Breakups are never easy. Some people may think that if you still care about the other person, it’s simpler—after all, it’s better to recognize that you need to go your separate ways than to walk away despising each other, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. In the latter scenario, you can wash your hands of the other person and think, “Good riddance!” as you begin seeking out someone better. But when you still wish you could be friends with an ex, it makes everything more difficult. It’s hard to say goodbye to someone that you still love deep down.
Over the years, we’ve seen some of our favorite celeb couples date, get married, and then walk away from the relationship. However, some of them have actually managed to remain friends to this day. It is definitely not an easy task—imagining navigating that awkward in-between phase while all the tabloids are looking for a scoop on your relationship status? Exhausting. We’ve got to say, some of them actually seem a little TOO close—maybe someday, the sparks will start flying again. Here are 20 celeb couples who called it quits but remain too close.
20 Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone
Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were such a cute couple. If you’ve ever seen The Amazing Spider Man films, you know that their chemistry was just as incredible on screen as it was off screen. They really did seem happy together, but sadly, it was just not meant to last. According to Vanity Fair, the couple started dating in 2010 while filming The Amazing Spider Man, and broke up five years later in 2015. Although both of these celebs generally like to keep their private lives private, they made many red carpet appearances together and seemed like they were very compatible. But after five years of what looked like bliss to the outside world, the couple finally decided to go their separate ways. However, according to several media outlets like Vanity Fair and In Style, they are both very fond of each other’s company and remain close friends to this day.
19 Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin
Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow got married in 2003. They have two children together, a daughter named Apple and a son named Moses. Although they got a little flack for giving their kids such unusual names, many people thought of them as a model celebrity couple. However, sometimes, relationships look better on the surface than the reality behind the scenes. In March 2014, Gwyneth announced on her website, Goop.com, that she and Chris would be filing for divorce. But in true Gwyneth fashion, she had a much more sophisticated term for the process: “conscious uncoupling.” So, they consciously uncoupled in March 2014. But ever since then, they have maintained a healthy relationship. According to Glamour magazine, Gwyneth says that it still feels like they are a happy family—they just realized that a romantic relationship was no longer right for them. Well, as long as they’re happy, that’s what matters!
18 Heidi Klum and Seal
Heidi Klum and Seal may have seemed like an unlikely couple, but during their marriage, they generally came across as a happy and committed pair. According to People, they even renewed their marriage vows every year in front of their family and friends! When they announced the news of their divorce in 2012, everyone was shocked. If this loving, stable couple couldn’t survive in Hollywood, who could? As sad as it was to see them leave their marriage behind, they have actually been very mature about their split. According to In Style, these two still make a huge effort to do lots of co-parenting together and spend equal amounts of time raising their children. In fact, they not only parent together, they occasionally work together as well! Heidi is a judge on America’s Got Talent, and she has posted photos on Instagram of her working with Seal as a guest judge on the show.
17 Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck
When Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck announced their decision to get a divorce in 2015, their fans were absolutely shocked. But honestly, it looks like they could not have made a better choice. In fact, they seem much happier simply co-parenting rather than being married. After being married for ten years and having three children together, their romantic relationship was clearly suffering—but after the divorce, they figured out a way to raise their family while healing from the split. According to PopSugar.com, Jennifer and Ben make it a point to always spend holidays together with their children, and on top of that, they also go on occasional dinner dates together just to catch up on everything going on in each other’s lives. It’s clear that they put their kids before everything else, and they are focused on being the best parents they can be despite their own differences. Good for them!
16 Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake
It’s easy to forget that Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake ever dated because their break up was actually pretty low-key. It’s clear that these two don’t want to start drama, and it seems like they still get along pretty well to this day. Of course, it helps that their split took place years ago! The two remain friends, and they have even starred in movies together. They were co-stars in the film Bad Teacher in 2011, and they got good reviews. Naturally, this sparked some curious questions from the press, who all wanted to hear how they felt about working together. Cameron told People that the experience was totally fine, and that shooting went smoothly. Neither of them made a big deal out of it. In fact, according to People, Cameron had some more praise for ex. She went on to say that he was an amazing comedic actor.
15 Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom
Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom were married for three years, but they officially separated in 2013. Things must have gotten pretty bad behind the scenes—it must be tough to walk away from a marriage with a Victoria’s Secret Angel. But all jokes aside, this was clearly a hard time for Miranda and Orlando, as it is for any other couple who realizes it’s time to move on. They also have a son, so they had to figure out how they could still be good parents after their marriage was over. Fortunately, it seems like Miranda and Orlando are both doing pretty well, and according to Popsugar.com, they’ve been spotting happily hanging out in public. In fact, Orlando has said some adorable things about Miranda since their split. Popsugar reported that when Orlando was asked if the two of them were still friends, Orlando said they were more than friends—they’re family.
