The Art of Never Settling: A Lesson From Carrie Bradshaw


Last week’s winter weather sent me down the HBO rabbit hole. What’s my go to snow day binge you ask? -always Sex and the City. The overall mood of the show is light and fun which makes it the perfect pick me up for dark and gloomy days. As I watched Carrie and the gang navigate their way through love and life in the big city, I couldn’t help but notice an overarching theme: these women know what they want (those new Manolos and Mr. Big), and they won't settle for anything less (A.K.A. Aidan Shaw). 

Any Sex and the City fan knows Aidan Shaw, the dreamy furniture designer Carrie dates in season three and is briefly engaged to in season four. On paper, Aidan is the perfect man. He’s handsome, runs a successful business, he has an adorable dog, and is an all around good guy.  The only problem is that Aidan is fundamentally and undeniably wrong for Carrie. Underneath the puka shell necklace and the scent of cedar, lies a man who can’t handle Carrie’s fast and glamorous lifestyle and is subsequently always trying to change her into a person she isn’t. While their relationship is safe and comfortable, it lacks the spark and excitement that Carrie and Big’s relationship is abundant with. That’s not to say that Big is a dream. In the first few seasons, he’s emotionally unavailable and distant. But despite his flaws, Carrie loves Big in a way she could never love Aidan.  

Even though she thinks that Big’s move to California has squashed any hope for their future, she recognizes that her relationship with Aidan will never fulfill her in the same way. Knowing full well she can’t have what she truly desires, she still refuses to settle for less. So, Carrie does what her heart tells her to do and calls off her engagement to Aidan. 


For most of us, settling comes in many aspects of life, not just love. The hypothetical Big vs. Aidan battle in our lives manifests in careers were not passionate about or friendships that repeatedly disappoint, because we often become complacent with the mediocrity in our lives.  We all need to take a lesson from Carrie, just because something looks good on paper, doesn’t mean it’s what right for us. If we’re not finding fulfillment in our current situations, why shouldn't we rip a page out of the Carrie Bradshaw playbook and call off our lame engagements? 

The takeaway: go after what you want, don't stop until you have it.