We know it is naive to think that some celebrity couples could last forever and get the fairy tale “happily ever after” ending, but there are times when it appears that two of our favorite stars are just perfect for each other. However, investing your feelings into a celebrity romance is usually a good way to set yourself up for heartbreak.
Even the most stable Hollywood relationships eventually crack, and when they inevitably don’t work out, fans are shocked, and the rumours fly about why the couple couldn’t make it last.
Celebrities’ love lives are always under scrutiny, so fans often witness a relationship’s development as well as its demise. It’s so easy to get invested when we see two people fall in love on the set of a popular movie or TV show.
Being part of a Hollywood couple is a bit of a quandary, really. On one hand, they appear to be so romantic and magical – living the lives we all wish we could. They vacation on tropical islands, attend glamorous events, and make big money for working on popular films or performing on stage.
But, on the other hand, any type of long-term relationship happiness often eludes them, and it seems that is the price to pay for Hollywood success. Still, it doesn’t keep fans from hoping that things can work out for our favorite celebrities.
On this list, we visit the romances of 15 couples that are cruel reminders that most things in Hollywood don’t last. But, there are also five couples we knew were doomed from the start.
20 Could Have Lasted: Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens
Disney kids, Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens, were the cutest couple when they started dating after meeting on the set of High School Musical back in 2005. The pair dated for five years, but during that time, it was difficult for both of them because they wanted to break away from their teen images.
Hudgens often said that it was a challenge dating Efron because he was such a big heartthrob, and he constantly got female attention.
"I went through a phase when I was really mean because I was so fed up. Girls were running after him, and I was giving them death stares," she told the New York Times. "I realized that's not what that's about. Spread the love, be a good person, they support you, be nice."
For any fans that have hopes the two may get back together someday, Hudgens says that it is not meant to be, and they no longer keep in touch.
Efron is currently “on and off” with his Baywatch co-star, Alexandra Daddario, while Hudgens has been dating Zoey 101 star, Austin Butler, since 2011.
19 Could Have Lasted: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner
If there was one Hollywood couple who fans thought could make it work, it was Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, or Bennifer 2.0. They met on the set of Daredevil in 2003 after he had called off his two-year engagement to Jennifer Lopez, and she had just ended her three-year marriage to Scandal star, Scott Foley.
Affleck and Garner eventually transitioned from co-stars to a couple and married in June 2005, while she was rocking a baby bump.
The couple had three kids – Violet, Seraphina, and Samuel – but eight years into their marriage, things started to sour. Rumors swirled that Affleck was unfaithful with the nanny, but Garner says that was not the reason she decided to end the marriage. They announced their split just one day after their tenth anniversary in June 2015.
The couple went through a two-year separation before filing for divorce in 2017, but they continue to co-parent their children and remain on good terms.
Garner says she didn’t marry a “big fat movie star,” but instead, she married “him,” and she would “go back and remake that decision.”
Affleck is now in a relationship with SNL producer, Lindsay Shookus, while Garner is focusing on her children.
18 Could Have Lasted: Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams
This couple met while filming arguably the most romantic movie of all time, but it wasn’t love at first sight.
Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams did not get along when they first met on the set of The Notebook, and at one point, things got so bad that Gosling asked for another actress to come in to help him practice scenes.
Somehow, they eventually started dating, but what these two were able to do on screen, unfortunately, didn’t translate off-screen.
Gosling and McAdams had a tumultuous love affair, and they often fought and brought out the worst in each other. Their relationship lasted two years before they split without explanation. The only thing either one has ever said about the break up was Gosling’s comment to GQ in 2007 when he told the magazine, “The only thing I remember is we both went down swingin’ and we called it a draw.”
The actor has also said that showbiz got in the way of his relationship with McAdams and with his previous girlfriend, Sandra Bullock. Gosling said that when both people are in show business, it takes all the light and nothing else can grow.
Gosling and McAdams may no longer be together in real life, but they will be together forever in movie history as Noah and Allie.
17 Doomed: Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries
Yes, there was a time when Kim Kardashian was married to a different man whose name begins with the letter K, but it seems like ancient history. Back in August 2011, Kardashian married basketball player, Kris Humphries, but she says that she knew on the honeymoon that it wouldn’t last.
Just 72 days later – and before their wedding special aired on E! – the couple filed for divorce.
Humphries said that he knew the reality star was going behind his back with Kanye West when the family didn’t invite the rapper to the wedding, and he “felt played” when she filed for divorce and immediately started dating West.
