Our worst fears were confirmed this Labor Day weekend when Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt told People on Monday that their rumored split was, in fact, real. "With great sadness, we have decided to separate, after 18 years of love and shared history," the former favorite couple of Mad Men fans and feminists said in a statement. "We will continue to be supportive of each other in every way possible moving forward."
Once, we hoped the summer reports of the two being seen together at Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp “canoodling”—such a mischeviously, deceptively vaue phrase to toy with our hearts—were true. Now, we weep and dread the arrival of the tabloid covers splashing images of “lonely” Jennifer or Jon hitting the town with some new squeeze (Jon, don’t you dare).
Typically, that wretched space between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is considered primetime for breakups, but this summer is proving otherwise. Countless couples once considered rock-solid by Hollywood standards have hit the skids.
As painful as it is for those actually going through these separations, we cannot help but also burst into tears and go running for Kleenex and Häagen-Dazs.
When our models of romance—the people who give us hope that genuinely happy relationships can survive in a modern world—crumble, how are we, their adoring fans, to cope? We know to some this amounts to a pretty weird investment in people’s lives we do not know, but there we go. Indulge us.
There is something painfully fitting about the Westfeldt-Hamm breakup announcement coming at the unofficial end of the summer--a season that has been filled with an unending stream of broken celebrity hearts.
Below is our rundown of summer breakups with directions for how to properly mourn.
Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt
Rend your garments and wail in pain. Seriously, your heart should hurt.
According to Star magazine, it wasn’t Hamm’s alcohol addiction that was the problem, but Westfeldt’s desire to have children, and realizing she and Hamm didn’t want “the same things.”
Not since Amy Poehler and Will Arnett called it quits have we so questioned the bounds of love and monogamy.
If these two wildly endearing celebrities are can no longer charm the pants off each other (literally), what hope is there for the rest of us?
If the sexiest man on cable wasn’t going to personally sweep us off our feet, Westfeldt was the ideal surrogate for our fantasies. Dare we say it, she was almost relatable, or at least insanely admirable.
Sure, Westfeldt is still remarkably attractive in that unattainable Hollywood way. But she is also an age-appropriate match—in fact, she’s a year older than Hamm—and a successful, intelligent creative force in her own right.
Amal Clooney may be rocking the trophy husband now, but the Yale-educated writer and director of Kissing Jessica Stein and Friends With Kids did it first. Snaps for Westfeldt.
In turn, we respected Hamm all the more for choosing such a fine mate when every Betty, Joan, and Peggy came his way after Don Draper became a household name.
And now this charismatic coupling is no more. Sigh.
Should this make us want to give up on romance? On love? On meaningful connections with intelligent adults? Probably. Pass the damn ice cream.
How sad should you be?
Can you be more physically distraught than devastated? If so, aim for that.
Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy
We know in our heads that the Kermit-Piggy split was all for the best. She’s a proudly independent woman and pig, and Kermit was always a bit spineless, anyways.
Whenever they appeared together, their relationship appeared to be governed by his fear of her rage. Really, for how long could that unhealthy dynamic sustain a relationship? This was a proudly abusive relationship—which we laughed at.
Then again, Kermit and Piggy were one of our earliest models of romance. Aside from our parents (and maybe not even them), they served as one of the most reliable examples of a loving partnership in our lives.
Kermit and Piggy did not specify why they’ve chosen to call it quits, only noting in their statement that “our personal lives are now distinct and separate and we will be seeing other people, pigs, frogs, et al.”
With the new Muppets show premiering on ABC in the fall, part of us wonders (hopes) that this is all cruel publicity stunt.
Then again, Kermit revealed he is dating someone in the marketing department at ABC named Denise.
Even though their split appears to be quite amicable, we’re still brokenhearted.
Who else in the Muppets brigade will provide an inspiring romance? Gonzo and Camilla the chicken?
How sad should you be?
Somewhere between “very” and “incredibly.” In fact, why do you even need to be instructed? We’re talking about one of the great Hollywood romances. We’re talking about love across animal kingdoms. We’re talking…everything.
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner
Feel free to shed some tears over Jen and Ben.
But then, take a deep breath, wipe your eyes, and carry on. This summer split should not shake you to the core.
Yes, we were all thrilled to see Affleck with Garner after his disastrous professional and personal foray into the world of J. Lo. (Actually, that was amazing and made him seem more interesting.) But Affleck and Garner soon became a more conventional pair of American sweethearts.
Yet, while we hate to sound cynical, the end of Bennifer 2.0 was a long time coming. Affleck’s (in)famous Academy Award speech in 2013 when he said marriage was “work” wasn’t the red flag. That was actually endearing, honest, and a sign of their strength.
It was when they got a little too precious and cutesy about their relationship that the hazard lights started flashing.
According to New York’s The Cut, Garner seemed a little too eager to gush about Affleck’s parenting skills to the press last fall.
She cooed to InStyle, “No matter how much I tickle them or toss them or chase them around, it’s not the same. If I’m the slow, steady drumbeat, he’s the jazz.”