14 Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony
Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony were a serious power couple. It just seemed like they were made for each other, and together, they were basically an unstoppable touring machine. But they say that all good things must come to an end, and unfortunately, this means that relationships that were smooth sailing can easily turn sour. That’s exactly what happened to J. Lo and Marc when they got divorced in 2011. However, like some of the other mature celeb exes on this list, they keep things as calm and stable as possible for the sake of their kids. In fact, they’re not just good co-parents, they’re still technically co-workers. Their musical chemistry is clear, so why would they want to give that up? According to In Style, Marc still produces some of J. Lo’s music. It’s a shame that their marriage did not work out, but they now have an arrangement that works for them.
13 Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak
Have you ever heard the saying, “life imitates art?” Well, that is absolutely the case when it comes to Kelly and Ryan’s on-again off-again relationship on the hilarious TV show, The Office. Mindy Kaling, who played Kelly, and B.J. Novak, who played Ryan, also had a similar relationship in real life! Now, as much as all of the fans of the show would love to see these two settle down together, no one knows whether or not that will ever happen because Mindy and B.J. are purposefully vague about their status. Mindy even told In Style that their relationship was super weird, and she wasn’t sure how to describe it! Somewhere between good friends and boyfriend/girlfriend, perhaps? Maybe we’ll never know how they really feel about each other. However, one thing is obvious: they care about each other very much, and they have an adorable friendship. What’s not to love about that?
12 Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe
Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe were married for seven years, but after that, they announced that they had decided to call it quits. It was somewhat surprising because they had seemed content with their relationship—and maybe the reason it wasn’t so obvious was because they were still friends, but they had simply realized that they were not in love anymore. Since then, they have made a clear effort to stay involved with each other’s lives for the sake of their children, Ava and Deacon. According to People magazine, Ryan has been very open about their commitment to their kids. They wanted to keep the peace between each other so that Ava and Deacon would not be exposed to any unnecessary conflict. So far, it seems like they’re doing a pretty great job! It seems like the key to an amicable divorce is focusing on the kids instead of the negativity.
11 Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie
Hilary Duff is one of the few Disney Channel stars who didn’t go through a wild phase as she grew up, so when she ended up getting a divorce from her (now ex) husband, Mike Comrie, it was a bit of a shock. They seemed like they really had their lives together, so no one really saw it coming. However, their fans had nothing to worry about—these two have done a great job of maintaining a deep friendship even after their divorce. They have one son together, Luca, and they always put him first. In fact, when Hilary sat down with Ellen DeGeneres on her show to discuss their relationship, she said that their love for Luca and their close friendship keeps them going as a family. They prove that it is totally possible to stay friends with your ex if you truly care about each other in the long run.
10 Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet
Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet got married back in 1987, and they divorced only a few years later in 1993. During those years, they had one daughter together, Zoe Kravitz. These two have nothing but good things to say about each other. It seems like they still love each other in a way, but they just weren’t meant to be together forever. According to Essence magazine, Lisa said that sparks just started flying when they first met, and maybe they let those butterflies distract them from their differences for a few years. Even years after their divorce, Lenny and Lisa will occasionally show up to events together—photos in magazines like People and US Weekly reveal that they have gone as each other’s dates to the Met Gala. Zoe and Lisa will also go to Lenny’s concerts together to support him, which Zoe will often share photos of on social media.
9 Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas
Sometimes, it seems like all the teenage Disney Channel stars of the early 2000's dated each other at least once. It kind of makes sense—after all, what normal teenage could understand that lifestyle? Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas were a pretty cute couple back in those days. They starred in the movie, Camp Rock, together and then dated for a few months in 2010. According to New York Magazine, Joe felt like he couldn’t help Demi with all of the problems she was clearly struggling with while they were dating so they had to break up. But to this day, they are still good friends, and Joe did end up sticking by Demi through her crazy rollercoaster years. And according to US Weekly, Demi says that she and Joe will always be friends. At this point, they’ve just been through way too much together—they have quite a history.
8 Kate Hudson and Matthew Bellamy
Kate Hudson and Matthew Bellamy shared a long engagement—but here’s the thing, they never actually got married. Maybe they rushed into the engagement and kept hoping that it would feel like the right decision, or maybe their love just fizzled out over the course of three years—who knows? Either way, after three years of being engaged and having one child together, they decided that they were not right for each other, and they called off their engagement. According to Popsugar.com, they stated that they wanted to be good co-parents, and that they would still be spending a lot of time together. And so far, they have kept that promise. According to US Weekly, they often spend holidays together and travel to places like Aspen with their son for family time. One year when they spent the holidays together, and Kate captioned an Instagram photo of them with the phrase, “ExMas.”
