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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Office Hours with Dr. Jim > Celebrity Couples Breaking Up

Office Hours With Dr. Jim
by James Houran, Ph.D

In this column, "Dr. Jim" honestly and candidly answers your questions about dating, love and sexuality. He doesn’t tell you what you want to hear – he tells you what you need to hear. Dr. Jim is committed to offering you guidance based on responsible clinical practice and hard data from the latest scientific studies. Send Dr. Jim your questions today for consideration in an upcoming issue.

Celebrity Couples Always Breaking Up

Quick Access:
Why are celebrity couples always breaking up?

It seems that celebrity couples are always breaking up. Why is that?

Hollywood couples are widely known for their failed relationships and unusually high divorce rates. Even seemingly “stable” celebrity couples often display high levels of – day I say it -- drama (no pun intended). Celebrities are drawn to each other because of their proximity, their similarities and perhaps because it offers additional prestige or publicity or maybe it offers some peace of mind or protection against perceived “gold diggers.” 

Whatever the reasons for the initial attraction, the fact is that celebrity couples face the compatibility challenges that all couples do, but their celebrity status actually magnifies compatibility problems. That said, everyday couples have much to learn from celebrity couples – what to do and what not to do. There are at least five major lessons to learn from celebrity couples that fail the test of time:

1. No dependency is bad for relationships
Celebrities typically have significant resources and thus there is often little need for help from others -- including a romantic partner. In fact, celebrities can easily escape or leave relationships when even the smallest nuisance occurs in daily life. Ideally, couples are partially dependent on each other for stability and support.

2. Significant time apart is bad for relationships
While free time in dating relationships can be a good thing, celebrities in dating relationships with hectic business schedules can spend weeks or even months apart.  For everyday couples, this could be an unacceptable situation that would end most relationships.  Ideally, couples acknowledge their need for space while recognizing that a partner may have different expectations for the amount of time spent together.

3. Lack of privacy is bad for relationships
As stated eloquently in an article by Eunnie Park published in The Record, "normal couples have nosy parents; celebrity couples have a stampede of paparazzi and rabid fans.  Normal couples have misunderstandings; celebrity couples have the cover of [a tabloid] magazine.  Normal people discuss their relationship with friends and family; celebrities have to issue statements confirming or denying reports." Ideally, couples share a strong environment of privacy. Everyday couples can go for months or may choose to never reveal misunderstandings or arguments to family and friends. 

4. No couple identity is bad for relationships
One celebrity's status may be less than that of the other, which could cause jealousy to form between the pair. Or, celebrities can be so absorbed in their careers and image that they fail to develop a sense of “couplehood” with their lover. Ideally, couples have a strong sense of partnership and an actual identity as a couple that is more important than each individual’s personal image.

5. Competition for affection and loyalty is bad for relationships
Equal popularity between two celebrity lovers sounds like balance, but instead it can instill unspoken or even unconscious feelings of competition and resentment. Two popular people are in natural conflict with each other.  In fact, competition for affection seems to be one of the leading factors contributing to celebrity splits. Moreover, competition for affection can come in other ways. For instance, certain acting jobs can offer celebrities a safe way to flirt or cheat while playing a role, and arguably promote spoken or unspoken jealousy and worries about infidelity. This arguably happened with Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. Therefore, ideally couples have their relationship as the top priority, and thus generously offer affections and attention to each other. And they avoid situations that undermine the couple identity and health of the relationship.

Again, celebrity couples can teach us what to do and what not to do in committed relationships. It all comes down to compatibility, and whether couples -- famous or not – have adequately talked through issues that are the basis of compatibility. To that end, everyday couples and even singles can use celebrity relationships as fun and non-threatening conversation guides to create a dialogue for discussing their own compatibility issues with each other. Celebrities may have a charmed life in many aspects, but when it comes to lasting love, everyday people have the clear advantage!  Feel blessed and put your relationship ahead of other passions and priorities in your life.  These five pointers are a great way to start today.

Related Links:
» Celebrity Love - Part 1
» Celebrity Love - Part 2

> - The best approach to find the one. <

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