Kit Steinkellner
August 03, 2015 10:15 am

One day, the celebrity gossip history books are going to refer to the summer of 2015 as, “The Summer Where Literally Every Celebrity Couple Broke Up.” OK, maybe not EVERY celebrity couple, but we’ve witnessed a LOT of famous sweethearts bid each other adieu over the past several weeks.

In early July, we learned that Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck were getting a divorce after 10 years of marriage. (Le sigh.) We also learned that Kourtney Kardashian had finally broken up for good (we think) with long-time on-again, off-again beau/father of her children Scott Disick (and when we say long time, we mean LONG time, the two have been dating since 2006, that’s pre-Keeping Up With the Kardashians). And then, at the end of July, we learned that Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert were divorcing (the two had been dating since 2006 and married since 2011). Now, the latest breakup rumors are swirling about our beloved Will and Jada and a possible divorce settlement after 17 years of marriage. Say it ain’t so! [UPDATE: It ain’t so! Will just shut down the rumors like a #boss on Facebook. Read his whole awesome response here.]

Still, that’s a LOT of summertime sadness for celebrities. So what gives? Why is 2015 the Summer of the Celebrity Breakup?

OK, let’s first talk about celebrity breakups in general, and then get summer-specific. The fact is, celebrity relationships have a much more difficult time doing the whole long haul thing than non-celebrity relationships. In fact, if you are a celebrity couple who gets married, your relationship only has a 35% chance of going the distance. Those aren’t hopeless odds, but they’re not great. The New York Times even reported an equation in which one can deduce how long a celebrity relationship will last, based on several factors including, “the celebrities’ ages, the length of their courtship, their previous marital history, and their fame.” With regards to that last point, the formula asks that we divide a celebrity’s New York Times mentions by their number of National Enquirer mentions to get an accurate sense of the “fame quotient” of said celebrity. The conclusion here is, unfortunately, that a woman’s fame will impact a relationship far more than a man’s, and it is a sad truth that when a woman breaks out of a celebrity couple and becomes equally if not more famous than a male partner, that can take a heavy toll on that relationship. It’s sexist and gross and we hate it, but it’s also a truism of many relationships — celebrity and non.

In sum: It’s tough to sustain a relationship in the spotlight. And that’s not a ginormous surprise. It’s tough to sustain a relationship NOT in the spotlight. The paparazzi that follow you like a pack of bloodhounds and constant Internet think-pieces that dissect your every move (this post is guilty as charged, sorry and more sorry) that’s a lot of stress for one person and that’s a LOT of stress on a relationship. And, like I just said, relationships tend to be stressful enough on their own, they don’t need fame complicating basically everything.

Also, the reason these people are famous is usually an entertainment industry reason (they’re actors/directors/singers/hosts of The Voice, etc) and those careers require you to be constantly on the move, and that move may constantly be away from your significant other depending on your schedules. That kind of pressure and that kind of distance is a LOT for a relationship to handle. It’s a sad but understandable fact that there are lots of cases in which a split may be the least stressful option on the table.

But why the SUMMERTIME heartbreaks? The New York Daily News even did a feature in the wake of Ben and Jen’s split remarking on how many 4th of July weekend splits we’ve seen over the years (Tom and Katie, Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt, and Carson Daly and Tara Reid all made the list). I’ll venture a few guesses here. People tend to be out and about during the summer, even years after we graduate, summer still has that vacation-y feel to it, it’s a slower time for entertainment news (Comic-Con, of course, being the big exception) and we’re just less interested in celeb news because we’re too busy watching our outdoor movies and hanging out by the pool when we’re not on the job. So it may be a strategic move to plan a breakup announcement for summer. It’s certainly a strategic move on the part of the celebs who break up around the 4th of July. Slipping the news in while everyone is off their phones and enjoying BBQ and fireworks is no accident. It’s possible that when celebs are discussing when to break the split-up news to their adoring fans, publicists are even advising a summertime official split date.

As sad as breakups are, most of the time it’s the best thing for both people involved, and the silver lining to this celebrity breakup cloud is that if a breakup is announced early in the summer, said celebrities have the rest of the season to go swimming and eat popsicles and relax during their downtime without this impending announcement hanging over their heads.

That all said, please no more celeb breakups this summer? Our hearts can barely take the breakups that have already happened. I mean, Famous Couples, you have to do what you have to do, but we most sincerely wish you all are in that 35%-who-are-going-to-go-the-distance category. Sending lots of love and no-breaking-up vibes your way.

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[Images via iStock and Shutterstock]

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