warm cup of chicken noodle soup when you're feeling sick: He's comforting and feels like home. 

Not only is Aidan a gentleman, but he will also redo your floors at the drop of a hat. Dream man, am I right? Most important, Aidan makes sure to form relationships with Carrie's friends, because he knows that they play a major role in her life.

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Carrie and Aidan are the definition of "opposites attract," but that's exactly what makes them work. He isn't a commitment-phobe like Big, and he wants to build a life with her. Though he is clearly the healthier choice for Carrie, as the story goes, she self-sabotages the relationship by cheating on him with Big.

But to further prove why Aidan is the better choice, we need to discuss why Big isn't. Sure, Big is charming, handsome and probably smells like our grandfathers, a combination of cologne and cigars, but he could never love Carrie in the way she deserved.

The pair have a classic avoidant-anxious attachment style when it comes to their relationship. Translation: Carrie is needy and depends on Big's validation for her own self-worth, and Big is distant, never fully committing himself to her. (Remember when Big couldn't tell Carrie she was "the one" at the end of the first season? Yeah, me too.)

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I think the reason a lot of us love Carrie and Big together is because we've all been there. We've all loved someone that we know in our hearts isn't right for us, but in the back of our mind, a little part of us still hopes we might end up together, and so, we go back to them. 

I will admit that I once would have chosen Big as the better boyfriend, and have romanticized their relationship in the past. Maybe we all yearn for Carrie and Big to be together because then it gives us hope that one day it will work out with our own "Mr. Big." But at the end of the day, their relationship was toxic. Carrie deserves better, and so do we.

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Neither Man Is Right for Carrie — Alyssa Ray

The Mr. Big vs. Aidan debate has divided the Sex and the City fandom for decades, but I'm here to throw a much needed opinion into the mix: Both men are trash and neither of them deserve Carrie. Let's start with Mr. Big, whose real name is John James Preston, by the way. The New York-based businessman is a total egomaniac, only gracing Carrie with his presence when he feels monogamous.

In the first season of Sex and the City, Big refuses to truly commit to Carrie, as he tells the writer that he never wants to get married again. Fast forward to season two, in which Big returns from Paris with a 20-something fiancée, proving he was gaslighting Carrie in the early days of their relationship.

He then marries the 20-something, only to cheat on his new bride with Carrie, making her the other woman—which is a slap in the face if you ask me. Big goes on to blow in and out of Carrie's life for several seasons, only to declare his love for her when she's finally happy in a new relationship. Though Carrie is eventually wooed by this manipulative gesture, their future isn't a happily ever after.

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We're, of course, referring to the Sex and the City film, in which Big literally leaves Carrie at the altar because she didn't answer a phone call.

Before you shout "Aidan would never," let us remind you that the furniture maker wasn't a peach either. At the start of their relationship, Aidan flat-out tells Carrie that he will not date her if she's a smoker. Now we aren't against our protagonist ditching a nasty habit, but this ultimatum is both controlling and small-minded. Not only is Aidan telling Carrie that his love is conditional, but he's also making his lifestyle seem like the only one worth living.

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Instead of demanding that Carrie quit smoking, Aidan should've made a heartfelt plea, allowing the leading lady to make her own decision. And that's just one of several red flags, as Aidan later tries to bully a wedding-anxious Carrie into eloping. When Carrie reveals she doesn't love the idea of marriage, Aidan breaks up with her again. Once more, it's his way or the highway.

If Aidan really loved her, he would've seen that Carrie wasn't afraid of commitment, she just wasn't the conventional bride—a point that is proved in the SATC film. At the end of the day, I believe that neither gentleman was right for Carrie, which is why I hope she finds a new, more suitable suitor in And Just Like That...

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