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Sex with Dr. Jess


August 22, 2019

Why Celebrity Relationships Matter & What We Can Learn From Them

Jess joined Vikki and Jeff this morning to discuss the role celebrity relationships play in our lives. They also talked about how to “future-proof” your relationship. Check out the summary and video below.

1. Why are we so concerned about celebrity relationships when we don’t even know these people?

We feel as though we know them because social media offers what seems like an intimate glimpse into their world. Snaps and stories, in particular, create a false sense of connection because they’re behind-the-scenes glimpses of the mundane or everyday habits.

Perceived relationships with celebrities or online personalities can seem to fulfill major factors of relationships:

Intimate sharing which results in an emotional reaction and endures over time.

But this relationship only goes one way and is a parasocial interaction.

2. Why are we so affected when celebrities (total strangers) break up?

We see celebrities as aspirational and we idealize their lives — from the way they look to how charming they might be to the quality of their relationships. We admire their power, beauty and wealth and when someone excels in one arena (e.g. acting, performing or sports), we tend to extend this positive perception into other arenas — this is referred to as the halo effect. It follows that our expectations of celebrity relationships are higher and we may worry that if these superstar beings can’t make it work, we’re also destined for breakup.

3. How can we future-proof our relationships?

Be kind. This is the key factor for lasting, fulfilling relationships.

Be open to change. Change is the only constant and if you want your partner to be the same person when they’re 65 as they were when they were 30 or you aren’t committed to working through the change, your expectations may not be realistic. You’ll likely also be happier if you learn to adjust your expectations.

Go to a therapist before the big problems arise. Plan a check in just to stay on track and learn new ways to communicate through the highs and the lows.

4. If you’re dealing with a breakup, is there anything you can do to get over it more quickly?

Give yourself permission to feel sad. Talk about the negative feelings instead of trying to look on the upside. Some short-term dwelling on the negative can help to mitigate the effect of negative feelings.

Break relationship habits and replace them with new ones. For example, if you used to walk your dog with your partner to a specific park, change parks to create a new post-breakup habit.

5 . What can we learn from celebrity relationships and breakups?

There is no singular way to make a relationship work. Jada and Will offer one another space and flexibility. Gwyneth and her husband lived together half-time for the first year of marriage. Some breakup after an affair and others work it out in the long-run. Rather than idealizing a specific approach based on how we perceive a celebrity’s marriage, think about what really works for you. Be honest. Is sex really important to you? If not, that’s fine — be upfront with your partner and don’t expect them to adjust their values to meet yours. You can custom design your relationships to live happily ever after — but only if you’re honest with yourself first.