The KUWTK star claimed that she did love Humphries, but the relationship stifled her.
“I was in love: I wanted the life that I always pictured my fairytale life to be. I would've had an extravagant wedding anyway, to end that relationship was a risk in itself to lose ratings and I had to take the risk, to be honest to myself. I saw how our relationship was. I don't want to get into the small things, but once we moved in, I knew he was not the one,” said Kardashian.
16 Could Have Lasted: Seal and Heidi Klum
Heidi Klum was still pregnant from a previous relationship when she began dating Seal back in 2004. By the end of that year, the couple was engaged, and just a few months later, they tied the knot. They reunited every year on May 10th – in front of family and friends – to renew their vows, so it appeared that they took the “til death do us part” thing very seriously.
And apparently, they did, until January 2012 when they unexpectedly announced their split. At the time, TMZ reported that Seal couldn’t control his anger, and it was too much for Klum to handle.
But, as the years went by, the former Victoria’s Secret model opened up more about the breakup and said it had more to do with his busy schedule and her having to be “a mom and a dad at the same time.”
While they were married, Seal adopted Klum’s oldest daughter, Leni, and changed her last name to Samuel, and the couple also had three kids of their own.
In reality, they were only together for seven years, but for some reason, it felt like forever.
Seal and Klum remain amicable with each other and still often attend events together. Also, Klum is a judge on the reality competition show, America’s Got Talent, and last year, Seal appeared as a guest judge.
15 Could Have Lasted: Chris Pratt and Anna Faris
When Chris Pratt and Anna Faris split after eight years of marriage, it broke the hearts of comedy fans everywhere. Citing irreconcilable differences, Pratt officially filed for divorce in December 2017, four months after the couple went public with the surprising news that they had separated.
During their relationship, the couple went through a lot of changes. Pratt went from being a supporting character on Parks and Recreation to being one of the biggest movie stars on the planet. Sources say that Pratt’s fame changed him and the dynamic between him and Faris, both publicly and privately.
“Anna feels like she lost her voice throughout their marriage, like she lost her sense of self," said an insider.
The two also apparently had “different parenting styles” when it came to their five-year-old son Jack, and that caused a wedge in the relationship, too.
In a joint statement at the time of their separation announcement, the couple said, "We tried hard for a long time, and we're really disappointed. Our son has two parents who love him very much and for his sake, we want to keep this situation as private as possible moving forward."
The couple has remained amicable and is “trying to do what’s best for Jack,” and they are both slowly venturing back into the public eye while still focusing on co-parenting.
14 Could Have Lasted: Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan
They met on the set of the dance flick, Step Up, back in 2005, and immediately fell in love. But, after a “magical journey together” that included nearly nine years of marriage, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan called it quits earlier this year.
In their joint statement, the couple said that there wasn’t a scandalous reason behind their decision to part ways, but instead, it was two best friends who realized it was time for some space. However, they still planned on helping each other live “the most joyous, fulfilled lives” possible.
They also said that nothing had changed when it came to how much they loved each other, but their love had taken them on different paths.
Like Chris Pratt and Anna Faris, Tatum and Dewan had to deal with significant changes in fame during their relationship. Tatum became one of Hollywood’s top heartthrobs, thanks to his starring role in Magic Mike, and his busy schedule pulled him away from Dewan and their daughter, Everly.
This led to the couple drifting apart, and they lost the spark and passion that originally brought them together. Tatum and Dewan “fell out of love,” and that was a tough realization for both, according to a source.
13 Doomed: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez
A long, long time ago back in 2003, when Ben Affleck was a young Oscar winner and Jennifer Lopez was just "Jenny From The Block," the two met and started dating on the set of one of the worst movies ever made – Gigli. After making the terrible flick, the couple started dating and then got engaged, but things quickly started to sour.
By 2004, the original Bennifer had called it quits, and Lopez says she “was eviscerated” from the press coverage of Gigli, and she lost her sense of self. She also started to question if she belonged in show business and thought that maybe she “did suck at everything.”
Lopez says her relationship with the Good Will Hunting star “self-destructed in front of the entire world,” and it took her two years to pick herself up again.
Following the high-profile breakup, Affleck says his career took a bad turn, and if you listened to what people were saying, he wasn’t cool, and he wasn’t talented. After his split from Lopez, he had four straight box office bombs.
