The Celebrity Breakups Of 2023 Prove That Not All Men Are Made To Be With Superstar Women

From Taylor Swift to Ariana Grande, the celebrity splits of the past year suggest that not all men are built to thrive in the orbit of an icon.

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In a modern world, it’s not always easy when your significant other is one of the most famous people on the planet. And in the past 12 months of celebrity breakups, it’s become evident that an imbalance of fame and success can drive a wedge between even the strongest of couples.

Rampant discussions about female superstars and their lesser-known partners sparked up in April with the news that Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn had quietly split after six years together.

Of course, while Joe is a professional actor, it goes without saying that he isn’t nearly as famous as Taylor. The highlights of his resumé include a minor role in The Favorite in 2019, and a subsequent performance in Hulu’s 2022 limited series, Conversations With Friends.

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Conflicting with Taylor’s superstardom, Joe also repeatedly emphasized a desire for privacy, which was ultimately reflected in the couple’s low-key approach to their relationship — over six years, they made only a handful of public appearances, and never walked a red carpet together.

In her older music, Taylor previously hinted that the private nature of their romance was something she sought joy and comfort from. However, as time passed, she eventually started to drop hints that she was perhaps struggling with Joe’s need to keep himself — and her — out of the spotlight.

Taylor’s 2022 song “Bejeweled” tells the story of her resentment towards a partner who doesn’t let her “shine.” The lyrics resonated so widely that it ended up sparking a viral tweet which compared Joe’s treatment of Taylor with that of her new short-lived boyfriend, Matty Healy.

After praising Matty for walking “several steps behind” Taylor and not being afraid of her shine, the X user observed: “He lets her bejeweled.” The viral catchphrase became a badge of honor of sorts — something given to men who proudly embrace their partners taking center stage.

And with all this in mind, it came as no surprise to hear that one of the underlying causes of Taylor and Joe’s split was his inability to do just that — with an insider telling People that Joe “struggled with Taylor's level of fame and the attention from the public.”

Reflecting on the demise of the relationship, the same insider noted that Taylor and Joe “fell in love in a safe bubble while she was retreating from the world” during her Reputation era back in 2017. “Then the pandemic hit, and they were locked down together and able to continue growing their relationship in this insulated way,” the source added.

Of course, this meant that when the world opened up and Taylor returned to the limelight, Joe had never actually experienced the full extent of her fame away from the confines of their “bubble.”

Interestingly, the demise of Ariana Grande’s marriage to Dalton Gomez this year was reported to have followed a similar pattern.

Like Taylor and Joe, Ari and Dalton spent a lot of time nurturing their relationship when their regular work was on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning that Dalton — a real estate agent who had no public profile before dating Ariana — was apparently left taken aback by Ariana’s celebrity once the world returned to normal.

After news of their divorce broke in July, TMZ reported that Dalton simply wasn’t able to adjust to the extremity of Ari’s fame after having not previously dealt with her packed schedule and the paparazzi. The outlet also claimed that his desire for privacy made it difficult for him to understand why she needed security with her whenever they went out together.

Obviously, none of this is to say that these breakups were rooted in jealousy over the women’s fame on either of the men’s parts. Actually, there’s more evidence to suggest that Dalton and Joe wanted the opposite of what their respective partners had — a normal, settled life away from the fanfare of showbiz.

And in that regard, the same can perhaps be said for Jim Toth, Reese Witherspoon’s former husband of 12 years, who she divorced in March this year.

When they met at a party in 2010, Reese and Jim’s professional priorities were fully in tune: She was a movie star, and he was working on the business side of the industry as a top agent at Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

Throughout their relationship, Jim was apparently very supportive of Reese’s career, and the Legally Blonde star has even credited him for being the first person to encourage her to embrace her entrepreneurial skills and start acquiring the rights to adapt novels into TV shows and movies.

“He said, ‘You should produce movies. You read more books than anybody I know. You should just buy some of them and turn them into films,’” Reese told Harper’s Bazaar in 2016, the same year that saw the inception of her production company, Hello Sunshine, of which Jim is a founding board member.

Also making big career moves, Jim left CAA in 2019 in pursuit of a new position to become head of content acquisitions and talent for Quibi. However, his business gamble was a disaster, with the mobile streaming service crumbling just six months after it launched, apparently losing nearly $2 billion in the process.

According to reports, it was here that things began to go “horribly wrong” for the couple as Reese’s ventures skyrocketed while Jim dealt with the demise of his own. And the discrepancy between their success only intensified after the $900 million sale of Hello Sunshine reportedly left them with “more money than either of them could ever figure out what to do with.”

