Self-help lessons in love for us girls often refer to two types of guys, Mr Wrong and Mr Right. Sex And The City threw a third type of guy in to the mix, Mr Big. Or as I like to refer to him, Mr Big Mistake. I know you either love or hate Sex And The City, but I often refer to it because it is a great look at human characteristics and choices (especially in love) that aren’t always rational or right but that are common and for me, pretty relatable. If you watched the show *spoiler alert* then you know that Carrie Bradshaw ended up happily shacked up and married to Mr Big. However, along the way there were many times that I wanted Sam, Charlotte and Miranda to tell Carrie to walk away from him and never look back. Especially when he left her stranded at the altar. Mr Big wasn’t a villain (Mr Wrong) and he wasn’t a hero (Mr Right) either. He was a third category of potential suitor. Someone who, because of their own emotional impotence, is bad for us but we stay with them anyway, because there are seven days in a week and on at least one of those days we see glimmers of the person we first met.
So what makes a Mr Big?
A Mr Big is an expert fisherman. He reels you in with clever conversation and textbook charm then once he knows you’re hooked he lets his line out slightly. Compliments and I love yous are few and far in between… or for that matter, eye contact and actual conversation & care factor about how your day was is lacking. One day, you tell him you’ve had enough and all of a sudden he makes eye contact with you for the first time in a long time (reeling you in a bit) and you think, maybe this time he’ll change. So you stick it out.
The one mistake this fisherman makes is failing to understand the concept of catch and release. He doesn’t want to take the fish home (he won’t commit to anything) but he doesn’t want to release it back in to the wild either. So he keeps you hanging on the line. The sporadic conversations you do have become limited to arguments, trust wanes and you become an expert liar because of the routine happy couple act that you put on in front of friends and family and even for yourself. Most importantly, Mr Bigs rarely change themselves but they change you in to someone you don’t always recognise and aren’t terribly proud of. I’m not saying that people in general aren’t capable of change, but a trait of this type of person is rock solid stubbornness and an inability to evolve.
This inability is the part that differentiates Mr Big from being a typical Mr Wrong. Mr Wrong will have tactics for toying with hearts without remorse and will eventually break said hearts and move on. He knows exactly what he is doing. For whatever reason though, a Mr Big honestly cannot see the need to work on his relationship or to compromise his wants for the sake of it. In a sense and in my opinion this makes him Mr ‘Even-Wronger’. Frustrating and infuriating as it is, that’s when the other half of that partnership needs to decide if they can live with that unmoving perception or not.
I don’t hold any qualifications that make me an expert on the subject, but lately I am trying to write more of what I know and what has always been painful for me to put in to words. So maybe others can learn from my experience. If you are like me and would defend the existence of life-altering, birds-are-singing, nothing-can-bring-me-down love til your last breath, then you don’t belong with a Mr Big. If you do get hooked by one, it is hard to walk away because you believe the best in people and think that everyone regards romance as one of the cornerstones of happiness. Some people just don’t though and Mr Big is one such person. Romance is more of a get-out-of-jail free card for them.
To all the die-hard Carrie and Big supporters, I’m not saying they didn’t belong together or that they aren’t happy in their fictional life post-SATC. I actually wouldn’t re-write their ending given the choice. What I am saying, and this is aimed at my friends, is please don’t let me marry a Mr Big. I want an Aidan.