‘Sex and the City’ Unpopular Opinion: Carrie Bradshaw Relationship Expectations Were out of Line With Reality

Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big ended up together in the end. It kind of had to be that way. Sex and the City fans had shipped the couple for years before they were finally married, despite all the bumps in the road. While Mr. Big is often considered the bad guy in their relationship for being emotionally standoffish toward Carrie, you could suggest that he wasn’t the whole problem. Carrie had unreasonable relationship expectations with Mr. Big. Her expectations were out of line with the reality of her situation with some of her other beaus, too. 

Mr. Big was clear about what he could and could not give in a relationship

Carrie and Mr. Big’s “will-they-won’t-they” dance kept fans entertained and emotionally invested in the couple for six full seasons. That emotional investment has led to some pretty strong feelings about their courtship. While some fans argue that Mr. Big was a jerk for withholding from Carrie for so long, you could say that Mr. Big was honest about what he needed all along. 

Sex and the City: Chris Noth and Sarah Jessica Parker stand on the street
Chris Noth and Sarah Jessica Parker | Mitchell Gerber/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

Mr. Big told Carrie that he wasn’t interested in marriage during their earlier courtship. He said to her that he liked having separate lives. Mr. Big even seemed to clarify that while he enjoyed having Carrie in his life, he wasn’t interested in making her the center of attention. His actions and his words told the whole story. Carrie just didn’t want to believe it. You could say that her expectations were totally out of line with the reality of her situation from season 1 of Sex and the City.  

Carrie pushed Mr. Big past his comfort zone regularly 

Carrie wanted Mr. Big to be something he wasn’t. She had no problem regularly requesting it and forcing him out of his comfort zone to maintain the relationship. Yes, Mr. Big was aloof and had difficulty understanding Carrie’s emotional nature, but he never lied about himself. She simply didn’t want to accept it. 

Carrie insisted on leaving things around Mr. Big’s apartment in a covert attempt to worm her way further into his life than he wanted her. She assumed he would like her to follow him to Paris, then exploded when he wasn’t enthusiastic about the idea. Later, she covertly forced her commitment-phobic boyfriend into agreeing to a massive, publicized wedding. Frankly, the only one who was surprised these things blew up in Carrie’s face time and time again was Carrie.  

The ‘Sex and the City’ character also had unreasonable expectations for Aidan Shaw 

Aidan Shaw was Carrie’s other big love. While their relationship wasn’t nearly as dramatic as Carrie’s relationship with Mr. Big, she also had unreasonable expectations for Aidan. Those expectations started early. Carrie attempted to push Aidan into a sexual relationship he wasn’t yet interested in exploring when they first started dating. 

John Corbett as Aidan Shaw and Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw sit on the steps of her apartment in 'Sex and the City'
Aidan Shaw and Carrie Bradshaw | Paramount Pictures/Newsmakers

After cheating on Aidan, she expected him to stay with her and was stunned when he left. Later, when the couple got back together, she had a hard time understanding why Aidan would feel uncomfortable with her maintaining a friendship with the man she cheated on him with. She went so far as to invite her affair partner to Aidan’s country home. Aidan was awful at enforcing his boundaries, but Carrie was an expert at trampling them because of her unrealistic relationship expectations. 

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