Carrie Bradshaw’s Second Chance with Aidan: Navigating Love, Romance, and Online Dating Adventures

Rekindled romance, encounters hotfellas, and embracing new journeys in And Just Like That!

@museumbuzzy
@datingship
8 min readAug 4, 2023

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Screenshot from ‘And Just Like That’ S02E07

*** Spoiler Alert | S02E07 ***

Apologies for the delayed post once again, but this time it’s not related to my time management. I must admit, I couldn’t summon the motivation to reflect on Carrie Bradshaw’s romance and relationships in And Just Like That S02E07. Even though I knew it was coming and expected it exactly as scripted, I can’t move on from the idea of her getting back with her one and only ex-fiancé! But I’ll come to that later. Let’s first wrap up this episode under an intersectional feminist lens, touching on queer sexualities, teenager sex, Gen-Z characteristics, and the ultimate age reveal of the characters.

Screenshot from ‘And Just Like That’ S02E07

Miranda’s Online Dating Journey

After breaking up with Che and finally getting divorced from Steve, Miranda questions her sexual identity again and again. Like every single person in the 2020s living in a metropolitan area, she turns to online dating apps. The tiny question is, which app should she subscribe to among the countless options available, with each catering to different marketing and audience targets?

Writing about online dating apps and how they impact subscribers’ emotions and money has been on my list since 2018 when I first tried online dating. I’ve consistently shared my experiences and discussed how finding lasting love through dating apps is an exception rather than a “regular achievement.” Although the HBO Max series, And Just Like That, has not explicitly mentioned this perspective, they do highlight the complexities of targeting audiences based on gender identities.

If I had a chance to talk to Miranda, I’d advise her to be true to themselves and go on dates with people whose profiles they genuinely enjoy — their pictures, texts, humor, and, above all, texting. Based on my frequent exchanges of experiences with friends, overthinking about online dating is unhelpful and discouraging. My strategy is not to set rigid criteria for dating, but rather to clarify red flags for potential partners. Therefore, I usually swipe right when I enjoy a profile and engage in meaningful conversations. Texting plays a crucial role in understanding compatibility. Skipping the small talk quickly and delving into more in-depth discussions often provides sufficient information to assess a person’s values and intentions.

Indeed, exploring diverse gender identities is an important aspect of modern feminism. It’s crucial to acknowledge the shared struggles faced by those marginalized by patriarchy and embrace inclusivity. However, some online dating apps seem to commodify gender, reducing identities to marketing ploys. On the other hand, progressive queer-feminist dating apps aim to create safe spaces, although users should remain aware of potential risks in the digital realm. Understanding the prevalence of hate speech, toxic masculinity, and white supremacy is essential in staying safe online. As I’ll write more about online dating apps in the future, I wish Miranda the best of luck in their journeys.

Screenshot from ‘And Just Like That’ S02E07

Che’s Unexpected Friendship with Carrie Bradshaw

After breaking up with Miranda, I thought we wouldn’t see Che anymore, but I was mistaken. I don’t know why and how, but they developed a (close) friendship with Carrie Bradshaw. I really wonder what they have in common to talk or even laugh about other than Miranda?

Seeing Che in And Just Like That S02E07 made me think again about the new characters and their role in expanding the story of Sex and the City. My guess is… Nothing! Okay, your kids are having sex, and you are sex-positive parents; okay, Gen-Z teenagers are difficult to handle and impossible to argue with, and you are super receptive parents, but what else? I told you: Nothing because it’s all about mothering for the Sex and the City audience.

I had a moment of enlightenment in the last episode that I talked about in my previous post here, but this episode was even better because I finally heard the exact age of the protagonists. Hence, I told myself: You have been gentle when you were saying “women over 40s,” but this is really the BOOMER generation. Therefore, they get excited when they don’t follow the mainstream parenting, even though it doesn’t cover the regular demands of Gen-Z. This is hilarious!

Carrie Bradshaw has always been a “teacher” in terms of relationships, and in And Just Like That, she becomes a central figure in public service broadcasting, representing the complexities of modern romance and love, especially when exploring relationships with a diverse cast of characters. The series delves into various aspects of love, fashion, and trends while addressing contemporary issues and social causes.

Hotfellas: Only for Gays or Can Straight Women Also Enjoy the View?