7 Bruce Willis and Demi Moore
Out of all the celebrity couples that didn’t make it, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore might be the most adorable. Seriously, they might be the most amicable pair of exes in Hollywood—or maybe the world. In all honesty, how they handled their split in front of the world was admirable. Everyone could take an example from them. Bruce and Demi got married in 1987, and they shared 13 years together before announcing that they would be getting a divorce in 2000. But they also decided that they were going to work together as co-parents for the benefit of their three daughters, Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah. And somehow, they have managed to get along without many real issues for the past 18 years. When Demi married Ashton Kutcher, Bruce even attended their wedding! If only all guys out there could be that mature. They were truly just better off as friends.
6 Courteney Cox and David Arquette
Back in the 1990's, Courteney Cox and David Arquette met on the set of the film Scream. They hit it off right away, and they began dating. Later on, they got married, and they were together for about a decade. But this power couple just couldn’t make it work in the long run. In 2010, they announced that they were getting a divorce, and fans everywhere were a little bit heartbroken. It’s definitely sad when a couple who has been together for that long decides that a divorce is the best option. However, according to ABC News, David said that their goal was to simply stay good friends and do their best to raise their daughter, Coco, together. They also managed to keep their production company, Coquette Productions, up and running through everything. Co-parents, co-workers, and good friends—it’s safe to say they still care about each other very much.
5 Sean Penn and Madonna
Madonna and Sean Penn had a volatile relationship that was the talk of Hollywood while they were together. They got married in 1985, and they attracted a ton of negative attention throughout their entire relationship. They divorced after only four years together, and it was clear that something had been drastically wrong in their relationship. According to The Daily Telegraph, they fought very often, and Madonna stated that he even physically hurt her. However, according to Deadline, she later said that she was lying about those allegations—we can’t make a definitive call on what the truth is, but whatever happened behind the scenes, it’s obvious that she was very unhappy. But today, according to US Magazine, they are surprisingly close friends. Apparently, they have nothing but kind things to say about each other. Celebrity relationships must be so complicated—it seems like these two did a complete 180 since the divorce!
4 Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder
When Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder revealed the news of their break up back in 2013, their fans were devastated. After all, these two just seemed like the perfect couple. They starred on the show, The Vampire Diaries, together, and plus, they just looked adorable with each other. How could they have broken up? Well, they were young, and sometimes you need time and space to yourself to figure out what you really want from a relationship. But for any Nina and Ian fans out there, don’t stress—these two are still great friends, and they are always supporting each other’s careers. After their break up, they won a People’s Choice Award for “best onscreen chemistry” in 2014. They happily accepted the award and even shared an adorable kiss on stage—no doubt this made their fans hope for a reunion! But Ian is now married to Nikki Reed, so they’re just friends.
3 Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick
It’s actually surprising that Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick never got married, but this doesn’t mean they didn’t share a deep bond for the time they were together. After all, they did date for a full decade, and they even have three children together. But even though it seemed like Kourtney and Scott would be together forever, they just faced too many obstacles to make it work. It’s common knowledge now that Scott was struggling with his addiction issues during the final years of their relationship—it was brought up on several episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. But despite all of the televised drama between them, Kourtney and Scott have maintained a civil friendship. According to Cosmopolitan, Kourtney says that they have both benefitted from spending time apart and focusing on their own lives as well as their children. Kourtney definitely does seem happy these days, so she’s doing something right!
2 Kaley Cuoco and John Galecki
Even if you’re a fan of the hit show, The Big Bang Theory, you may not be aware that Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki ever dated. Yes, their characters are married on the show, but they kept their real life relationship totally quiet while they were together! Clearly, they would rather keep their private lives private—when you’re on one of the most popular TV shows in America, it’s easy to see why you would want to keep some things to yourself. After their break up, they obviously had to continue filming together, which probably was a difficult and emotional experience—especially since their characters ended up getting engaged on the show. But they have managed to stay friends throughout the whole thing. And they still clearly support each other because according to Entertainment Weekly, Johnny basically said that whatever makes Kaley happy makes him happy too. Isn’t that so cute?
1 Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter
Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter both starred in the show, Dexter, and they had a typical Hollywood love story— they fell for each other on set, began dating, and eventually got married. But just because they felt that intense chemistry on set doesn’t mean that they were truly meant to be together. They were only married for a few years. After tying the knot in 2008, they got divorced in 2011. However, the paparazzi always seemed to catch them spending a lot of time together, so the press began asking if there was any chance they would consider getting back together. According to Entertainment Weekly, Jennifer said that although they were no longer married, she would always love him in some—she explained that he is one of her best friends in the world, and the divorce hadn’t changed that. It’s so sweet that they have been able to stay friends.
Sources: Vanityfair.com, Instyle.com, Glamour.com, People.com, Popsugar.com, Essence.com, USweekly.com, Newyorkmagazine.com, ABCNews.com, Thedailytelegraph.com, Deadline.com, Cosmopolitan.com, Etonline.com