Lopez is now in a relationship with former Yankees star, Alex Rodriguez, and Affleck – following his divorce from Jennifer Garner – is dating SNL producer, Lindsay Shookus.
12 Could Have Lasted: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
The most iconic couple of our generation, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, were so awesome together that no one thought this relationship would come to an end. During their relationship, the gorgeous couple had six kids – both biologically and through adoption – and after ten years together they finally decided to get married.
But just two years after tying the knot, Jolie filed for divorce after a fateful flight in September 2016 that resulted in her accusing Pitt of child abuse. Two separate agencies investigated her claims, but they both concluded they had no merit and cleared Pitt of any alleged wrongdoing. The former couple is still in the middle of trying to hammer out a divorce settlement and custody agreement.
At first, their romance seemed too good to be true. They met in 2004 on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith while he was still married to Jennifer Aniston. Their sizzling chemistry on screen was undeniable, and Pitt eventually divorced Aniston, so he could be with Jolie.
As their relationship went on and their family grew, fans started to believe in the Brangelina dream, only to experience a rude awakening when the Hollywood giants parted ways after twelve years together.
11 Could Have Lasted: Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake
One of the hottest couples of the late 1990's and early 2000's, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, met in 1993 when they were both just 12 years old and cast members of The Mickey Mouse Club. Of course, they were far too young to start a relationship, but fast forward to 1998 when Timberlake was touring with NSYNC and Spears was the group’s opening act, and that is when sparks started to fly.
By 1999, a romance had blossomed, and the couple dated for three years. But, the rumor is that Spears also hooked up with choreographer, Wade Robson, and Timberlake found out, thanks to a note he discovered in her room on the night they both appeared on Saturday Night Live in February 2002.
“The break-up was absolutely heartbreaking for me. I can’t just have meaningless relationships with women. I have to find Miss Right in order to have a relationship. There’s got to be that big moment when she comes along,” Timberlake said after the split.
A few months later, he released "Cry Me A River," and the story is that the song was his response to Spear’s alleged affair. He said that he wrote the hit single in a time of pain, but suffering helps him compose songs.
The following year, Spears released the song "Everytime," which many believe was an apology to Timberlake.
During their relationship, both Spears and Timberlake talked about it being “the one,” and when things ended it broke both of their hearts. But, they both eventually got over it and moved on. Timberlake is now married to Jessica Biel and they have a son named Silas.
Meanwhile, two years after her split from Timberlake, Spears married Kevin Federline, and they had two sons before divorcing after three years of marriage. She is now currently dating model and personal trainer, Sam Asghari.
10 Could Have Lasted: Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow
It’s not every day that a breakup results in a new phrase showing up in the dictionary, but that is exactly what happened when Coldplay frontman, Chris Martin, and actress, Gwyneth Paltrow, split in 2014. After ten years of marriage, they announced in a statement that they titled “Conscious Uncoupling” that the two of them had parted ways.
The couple kept things extremely private during their relationship and famously avoided cameras on the red carpet when they stepped out together. But, keeping things on the down low didn’t result in relationship success.
They said that they had tried to make things work, but sometimes, it is just best not to be married. Martin and Paltrow had two kids – Apple and Moses – when they were together, and they have continued to co-parent as friends since their separation.
Paltrow shot down any rumors of cheating. Instead, challenges in their marriage included distance and competing schedules. Splitting their time between London and Los Angeles, while he worked on albums with his band and she was away on movie sets just ended up being too much for the pair to handle.
Now, Paltrow is engaged to Glee co-creator, Brad Falchuk, and Martin is dating Fifty Shades of Grey star, Dakota Johnson.
9 Doomed: Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey
It may be hard to believe, but there was once a time when a couple doing a reality show about their lives wasn’t the worst idea ever. Actually, it was a little romantic. Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey played a huge role in introducing an entirely new genre of entertainment to the world when they agreed to star in Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica on MTV after they got married in October 2002.
"It was the most amazing moment of my life," Simpson said about her wedding night. "I'm so lucky I didn't lose my virginity in the back of a Jeep or something. Instead, I had this amazing, elaborate wedding and I topped it off with that."
The pop stars went on to document their first years of marriage on the show, and spent their time on camera cuddling, sharing sweet moments, and having unbelievably ditzy conversations. Seriously, we can’t mention this couple without bringing up the famous Chicken of the Sea scene. Is it tuna or chicken?
