Recents news that Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck are splitting up has broken the Internet, as they say. Then came the questions: why did it happen? What was wrong? How could they possibly expect any privacy during this difficult time when, you know, they’re super famous? Celebrity break-ups are way different than when we mere mortals get dumped or do the dumping. We tend to drown our sorrows in Netflix and ice cream binges and they tend to get even more popular. But there are some common threads in the celeb break-up universe. Consider this your how-to guide on how to end romances like the rich and famous.
- Invent a new term. Because “break-up” is so passé. When Gwyneth Paltrow coined her upcoming divorce from Chris Martin a “conscious uncoupling” everyone laughed. Because come on. But really, it’s a way better phrase than “we broke up” because it suggests you have some control over the situation. So there you go: we typical people know that when it comes to love, we can’t help our mad emotions, but Gwyneth feels it’s totally possible to be in control.
- Go on vacation with your ex. Ben and Jen reportedly just went to the Bahamas. Together. Right after announcing their split. You, on the other hand, are more likely to allow yourself some time to feel awful.
- Allow for zero wallowing. Zero. Thanks to Lorelai Gilmore, The Wallowing Expert as well as the best TV mom ever, we know that after a break-up, you wallow. Period. But that’s not the case when it comes to celebrities. Are you hearing about Jennifer Garner crying her eyes out and existing solely on chocolate bars? No. She’s actually on a movie set right now and has got a bunch more movie roles in the works. And you thought it was a big deal when you left your apartment once the day after.
- Write (a lot of) songs and watch your star rise. Two words: Taylor Swift.
- Become a parent and live a simpler, happier life. When Sandra Bullock’s husband Jesse James cheated on her (several times – ugh), she adopted a son. She then embraced a life not in sunny L.A. but in equally sunny Austin, where she owns a deli and flower shop. While you may not be ready for motherhood just yet, you can use your own break-up as an opportunity, too, and make your life better than ever before.
- Start a business. Remember when Drew Barrymoore was married to Tom Green? Seems like a million years ago now. And Reese Witherspoon was married to Ryan Phillippe, once upon a time. Those splits seem so yesterday because both actresses have super successful film production companies right now. Reese, for example, was responsible for both Wild and Gone Girl, some of the best book-to-film adaptations ever. Tom and Ryan who???
- Become a lifestyle/health mentor. Before Jennifer Aniston was known for guzzling water obsessively (five bottles a day apparently – hello bathroom breaks!), she was Brad Pitt’s other half. Now her interviews focus more on her yoga and healthy diet than on her movies. And we can’t forget about Gwyneth, who convinced the world to go gluten-free and who discusses juice cleanses and the like on her Goop site – and who was engaged to Brad herself in the 90s. So there’s the secret: date Brad, break up with him and become the healthiest person ever. While you might be able to score a date with him now that he’s Mr. Angelina Jolie, you can at least step up your workout game after a romance ends.
- Cut your hair super short. Starring in a musical is optional. Before Anne Hathaway was wowing audiences in the film version of Les Mis, she had an ugly break-up in 2008 with a guy who turned out to be a conman. But do you even know his name? Probably not. She’s done pretty well for herself since then.
- Wait two seconds and get involved in another romance. Has a celebrity ever stayed single for longer than a few weeks after a bad break-up? Take Britney Spears, for example: she seems to date someone new every six months, like clockwork. You know that rebounds don’t always work out so well, but apparently celebs didn’t get that memo.
So there you go. The next break-up you face can be made a million times better if you can write a few insanely popular songs about the person, become super successful in your career, get a new hairstyle and never wallow. Ever.