Public celebrity relationships and breakups create unrealistic ideas about love

May 22, 2019 — by Anna Novoselov

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s 2016 divorce made headlines as fans tried to understand the downfall of their acclaimed relationship. Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens’s breakup in 2010, after five years of dating, devastated “High School Musical” fans who idealized their seemingly perfect relationship. Millions of Taylor Swift fans follow headlines of new, come-and-go boyfriends, hoping their idol will finally find “the one.”

The media is obsessed with tracking celebrity relationships, marriages and breakups, creating unrealistic expectations for people in their own relationships.

Glamorized posts on the Internet portray celebrities’ relationships in a false light as people label them “relationship goals.” The media captures couples attending red carpet events, fancy galas and trips to exotic locations: picture perfect snapshots that are often far from reality.

These images may cause people to look down on their own relationships and partners. Their own binge-watching Netflix dates and food runs may appear pathetic in comparison.

“The celebrities that are really outward with their relationships set an unreal standard,” said junior Ananya Krishnan, who often hears about the latest celebrity relationships. “People are like, ‘We should be like the celebrities. They’re so cool. They’re flaunting it.’ But you shouldn’t allow someone else’s relationship to affect your own. It’s unrealistic.”

Furthermore, countless messy Hollywood divorces have helped normalize divorce in society, making many doubt the veracity of faithful love. People begin to question whether their own ordinary lives are able to sustain love when they see failure amidst fame, money and lavish experiences.  

“Celebrity divorces are too publicized, so people think that’s what relationships have to be like—they have to be dramatic,” Krishnan said.

Additionally, relationships in movies and TV shows crafted by actors create unrealistic standards for actors who find themselves in an off-screen romance.

For instance, after lovers Noah and Allie in “The Notebook” reignited their burning passion for each other after years of separation, fans longed for the real life relationship between actors Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams to last. However, they were heartbroken when the two split in 2007.

For the fans, it raises the question: if the two couldn’t make it work after their apparent on-screen chemistry, what chance does anyone have?

Celebrities are often quick to jump into relationships with other celebrities in order to fill the emptiness and isolation they feel due to fame, according to Elite Daily. They face the additional difficulty of deciphering their partner’s true intentions as they don’t know whether he/she likes their personality or the attention that follows the stardom.

Additionally, celebrities may also struggle to distance their private lives from their public ones and ignore false rumors. Even though it may not seem like it at times, celebrities are regular people with faults and destructive habits.

Taylor Swift even wrote an entire album, “Reputation,” bashing the media and expressing her frustrations with gossip and constant scrutiny. In a Vogue interview she said: "You know, I went out on a normal amount of dates in my early 20s, and I got absolutely slaughtered for it.”

The desire for emotional security amid constant stress may cause celebrity relationships to progress rapidly without allowing the partners to truly get to know each other in private. Celebrities face constant pressure to maintain appearances and busy schedules and thus may fail to give relationships the effort which they require.

Musicians, for instance, often go on year-long world tours and leave their significant other behind. Even if the two travel together, the constant fatigue and stress may create strains that threaten the relationship. These factors often result in messy breakups full of pain and conflicts that reflect on the public. Yet most people are not celebrities and thus should not create expectations for their own relationships based on what’s portrayed in the media.  

Rather than obsessing over divorces, engagements and celebrity relationship drama, partners should focus their energy on their own relationship without comparing it to those online.

“The media creates drama and problems between couples,” Krishnan said. “People shouldn’t invest so much of their time in keeping up with celebrity couples.”

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