The reports are only increasing that Affleck has been courting Christine Ouzounian, the couple’s nanny of their three adorable children.
The latest pictures show Ouzounian and Affleck (shock) laughing and talking.
There are other photographs of Ouzounian at a swimming pool on her cellphone.
Neither of these picture-bait stories seem like conclusive evidence of an affair, but if it’s true that Affleck has already moved on, it only affirms that ending his and Garner’s marriage was a bittersweet, but ultimately right, move.
How sad should you be?
Moderately and for a measured period of time. Then you should rouse yourself into action and root for Garner to bounce back with a hot younger man.
Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani
The rock star couple is the most recent (human) celebrity split—though at this summer’s rate, there will be a new one by the time this goes to press.
Stefani filed for divorce from the Bush frontman just this week.
We’d like to say we’re surprised by the split, but we’re more surprised Stefani and Rossdale lasted as long as they did.
The couple wed in 2002 as a match made in rock band heaven. From that point on Stefani’s fame only grew. She branched out from No Doubt to start her own musical projects, launch a fashion line, and become a judge on NBC’s The Voice.
Meanwhile, Rossdale was making more headlines for scandals. In 2004, it was revealed that his goddaughter Daisy Lowe was actually his biological daughter, a product of an affair with singer Pearl Lowe when she was married.
A bigger threat to their marriage hit the rumor mill when Courtney Love claimed Rossdale cheated on Stefani with her.
Love told Howard Stern in 2010, “He got good in bed… something happened. Maybe Gwen taught him, for all I know.”
In 2009, Rossdale confirmed he had a sexual relationship with British drag queen Marilyn in the 1980s—an admission that Marilyn is now claiming contributed to the divorce.
Marilyn told RadarOnline.com that Rossdale called him weeks before Stefani officially filed, launching into an emotional tirade where he blamed Marilyn for revealing their affair. “Gwen wants him to be something he’s not, and he wants to be something he’s not. That’s my interpretation,” Marilyn said.
It’s not like Stefani and Rossdale’s marriage was all bumps and bruises. Rossdale and Stefani had three sons—Kingston, 9, Zuma, 6, and Apollo, 17 months—and they oozed rock star sexiness on the red carpet.
Still, the couple was up against a lot of odds to work. Even Stefani admitted to Cosmopolitan in February of this year that it was “miracle” she and Rossdale were still together. We couldn’t agree more.
How sad should you be?
A little, but don’t cry too much for the Rossdale-Stefani split. Applaud them for a good run and call it a day—and hope that their absence of a pre-nup won’t mean a drawn-out, messy divorce.
Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick
Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick were never a paragon of relationship stability.
Actually, compared to the rest of the family, they were a paragon of relationship stability.
Kourtney remains the only Kardashian sister who has never walked down the aisle. However, her on-again, off-again relationship with Disick lasted longer than each of Kim’s and Khloé’s marriages—and, for those of you keeping count, they have four between them.
That doesn’t mean Kardashian and Disick ever won over reality TV audiences. Disick seemed like a tempest in a teapot, more in an irritating than entertaining way.
TMZ said their split was down to his “partying.”
It was hard to figure out why the two stayed together, except for the adorable children they kept having.
Even Disick’s many trips to rehab began to draw more skepticism than sympathy.
A recent visit to a luxury ibogaine treatment clinic in Costa Rica was rumored to merely be a paid PR stunt for the Rhythmia Life Advancement Center.
Disick is already expressing his regret over the split in a suspiciously public fashion.
On Instagram, he shared photo of a table card reading “Scott Disick guest” with the caption “When u realize the grass isn’t always greener.” But the public plea for his baby mama seems more like a public plea for attention.
Knowing the Kardashian clan and their fame-loving straphangers, we wouldn’t be surprised if the split was a publicity stunt.
Disick was most recently reported to be determined to “get his family back.”
How sad should you be?
We’re not talking about Bogie and Bacall here. Do not cry, because this breakup could end up being shorter than Kim Kardashian’s marriage to Kris Humphries.
Zayn Malik and Perrie Edwards
If you squander more than a three-second shrug on this breakup, I only have four words for you: Pull it together, dude.
In case you have a life, here are the details. He was in One Direction, she was in a girl band called, puzzlingly, Little Mix. He called off their engagement, she is “devastated.” Us Weekly reports that friends of Edwards say it’s a miracle she put with Malik’s erratic behavior for so long. This will run and run, believe us.
Yes, Malik and Edwards have been together for two years and were even engaged. But each is only 22 years old. At that age, the biggest life decision you should be making is which Ikea bedframe you should buy.
Let’s be realistic: Ending things before they walked down the aisle probably spared them of an even more painful romantic demise.
Also, they are the kind of couple where their youth and hotness is only exceeded by their wealth. They are awash in sexual and materialistic comfort. They do not need your sympathy pains.
How sad should you be?
Not. At. All. This is so not the couple you shed tears over, especially in a summer rife with heartbreak that makes us question the human condition and the frailty of love.