Why Is (Almost) Every Celebrity Couple Breaking Up and Getting Back Together? An Investigation


In a “trend” that no one saw coming, long-term relationships are being given a second chance. We’re all for it, TBH.

After they went and collectively broke our hearts by announcing a divorce via Instagram, Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet are reportedly giving their marriage a second go. “Jason moved back in with Lisa about two weeks ago and they are very much back together,” a source told Hollywood Life on Wednesday.

And while we all did a deep sigh of true-love-really-does-exist relief, we then found further proof in others who have recently rekindled their marriage.

Last week, singer Miguel and his wife announced they had also reunited after a 12-month hiatus, while Aaron Rodgers and Shailene Woodley were also recently spotted together after calling off their engagement only weeks ago.

Then, in a recent interview with Esquire, Ben Still shared that he and wife Christine Taylor had “rekindled their relationship” after a five-year separation. The couple had been together for 18 years and have two teenage kids together.

“We were separated and got back together and we’re happy about that,” Stiller said in the interview. He also mentioned that it was “unexpected” and “one of those things that came out of the pandemic”.

Interestingly, they “never even dated other people after they separated,” a source close to the couple told People Magazine.

Whenever I read about married couples or couples that have been together for a long time getting back together, I always think that they must’ve just needed some time to themselves. The way my mind makes sense of a split and then a reconciliation is that we all need time to check-in with ourselves, and sometimes we just really want to be alone. And that’s okay, right? But, is that really why long-term couples give each other a second go? Or even why they break up in the first place?

“Ultimately, our primary romantic relationship meets a great deal of our needs,” says Amber Rules, Clinical Psychotherapist and Director of Rough Patch Affordable Counselling. “And if we have children, pets or assets together, ending a relationship is hard work, both emotionally and practically.”

“It’s likely that our desire to try again in relationships is a combination of shared history with someone, because of our personality traits, and because of the examples of relationships we had when growing up.”

This makes sense; when you’ve invested a lot into a relationship, there’s more to lose, right? Similarly with everything we do, whether it’s a job, a passion, a friendship or a relationship (of any kind), when we’ve put a lot of ourselves into it, we’re less inclined to just give up.

Although I’ve never been married, and my longest relationship is the one I’m in right now, I can imagine that if you split up because you need a little time and space… that can only be a good thing. Sure, you might realise that you’re better off apart, but you might also come back together as stronger individuals.

Many of the strongest couples in the public eye right now have taken some time apart, before getting back together. Just take Kate Middleton and Prince William — who famously went on a lengthy break before finding their way back to each other.

“Taking a break from a relationship is quite common,” Rules says. “Although the data about this varies.”

Different research indicates anywhere from 40% to 70% of people get back together after an initial breakup, although they don’t necessarily stay together.”

But although it may be common and sometimes positive, Rules also says that the break up and get back together cycle isn’t sustainable.

Statistically speaking, it’s uncommon for relationships that cycle to survive long-term. There tends to be lower satisfaction and greater uncertainty about the future of the relationship, and according to this research, relationship cycling can cause increased symptoms of psychological distress.”

To minimise said distress, Rules says it’s best to seek professional help, to guide you through your new journey and reconciled couple.

“My suggestion for giving a relationship the best chance possible is to seek couple’s counselling to help you communicate better, get on the same page about your expectations and long-term goals, and resolve any lingering difficulties that you may struggle to resolve yourself.”

And, when it comes to second chances, they’re not always a good idea. Every relationship and circumstance between people is so different, and giving out a second chance obviously depends on the context of the relationship.

“If second chances lead to the same pattern cycling over and over again, I think it’s important to evaluate whether this is something you should stay engaged in,” says Rules.

“Sometimes it really is better to end a relationship so you can move on to something healthier and more fulfilling.”

But for now, we’re going to live with happiness and hope in this era of couples finding their way back to each other.

“I think a global crisis like COVID can certainly make people take stock of their values and perhaps this has influenced people’s goodwill towards one another and desire to make things work,” says Rules, of this newfound trend of reconciliations.

“Perhaps celebrities have had something of an existential reckoning that has caused them to evaluate what feels important to them. Or maybe they all just had to stop working because of COVID, got bored and decided to give it another shot!”

Either way, we’re relishing in it, because when it comes to happy endings, we’re total suckers. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that a “happy ending” doesn’t always mean ending up back in the relationship.

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