But, by 2005, the show had gone off the air and their marriage started falling apart, and they called it quits in December of that year. Simpson filed for divorce citing “irreconcilable differences,” even though they were once in love and had every intention of living happily ever after.
8 Could Have Lasted: Will Arnett and Amy Poehler
Arrested Development star, Will Arnett, and Parks and Recreation star, Amy Poehler, are both comedy royalty, and when they married in 2003, it seemed like they were going to last forever. They did make it longer than most couples in Hollywood, but by 2012, things had come to an end.
Poehler wrote about the experience in her 2014 memoir, Yes Please.
"Imagine spreading everything you care about on a blanket and then tossing the whole thing up in the air," she wrote. "The process of divorce is about loading that blanket, throwing it up, watching it all spin, and worrying what stuff will break when it lands."
She also wrote that when you are going through a divorce you feel incredibly alone, but society constantly reminds you that it is a common occurrence and you can’t feel special. However, “no one knows the specific ways you are in pain.”
While they were married, Poehler gave birth to two sons, Archie and Abel, and she says that since her split from Arnett, she is proud of how he has taken care of their children. Poehler also says that she doesn’t think a ten-year marriage constitutes failure. But, with that being said, “getting a divorce really sucks.”
7 Could Have Lasted: Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale
The tragic split of rockers, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, came after months of buzz that he was sneaking around with the couple’s nanny. It turns out, the rumors were true, and after 13 years of marriage, they announced their split in the summer of 2015.
Rossdale’s unfaithfulness caused a very public split and Stefani said she was in “misery.”
“Nobody except for my parents, the people involved, and whoever they told [know specifics],” Stefani said. “Nobody would believe it if I could really say what happened. I went through months and months of torture.”
The No Doubt singer also revealed that all fans have to do is listen to every song she has ever written, and you will be able to tell what she knew and when because it was an ongoing theme that she had for a long time.
As for Rossdale, he said divorce was the opposite of what he wanted, but he and Stefani had twenty years together, along with three amazing children, and that is incredible. However, even though a lot of good came out of their relationship, the Bush frontman said that looking back, he would have done things differently.
6 Could Have Lasted: Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert
They met back in 2005 when they performed together for a special CMT concert of country music’s greatest duets, and while singing "You’re The Reason God Made Oklahoma," Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert fell in love.
However, at the time, Shelton was married, and Lambert was engaged, but it didn’t take them long to end their respective relationships and start their romance. There are even allegations that they didn’t wait and started seeing each other immediately.
The couple publicly started dating in 2006, and by the time they married in 2011, they were both on top of the country music world.
At their wedding, Shelton sang "Let’s Grow Old Together" to Lambert, and at the reception, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, and Neal McCoy performed, while guests enjoyed venison the couple shot on a recent deer hunt.
Over the next four years, rumors started to swirl that there was trouble in paradise, but Lambert made it clear that “divorce was not an option.”
However, in the summer of 2015, the couple suddenly announced their split on the same day that an Oklahoma judge finalized their divorce, surprising fans and sending shockwaves through the country music community.
5 Doomed: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
It all began back in 2005 when Tom Cruise appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and announced to the world that he was in love with Katie Holmes while jumping on furniture and repeatedly pumping his fist in the air. Later in the show, he brought his new girlfriend on stage and awkwardly kissed her to prove just how real the relationship was.
Just two months later, Cruise proposed to Holmes at the top of the Eiffel Tower and then came the post-engagement press conference. They married in 2006 at Odescalchi Castle in Italy, but thanks to Cruise’s involvement in the Church of Scientology, it didn’t take long for the tabloids to start writing stories about their weird relationship.
Cruise apparently had rules for Holmes when she worked with male co-stars and wouldn’t allow her to take roles that required her to kiss or show affection for another man. Holmes also had a Scientologist chaperone during her press tour for Batman Begins.
After five years of marriage, Holmes filed for divorce because she thought it was in their daughter Suri’s best interest. Rumors swirled that the Dawson’s Creek star was afraid Cruise would ship their daughter off to Sea Org, a Scientology elite training division that requires billion-year contracts.
The divorce was quick and allegedly featured the stipulation that Suri cut ties with Scientology. That meant that she was now an SP (Suppressive Person), and Cruise has hardly spent any time with Suri since the split in 2011.
A source also claimed that part of the terms of the divorce was a five-year “no public dating” stipulation. Holmes could date someone new, but she just couldn’t go public with the relationship. In exchange, she was able to get a drama-free divorce and $400,000 a year in child support until Suri’s 18th birthday.