While neither Reese or Jim have commented on these reports, other sources have seemed to corroborate this alleged version of events, claiming that as Reese’s career got progressively more demanding, Jim felt that the hectic showbiz lifestyle was no longer for him.

Describing Reese as “headstrong and focused” and Jim as more “laid-back,” a source told People shortly after the couple announced their divorce: “They’ve been spending less and less time together while she was working.” And a subsequent insider added that Reese “has her hand in a lot of pots,” while “he prefers less frenzy.”

In our society, there is an archaic understanding that women should tone down their career prospects and personal endeavors after marriage in favor of a more domesticated life. And it seems even the most famous women on the planet aren’t immune to these expectations.

One of the messier celebrity divorces of the year was that of Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner, which kicked off in July with a chaotic custody lawsuit.

As you might recall, the early days of the split were defined by what appeared to be a public smear campaign orchestrated by Joe’s camp, through which Sophie was painted as a reckless party animal who would leave Joe to look after their two children alone.

“She likes to party, he likes to stay at home. They have very different lifestyles,” a report by TMZ read, echoed by a Page Six article that alleged Sophie was “downing shots” at a bar in the “days before” their divorce was made public.

Amid intense backlash over the misogynistic reporting, Joe condemned the “disparaging” claims about Sophie’s alleged party lifestyle, saying in a statement they are “not consistent with his views” and were made “without his approval.”

We still don’t have an exact reason for the breakup, however the public insinuation that Sophie cared more about socializing than being a mom aligned with subsequent reports that Joe hoped she would set aside her career in support of his.

According to a report by Us Weekly, a rift between the couple started to worsen after Sophie apparently made it clear that she didn’t want to put her priorities on pause to join Joe and his family on tour.

“Sophie didn’t want to always be ‘the Jonas Brother’s wife,’” an insider claimed. “She didn’t want to go on tour and do everything together. It’s not her personality, and she wanted to keep their family separate from all the Jonas Brothers hoopla.”

Notably, the reporting around Sophie amid the divorce prompted comparisons to Britney Spears — who certainly knows a thing or two about navigating fame and relationship troubles.

In fact, Britney was just another major superstar to go through a divorce this year, splitting from Sam Asghari, who filed a petition to end their marriage in August after 14 months. Britney and Sam were together for six years in total, and have both spoken publicly about their breakup since it was announced.

Neither have shared any specific reasons for the end of the marriage. But, being that the majority of Sam and Britney’s relationship took place while she was under the control of her conservatorship, it’s possible that their dynamic changed when the legal arrangement was terminated and Britney — reclaiming her power — became more vocal in the public eye.

Needless to say though, it certainly hasn’t been all doom and gloom in the world of superstar love stories in 2023.

In fact, Taylor Swift may have started off the year in a relationship that wasn't conducive to life in the public eye, but she's ending it happily loved-up with NFL star Travis Kelce.

And, crucially, unlike previous partners, Travis seemingly fully embraces and takes extreme pride in Taylor's level of fame and success. One could even say he ~lets her bejeweled.~

Though he’s certainly a top name in the sphere of American sporting, Travis’s fame is merely fractional on the world stage. And in a recent profile with WSJ. Magazine, he was the first to acknowledge this, admitting that he’d “never dealt with” this magnitude of stardom before entering Taylor’s orbit.

“Obviously I’ve never dated anyone with that kind of aura about them,” he said, before making it clear that he’s not one to be shaken or emasculated by his partner’s immense fame. “I’m not running away from any of it.”

“The scrutiny she gets, how much she has a magnifying glass on her, every single day, paparazzi outside her house, outside every restaurant she goes to, after every flight she gets off, and she’s just living, enjoying life,” he added. “When she acts like that I better not be the one acting all strange.”

Even in the earlier days of their public romance, Travis was quick to brush off the frenzy from paparazzi and fans, saying in an October press conference that he’s learning to adjust because there’s “a lot of people that care about Taylor, and for good reason.”

Needless to say, when comparing his enthusiasm to that of the previously mentioned men, Travis’s supportiveness of Taylor might just be an aspect of his personality and extroverted tendencies.

However, with the knowledge that you’ve signed up to date one of the most famous people in the world, a willingness to embrace all aspects of their lifestyle and career is surely a nonnegotiable aspect of the commitment.

And so, as we go into 2024, may this serve as a warning to any men hoping to date a superstar, that they may first want to ask themselves: Are you ready for it?

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