Everybody goes weak at the knees for a heart-warming romance. At the very least stories of a genuine romance can warm the coldest and most cynical of hearts. We all yearn for a ‘hapy ever after’ ending.

We seem to think we can will into existence a real connection from the mere hint of a kindling affection between celebrities. Now magazine featured Katie Holmes and was awash with speculation as to whether she was going out with Jamie Foxx. The press raised our hopes for a reunion between Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber – the way they did after the breakup of Britney spears and Justin Timberlake. We too easily forget that young love often lacks true substance which can assure longevity.


We ourselves often struggle to achieve or experience these whirlwind romances, so why do we expect them of celebrities? They have become so ever-present and accessible through the media that we have a tendency to suspend disbelief about their lives as we would the questionable elements of a film at the cinema. We forget that even if they are ‘performers’, they are still entitled to their downtime to be themselves without any obligation to play a role we expect of them. A 2-hour romantic drama or comedy no longer seems enough to satisfy the fans’ insatiable appetite for ultimate and lasting romance. Wouldn’t it be so much better if we would channel that hope and energy into our own longings for genuine romance, whether we are single or married?

Where celebrities are concerned, we naively shrug off the disheartening statistics that more than 50% of marriages end in divorce. Indeed prospects are even more dismal for those in showbusiness and entertainment. Yet, for all our swooning obsessions, we show relatively little interest in couples who survive through thick and thin. We love the emotional buzz of falling in love as we do following a couple as they date, court and marry; but once the honeymoon is over, we are quick to search for the next couple to impart a dopamine rush of anticipation.

We prefer the raptures of the honeymoon period and the drama of divorce , but become bored by the humdrum of the in-between. Whether in our own relationships or the celebrity relationships we follow at a distance, our concentration spans rival those of the gnat. After 6 months we insist on proposals of marriage or pregnancy, failing which we fall prey to media rumours of breakups, backstabbings and possible rebound relationships.

A Case to Consider

On 21 January 2016, the wold learned about Mariah Carey’s engagement to the billionaire businesman, James Packer. In less than a year of official dating, it seemed thatshe had finally found her ‘Prince Charming’. More importantly, she was finally within reach of her ultimate ‘vision of live’ – a happy marriage and family. 

Although she had fame, fortune and fraternal twins by her second husband, this was the one thing that eluded her. This is essentially what all human beings long for – no matter who they are – where they come from or what they achieve. 

Having amassed  18 number ‘1’s on the Billboard music charts so far, over a 30 plus year career, it is no wonder that her life is one of excesses. She is never in one place for very long as she is often touring to perform and promote her music. Like most performers, she has an inverted biological clock. On many live morning talk shows, she has complained that it’s far too early. But with the arrival of her twins, she may now be burning the candles at both ends, striving to get up early to start the day with them, as any devoted mother would wish to do. 

On the verge of her third marriage she was asked if she was excited. Her response was unexpectedly matter-of-a-fact – “well, you know, I’ve been married twice before”, thereby sidestepping with her usual sardonic wit, any potential awkwardness. But on further reflection, this was response was as bizarre as the response that Prince charles gave to the press when asked if he was in love. He responded philosophically with “whatever  love is” – the harbinger of the sham marriage and bitter divorce which was to follow. a simple “yes” or “no” would have sufficed in both instances. But, to tell the world that you are not in love, would shatter the illusions of countless millions of doey-eyed fans. 

As with Jackie Kennedy’s marriage to Aristotle Onassis, the billionaire shipping tycoon, we justified the pending union between Mariah and James as providing her with the billionaire lifestyle to which she had grown accustomed, and giving her and her children a stabilising influence in the rather stiff but predictable James. Most ordinary mortals can only imagine what it would be like to live a billionaire lifestyle. we easily forget that money is no substitute for love. Her 6-year marriage to Nick Cannon was punctuated by over the top anniversaries, no doubt orchestrated by Mariah herself who often describes herself as unapologetically “festive”. 

what could be more over-the-top than the £15 million engagement ring which James gave to her. The 35-carat diamond ring was reportedly the costliest in showbusiness history outshining the engagement rings of Elizabeth Taylor who was married eight times in all. Mariah was understandably modest about it, no doubt painfully aware that luxurious and dazzling though it might be, it was no guarantee of a lasting union. Sadly, by October 2016, the couple had split on apparently less than friendly terms. 

Although we will never know exactly why celebrity couples split, it is safe to conclude that they do not hold the key to true love and enduring happiness. Their fame, fortune, and star quality do not give them an edge in the ‘game of love’.

Carla Cornelius

Dr Carla seeks to bring a fresh and thought-provoking perspective to today's popular culture. With her Ph.D. in Biblical Counselling, she invites readers to see the relevance of the Bible in addressing the difficult and disturbing issues of our times.