4 Could Have Lasted: Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon
All you have to do is watch Cruel Intentions to figure out why Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon fell hard for each other and eventually got married. These two had sizzling on-screen chemistry, and it led to an off-screen romance that had a slew of fans wishing that they would be together forever.
Phillippe and Witherspoon were a popular '90s couple who met on her 21st birthday, and they ended up dating for two years before marrying in 1999 when she was just 23 and he was 24. He later said that their young age caused many issues for them while working in Hollywood, and they just couldn’t make it work. The couple split in 2007.
Despite getting divorced, Witherspoon has said that she wouldn’t change a thing about her life.
The former couple did have a daughter together, Ava, who is now 18 years old. And, she looks so much like her mom that they could pass as twins. Phillippe and Witherspoon also have a 14-year-old son named Deacon.
She eventually went on to marry Hollywood agent, Jim Toth, in 2011 and they have a 5-year-old son named Tennessee. Witherspoon continues to have an incredibly successful film career, and Phillippe has transitioned from movies to TV and currently stars in the USA network drama, Shooter.
3 Could Have Lasted: Bruce Willis and Demi Moore
A longtime Hollywood power couple, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, dominated the movie industry in the 1990's, and it was difficult for fans to think that there was anything that could tear them apart. The couple had three daughters – Scout, Tallulah, and Rumer – and lived a lavish lifestyle, while putting up the facade of a happy family living far away from Hollywood by putting down roots in Idaho.
But, the paparazzi literally stalked their every move, and that led to rumors and scandals. Moore even said that the tabloids were a burden on her marriage, saying in 1993 that “they won’t stop until one day they may be right.”
Behind the scenes, their relationship slowly started to crumble because of the strain of their demanding schedules. The story is that they just spent too much time apart, and if rumors are true, there was infidelity on both sides. Many people wondered what ultimately caused them to split, and it turns out it was their blockbuster careers that put too much pressure on their marriage.
At the time, Willis and Moore were just fighting way too many battles and the couple couldn’t handle it. When they split in 1998, it seemed sudden, but it was a long time coming.
2 Could Have Lasted: Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon
Even though these two never married, it seemed like they would be together forever. They met on the set of the 1987 film, Bull Durham, but after 23 years together, their relationship ran its course, and the two shockingly called it quits in 2009.
“You bring people into your life at certain times,” Sarandon says. “Maybe you have a relationship to have children, and you realize that it’s fulfilled after that point.”
The actress also claimed that she had to reexamine her relationship with Robbins after performing in a Broadway show because she felt that life was calling for a change. She added that it was something that she needed for a long time but she probably “pushed it aside for comfort.”
Robbins and Sarandon have two grown sons, Jack, 29, and Miles, 26, and she says that she likes the idea of choosing to be with someone instead of getting married because you wouldn’t take each for granted so easily. But, after “twentysomething years” she wasn’t sure if that was still true.
When the couple broke up, people would come up to Sarandon and tell her that they cried about the split. She said she cried, too, and was even sadder than they were because she thought it would never happen.
1 Doomed: Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez
Back in December 2010, the saga of Jelena began, but honestly, no one who has been through puberty thought that Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez would last very long. Teen relationships aren’t forever, but there were fans who held out hope, especially after Bieber said that he would “always” love her.
TMZ originally broke the news about their first “cuddly” IHOP date, but at the time, Gomez insisted they were just friends. However, just a couple of weeks later, cameras caught the two kissing on a yacht in St. Lucia and that convinced fans they were a couple.
They made their red-carpet debut at an Oscar party in February 2011, and over the next couple of years, things seemed to be going pretty well for the young pop stars. But, in November 2012, their young ages, conflicting schedules, and trust issues led them to their first split.
Over the next five years, media and fans continually asked the question “are they, or aren’t they?” But, by 2017, Gomez started dating The Weeknd, and the chances of Bieber and Gomez reconciling seemed slim to none. But, in October 2017, Gomez and The Weeknd split, and just days later Gomez was back in the arms of the Biebs.
Of course, by March, the couple had, once again, called it quits.
References: tvovermind.com, mirror.co.uk, oregonlive.com, zimbio.com, nickiswift.com, people.com, cosmopolitan.com, eonline.com, usmagazine.com, vibe.com, lifeandstylemag.com, huffngtonpost.com, dailymail.co.uk, rollingstone.com, vogue.com