To the Aidans & Mr. Bigs in our lives

Why we choose different types of partners at different times in life

Mr. Big and Carrie (left) and Aidan and Carrie (right)
Supplied via Wikipedia

In honor of the show that inspired the title of this very column — Sex and the City —  I’ve decided to center this week’s column around the men in the show and how their relationships  with protagonist Carrie are actually very similar to the ones many of us experience in everyday life.

Throughout the series of Sex and the City, Carrie has her fair share of winners and losers with regards to the men she dates, just like many of us do. From the one that uprooted her life to move to Paris only to abandon her in a foreign art gallery to those that broke up with her using Post-it notes, there are lots of men in this show that help Carrie’s character growth in various ways.

However, there are two characters who were particularly successful in stealing the heart of the show’s protagonist; the infamous Aidan and the mysterious Mr.Big. Now, aside from the fact both characters were gorgeous and charming men, they really were polar opposites. 

Mr. Big was more of a mystery with his closed-off nature and the fact he knew how to care deeply for a person. 

Unfortunately, it took six seasons to learn how to express it. 

On the other hand, Aidan was an open book. What he lacked in mystery he made up for with his warm and loving nature. Aidan never ran from commitment or passed up a perfectly good opportunity to reassure his partner of his love for them. 

Based on these descriptions, you can probably understand even without watching the show that these two men aren’t so different from individuals many of us interact with every day — whether you’ve dated a Mr. Big or an Aidan yourself or you know of someone else who has.

One of the biggest debates of the series was which of these men Carrie should’ve ultimately chosen for a husband. As a spoiler for those who haven’t seen the show or movies, Carrie chooses Mr. Big and the two are married by the second movie. 

Women and men frequently choose the Mr. Big types over the Aidan types everyday in real life — I myself have even been guilty of this — and in my opinion, it’s the wrong choice. 

A lot of this tendency has to do with the fact many of us are hard-wired to think dating should be a challenge and anything that feels easy is too good to be true. 

So many of us are constantly choosing partners we know are wrong for us for this reason. 

Alternatively, many of us choose partners like Mr. Big as a sort of relationship project, thinking there’s some sort of reward increase in the relationship when we’re able to change someone to better fit our ideals. For whatever reason, we often choose to pick these closed-off, scared-of-commitment, unemotional people as partners. But when we do, we’re losing out on some of the best parts of a relationship.

Many of us tend to believe an overly dramatic and stressful relationship makes for a true love story. But what we gain when we chose to be with the Aidan type is warmth, playfulness and ultimately, true happiness. 

So with all the respect I have for the fictional Carrie Bradshaw, I have to say she probably didn’t always make the right choice. It’s true that Mr. Big did get himself together in the end, but it took years of heartache and constant lingering concerns about the relationship, even when they did get their perceived happily ever after.

Having experienced a Mr. Big type of relationship and now being in one that’s exactly the opposite, I can confidently say it’s the constant happiness and security I get from my Aidan-type man that makes this love story preferable. 

—Barrie Cradshaw

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