Why people are heartbroken over the Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum split

Korin Miller

Jenna Dewan Tatum and Channing Tatum shocked fans Monday night when they revealed on Instagram that they have decided to separate.

“We have lovingly chosen to separate as a couple. We fell deeply in love so many years ago and have had a magical journey together. 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 statement read. “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. We are still a family and will always be loving dedicated parents to Everly. We won’t be commenting beyond this, and we thank you all in advance for respecting our family’s privacy.”

People quickly responded on Twitter, and they weren’t happy:

The strong emotional reaction seems odd given that it’s pretty likely most fans of the couple have never met them. But it’s not uncommon. “Many people really identify with particular celebrities or celebrity couples, they idealize the couple, and they hold out the celeb as evidence life can be perfect,” Gail Saltz, MD, a psychiatrist and author of The Power of Different, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

People get so upset when celebrities break up because of the idealization they create about how they think the celebrities should live and how their lives should be based on fans’ own fantasies about them, licensed clinical psychologist John Mayer, PhD, author of Family Fit: Find Your Balance in Life, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

Seeing a seemingly solid celebrity couple breakup just reminds people of that fact that celebrities are also human and limited, David Klow, licensed marriage and family therapist, founder of Chicago’s Skylight Counseling Center, and author of the book You Are Not Crazy: Letters From Your Therapist, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Relationships are difficult, and we hope that someone out there knows what they are doing,” he says. “When a couple looks like they have it together, it gives us hope that healthy relationships are possible.” And when they don’t work out, it introduces doubt and cynicism about the idea of being with someone forever, Saltz says.

That said, if you’re seriously upset about the news (and not in a joking way), it’s not healthy, Mayer says. But if you feel minorly bummed for the couple after reading the news and then go about your day, it’s fine, Saltz says. It may even help people form realistic ideas about love, Klow says. “We are all human and trying to figure out how to make love work,” he says. “It’s not an easy process for anyone.”

Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
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Pasta, wine, cheese: Is it possible to eat like an Italian and stay healthy?
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