Another public service broadcasting moment was when Anthony called out injections of steroids for his delivery guys, hotfellas. Drug abuse concerning body shaping is one of the vivid topics in the USA. It was also another moment in And Just Like That when they were talking about a social cause but not fully reflecting on it. For instance, I have no clue why Anthony is against steroids: Is he in favor of naturality and against aesthetic operations, such as Botox?

Furthermore, even though I have always enjoyed the commodification of the male body in the show since Sex and the City, I am not sure who the target audience is for these scenes. The sexual reactions for hot guys come either from highly sexy women who are portrayed as exceptions or from gays. But why can’t average straight women also enjoy hot, sweaty, sexy male bodies? #MerciConcervativeNewYorkers

Screenshot from ‘And Just Like That’ S02E07

Aidan’s Return on the Valentine’s Day — Accidentally or On Purpose?

Since Carrie Bradshaw is all about love, fashion, and trends, it was ironic to see how the show teased with Valentine’s Day over Black Lives Matter. It’s necessary to mention that And Just Like That doesn’t comprehensively reflect on current social causes. OK, mentioning the volume of Black authors over Valentine’s Day scores a point. However, it’s also important to discuss who these Black authors are. The same goes for feminist and Trans authors. Who can make time to write a book to tell their stories, and who must first deal with surviving in terms of working in double shifts, finding a safe shelter, food, and access to healthcare?

Let’s finally come to the big moment: The reconnection of Carrie Bradshaw and her one and only ex-fiancé Aidan on Valentine’s Day — WHY? I’ve always been aware that Sex and the City was selling a fairy tale to single women, but does this reunion really need that pixie dust?

In my previous post, I clearly stated that I wished Aidan would not get back together with Carrie — again or vice versa. After seeing their kissing scene and Aidan’s another nervous breakdown concerning Carrie’s life, it irritated me even more.

The last time Carrie ran into Aidan, he had a toddler in a baby sling. Years later, without even following each other on social media, how can they reconnect over a drink? Where did they start to catch up, and how did they end up kissing? #BS Aidan’s short but sharp hysteria is also confirming my questions. By the way, did anyone get the reference of breaking up while Aidan was destroying Carrie’s apartment wall as he was trying to get into Carrie’s heart wall as they were watching Sex and the City — me? NO. A huge thanks go to the producers for the clarification in the follow-up show, but can you also shed a little more light on this reunion from the perspective of contemporary dating jargon, like “benching”?

Screenshot from ‘And Just Like That’ S02E07

The Complexity of Contemporary Dating: Exploring “Benching”

As it was inspired by general game terminology, benching in dating means keeping a potential date on the sidelines as a back-up option, in case your first or second choice of date is unavailable. But in my opinion, benching does not only cover dating with different people at the same time. It can be spread over years. One tries, it fails; tries again and fails once more; tries and fails several times and gets back to their comfort zone. This is it! In this case, Carrie left Aidan after their engagement due to any reason. She got married to Mr. Big due to any reason. Mr. Big died. Carrie is back to Aidan without any reason. I’m not using the term “benching” to accuse Carrie or even judge her, but girl, you can’t swim in the same river twice. Do you really think he has gotten older and wiser in terms of fulfilling your expectations in daily life? If yes, please explain it to the audience: What has changed?

If I had any chance to talk to Aidan, I’d whisper to him: You deserve better than being benched over the years, waiting for your time to have a role in her life. As you yelled at Carrie once: She broke your heart.

But since I actually don’t care about men in pain, if I had one chance, I’d skip Aidan and definitely talk to Carrie Bradshaw and give her a neon wall decor reminder, reading: “Ex would not be next.”

Now I’m heading to watch S02E08… If you haven’t noticed yet, let me share the news with you: I gave up trying to figure out a comprehensive story in And Just Like That. In fact, a fairy tale doesn’t give you life advice in a whole package. Therefore, I dig deeper into the fragments portrayed by different characters. I hope it provides a more critical eye from an intersectional feminist lens. If you think I’ve overlooked some scenes in the episodes, feel free to comment below.

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@museumbuzzy
@datingship

elif cigdem artan, phd | a passionate sociologist curious about the rich tapestry of everyday life - in digital culture and anti-racist gender equity 🎠