Although her persistent feelings for the elusive Mr. Big make for one of Sex and the City‘s main arcs, Carrie Bradshaw’s relationship with Aidan Shaw is no less cherished by fans. Although their love is plagued by some pretty serious setbacks, when they’re at their best, they make a tender, sweet, and romantic couple.

Aidan’s easygoing, thoughtful, and relatively stable disposition makes him a far cry from the detached and hard-to-read Mr. Big, and that’s precisely why some viewers believe he’s Carrie’s best match on the show. For fans of Carrie and Aidan, several episodes across the show’s six seasons do a particularly good job of telling the couple’s story.

10 “Sex And The Country” (Season 4, Episode 9)

This hilarious episode isn’t Carrie and Aidan’s happiest, but it does attest to their willingness to make their second go at a relationship work. As Carrie ponders compromise – recalling her third-season decision to quit smoking – Aidan drags her to his sparse cabin in Suffern.

As much as it highlights the couple’s differences – with Carrie inexplicably driven to madness by Aidan’s preferred abode – the episode ends with them striking a deal (weekend cabin trips for air conditioning) and Carrie believing wholeheartedly in compromise.

9 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (Season 3, Episode 12)

In one of the saddest episodes for the pairing, Carrie agonizes over if and when she should reveal her affair to Aidan, as Charlotte’s wedding to Trey MacDougal looms. Despite Charlotte’s request that she wait until after the nuptials, she confesses to Aidan just before the ceremony and he decides to skip it.

One of the show’s most memorable scenes finds a teary Aidan waiting outside for Carrie, just before the bridesmaids’ photo with the news that they’re finished. It’s a heartbreaking moment that crushed fans of the couple.

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8 “Belles Of The Balls” (Season 4, Episode 10)

This episode, which contains the iconic outdoor mud brawl between Carrie’s two favorite men, finds Aidan making serious concessions for his girlfriend as he is forced to relive his heartbreak from season three.

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Carrie impulsively invites Big, despondent from a breakup, up to Aidan’s Rockland County cabin, and in an unbelievable twist, he ends up staying the night. It’s a charged meeting for the two men, as Carrie tries to convince both of them of her unshakable love for Aidan.

7 “Change Of A Dress” (Season 4, Episode 15)

Three episodes into her engagement to Aidan, Carrie is getting cold feet (and wearing her engagement ring as a necklace). Her concerns about her speedy engagement timeline manifest as a panic attack while trying on wedding gowns.

The couple’s second breakup takes place after a ball hosted by Richard Wright, with the couple dressed in a poignantly similar fashion to a bride and groom. Aidan claims that if Carrie doesn’t want to marry him now, she never will, and for many fans, this makes for one of Sex and the City‘s most devastating moments.

6 “No Ifs, Ands, Or Butts” (Season 3, Episode 5)

A new post-Big era begins for Carrie when Stanford drags her to a furniture showcase and she meets the designer – the rugged and laid-back Aidan Shaw. Although they hit it off, he later reveals he won’t date a smoker.

Although the seemingly innocuous episode ponders the nature of relationship dealbreakers, it actually marks a huge moment for the chain-smoking Carrie, as by the episode’s end, she decides Aidan is worth breaking her signature habit.

5 “Ghost Town” (Season 4, Episode 5)

In this episode, Carrie and Aidan have a slightly awkward but emotionally charged reunion following their season three breakup. Carrie is surprised to receive an invitation to the opening of Aidan and Steve’s bar, Scout (in fact, sent by Steve), and receives only a nod across the room from Aidan.

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But when she runs into him in the alley outside and he steals her cake – and then feeds it back to her – the sexual tension is palpable. Although their encounter is brief, it marks the beginning of a new chapter in the pair’s relationship.

4 “Drama Queens” (Season 3, Episode 7)

In the thick of her first major relationship since breaking up (for the second time) with Big, Carrie finds herself oddly put on edge by the lack of drama. It’s an important moment for the couple, as Carrie’s restlessness brings her awfully close to shooting herself in the foot and tanking the budding romance.

After she implies that he’s a little too available, Aidan disappears – but the episode’s last moments find the kind soul honoring his invitation for Carrie to meet his parents.

3 “Are We Sluts?” (Season 3, Episode 6)

Carrie and Aidan are newly dating and it’s going great, but he mysteriously never wants to stay the night. Although she spends the entire episode puzzling over the unusual situation, it turns out – to Carrie’s befuddled delight – he simply wants to take things slow for the sake of romance.

This episode attests to Carrie and Aidan’s obvious chemistry, but also speaks to how new relationships, especially when they’re as exciting as this one, can feel like a guessing game.

2 “Baby, Talk Is Cheap” (Season 4, Episode 6)

Carrie and Aidan finally get back together in this painfully awkward episode. After running into Aidan at the opening of Scout, Carrie invites him to an ill-advised dinner with the also broken-up Miranda and Steve.

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He’s steadfast in wanting to keep their relationship platonic, even when a desperate Carrie shows up outside his apartment (and tells her so with one of the show’s most iconic lines: “You broke my heart!”) By the episode’s end, though, he’s changed his mind and is throwing a few pebbles of his own at Carrie’s window.

1 “Just Say Yes” (Season 4, Episode 12)

Carrie is faced with a marriage proposal for the only time in the series in this episode. After finding a ring in Aidan’s belongings – and a not very attractive one, at that – she panics that their moving in together will bring on a premature engagement.

It’s a hiccup in the couple’s happy relationship, as Carrie notoriously finds herself driven to physical sickness by the impending proposal. But all ends well for the pair, as Aidan later proposes with a different ring (selected by Samantha), and Carrie, after a few moments of thought, says yes.

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