A Psychologist Explains Why We Think Love Is Dead When Our Fav Celeb Couple Splits

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On Monday, April 2, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan announced via social media that they've "lovingly chosen to separate as a couple." Hearts were shattered everywhere, as no one was expecting Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan's split. They were one of the celebrity couples I would have put my money on to make it all the way. They were total #CoupleGoals, so the news that the two were ending their almost nine-year marriage seemed to come out of nowhere. Needless to say, I — and the rest of the internet — was shook.

"Absolutely nothing has changed about how much we love one another, but love is a beautiful adventure that is taking us on different paths for now," the couple wrote in their statement. "There are no secrets nor salacious events at the root of our decision — just two best-friends realizing it’s time to take some space and help each other live the most joyous, fulfilled lives as possible." However, a source claimed to People that, despite trying to make the marriage work, Tatum and Dewan had been growing apart for the last year.

Despite various source claims making the rounds, the couple assured the public in their statement that any news not coming directly from them is likely to be untrue. You can check out the couple's full statement regarding their "separation below:

Regardless of the reason for the split, the news was met with a collective declaration that if Tatum and Dewan can’t make it, then "love is dead.” Behold, Twitter was as dejected as ever.

But why? Why was there such a strong reaction? Sure, it’s always sad when a seemingly happy couple parts ways, but you generally don’t see the same kind of despair when regular people break up — people who we actually know, like, IRL and not just as Tyler and Nora from Step Up. So why are we so emotional about celebrity splits? I mean, aside from seeing them on our TV and movie screens, most of us don't actually know either Tatum or Dewan. So, why is their breakup breaking the internet? To answer that, I reached out to the experts who explained why we feel like love actually dies when our favorite celebrity couples break up.

For LeslieBeth Wish, Ed. D., noted psychotherapist, author of Smart Relationships and founder of LoveVictory.com, the answer begins with the fact that we live in a celebrity-focused culture and that has a huge impact on our daily lives. “The visual power of movies, fan magazines, then television, and then social media has transformed stars into role models,” Wish tells Elite Daily. “You can't miss their influence: Their images and stories are all over the news, and you can't even stand in line at the grocery store without reading about their love lives.” That amount of exposure means that not only do celebrities not feel like strangers, but in some cases, “we turn to stars who are bigger than life on the screen to inspire us, allow us to live vicariously, and to compare our own relationships and partners to them.” So that's why, when a celebrity couple splits, it feels more personal than you might expect.

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Another reason these celebrity breakups are so upsetting is because, as licensed professional counselor and sex therapist Sarah Watson explains, there is a sense that these celebrities have it all and are aspirational figures. “We project our wants and needs onto them and believe that, ‘if these two people can figure it out, so can I,’ when this is so unrealistic,” Watson tells Elite Daily. “We have no idea what is going on in their relationships. They are people too and have struggles as well.” When these people who we've put on a pedestal are unable to make it as a couple, Watson says our natural response is to think, “If [these are] two people who seemingly have access to the best of the best, how come they can't figure it out? If they can't, I never will.” And therefore, love is dead — at least to us.

By investing emotionally in celebrity couples, we are taking a risk with our feelings. “It is no wonder that we feel confused, let down, lost, and angry when our favorite couples and actors are not what we thought they were,” Wish says. But she also sees an upside to all the celebrity worship, as “they can also give us solace. We say to ourselves, ‘If so-and-so can fail in love, then it is OK if I fail, too.’”

So, while you may be bumming out pretty hard on what is seemingly the end of Tatum and Dewan, who really knows what the future holds for these two? There's always hope they will Step it Up (sorry, bad pun, but I couldn't resist) and we'll get a sequel or a reboot of this love story after all.

But seriously, folks, if Blake and Ryan split, we riot.

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