Love may well be a many splendoured thing, but the route to eventual romantic joy is strewn with disaster, distress and endless bloody moaning.
While breakups are inevitable, they needn’t destroy you, and learning from one’s own experiences is a vital part of this thing we call life. That said, if you don’t fancy the heartache, you can always skip it and take your lessons from some of 2014’s fractured relationships instead.
Use a meaningless phrase as a smokescreen
In March, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin hit on a novel way of diverting gossip away from the fact that they had split. Having “come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much, we will remain separate”, they explained: “We hope that as we consciously uncouple and co-parent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.” Inventing a new phrase that was as exciting as it was absurd, they achieved the breakup statement equivalent of setting off a firework halfway through a boardroom sacking.
Ignore the cries of ‘But I can change!’
When a relationship goes through a rocky patch – as in the case of “comedy pick-up artist” Dapper Laughs’ relationship with ITV (which cancelled his show), gig venues, the denizens of social media and anyone else under the absurd impression that women exist as anything more than things to have sex with – it’s typical to insist that one can change.
And Mr Laughs did indeed change – into a black roll-neck top, for his appearance on Newsnight. What more did he have to do? Come on guys!
Know when to admit it’s all over
Piers Morgan had high hopes for his US chat show, Piers Morgan Live. And it was a ratings record breaker; sadly, the record it broke, in 2012, was for CNN’s lowest primetime ratings in a generation. At the start of 2014 came news few had not seen coming: Piers and CNN were to go their separate ways. Piers was philosophical. “Look,” he told the New York Times. “I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarising, and there is no doubt that there are many in the audience who are tired of me banging on about it.”
Piers’s great mate Alan Sugar subsequently offered a shoulder to cry on, telling an Apprentice candidate whose drinks brand had been unsuccessful overseas: “You showed your product to America. America doesn’t want it. You made the Piers Morgan of drinks. It’s as bad as that.”
Swipe left and don’t look back
It was a tricky year over at Tinder HQ, where former VP of marketing and co-founder Whitney Wolfe filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the company. She claimed to have been subjected to “a barrage of horrendously sexist, racist and otherwise inappropriate comments, emails and text messages”, which were at least “on brand” for the dating app. There were further breakups for Tinder as the year panned out: co-founder Justin Mateen left, followed in November by CEO Sean Rad. The company was, at least, well-placed to locate nearby replacements.
Above all, keep your dignity
In February, Paula Patton, the wife of sweaty pop nuisance Robin Thicke, decided she had had enough and filed for divorce. Reckoning he could win her back, Thicke decided to crack this particular walnut with a rather gaudy steamroller, resulting in a rush-recorded, rush-released, rush-bargain-binned album titled Paula.
There was a song on this album called Get Her Back and another called Still Madly Crazy. And, in a spectacular display of point-missing, the video Thicke shot for Get Her Back featured him cavorting with a naked model. Paula entered the Top 200 at No 200, selling 530 copies, just 2% of his previous album’s first-week sales. Almost unbelievably, as 2014 draws to a close, he and Paula are yet to rekindle their marriage.
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