Aidan Should Never Have Taken Carrie Back on ‘Sex and the City’

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Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) never deserved Aidan Shaw (John Corbett), and every Sex and the City (now available on Netflix) fan knows it.

First, let me preface this: Carrie and Aidan were never compatible. Their lifestyles, emotional maturity, and visions for the future were completely different. It’s a wonder Carrie and Aidan lasted as long as they did.

But, love is never simple, so Carrie and Aidan got wrapped up in a relationship she did NOT need to be in after Big (Chris Noth) ruined her. And what did she do? She destroyed her relationship with Aidan piece by piece as if she was dismantling old furniture in his shop.

As soon as Big told Carrie that he missed her and that he couldn’t stop thinking about her, Carrie began lighting her relationship with Aidan on fire. It didn’t matter that Aidan was actually kind to her (unlike Big) and wanted a stable relationship (unlike Big). Once Big began pulling Carrie’s strings again, Carrie was glad to be his puppet.

Carrie’s always been a flawed character, but cheating on Aidan and sneaking around with Big was truly the worst thing she ever did. (And yes, I put this above her getting mad when Charlotte didn’t offer to buy her apartment.)

Carrie sabotaged her relationship with Aidan as soon as Big expressed interest in her again. Aidan wanted to make her life easier, and she even acknowledged that Big wanted to “pull it apart.” Carrie found a way to get annoyed with Aidan at every turn. When Big showed up at her place, Carrie lost Aidan’s dog(!) because she was so distracted. Carrie had the opportunity to tell Aidan the truth about her affair afterward, and she refused to do it — a coward’s move.

She wanted to get out of this mess without “anyone” getting hurt, but Aidan was the only one whose heart was shattered. Carrie finally told Aidan just before Charlotte’s (Kristin Davis) wedding and then had the audacity to ask if he was still going to be her date. Carrie’s narcissism reached an all-time high at that moment.

Once Carrie cheated on Aidan, she became Aidan’s version of Big. All of that should have been enough for Aidan to tell Carrie to stay out of his life forever. But alas, Carrie and Aidan crossed paths again in Season 4. Carrie wanted Aidan back as soon as she thought he might be out of reach.

Sarah Jessica Parker and John Corbett in 'Sex and the City'

HBO/Everett Collection

Aidan’s anguish when he was honest about how Carrie’s indiscretions devastated him — “you broke my heart!” — should have been the turning point for Carrie. They should have both gotten closure and walked away. Nope.

They dug their heels in the second time around, and the blame is also on Aidan. He should have saved himself even more heartbreak and rejected her. Carrie was his kryptonite, though.

It didn’t take long for Carrie and Aidan’s incompatibility to resurface and for Carrie to realize she didn’t actually want to be in a relationship with Aidan again. Part of her loved him, sure. I think she wanted to love him like she loved Big, but she just couldn’t.

The way Carrie treated Aidan when her computer broke and she didn’t have her work backed up, that was strike one. Despite her horrific behavior, Aidan still showed up at Miranda’s (Cynthia Nixon) mom’s funeral to be there for Carrie. (And where was Big? Not there.)

Strike two was Carrie inviting Big to Aidan’s country cabin. I truly believe Carrie liked hurting Aidan. She liked to kick Aidan around just to see if he’d come back.

And then there was strike three, and it was a double-header. Carrie accepted Aidan’s marriage proposal, and then wouldn’t even wear the ring on her finger, instead wearing it around her neck so it’s “closer to her heart.” Aidan could not have seriously believed those words. Aidan and Carrie’s relationship fell apart soon after.

I believe in karma, so Big not showing up on his wedding day to Carrie in Sex and the City: The Movie was a bit of a karmic intervention. And she shouldn’t have forgiven him for that! Carrie and Aidan did share that random kiss in Sex and the City 2, but I choose to believe the second movie never happened. Big and Carrie were happily married for a handful of years before a Peloton took Big’s life.

Aidan reentered Carrie’s life in And Just Like That… Season 2. Aidan, now a divorced man, and Carrie fell right into their old rhythm. Even after 20-something years, Aidan still hadn’t fully healed from the trauma of his breakup with Carrie. He refused to go into her apartment. But they couldn’t resist the nostalgia and familiarity of their past connection. (The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t, as my mom says.)

This second chance romance delighted Team Aidan fans, but is it ultimately what’s best for them? Maybe they’ve both evolved to a point where they can actually be good for each other long-term. At the end of Season 2, Aidan left New York to go back to Virginia and asked Carrie to wait five years until his youngest son was out of the house. The timing never seems to be right for these two.

As much as I love watching Corbett as Aidan in any capacity, Aidan should never come back. His relationship with Carrie didn’t work in the past for several reasons. There’s too much baggage between them — even now. He couldn’t even compete with Big when he was alive. Aidan’s stupid if he thinks he’ll be allowed on the same playing field now that Big is dead.

As the saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, shame on both of us. Carrie and Aidan, it’s over. Lock this relationship up for good in that brownstone on East 73rd Street and throw away the key.

Can you change our minds? Should Carrie and Aidan be together? Sound off in the comments section, below.

Sex and the City, Seasons 1-6, Max and now available on Netflix 

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