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The Problem with Wanting Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper to Be Together

Unless you’d want your friends to cheer on your spouse to leave you for someone else

Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk, the model he had been seeing and living with since 2015, and with whom he has a 2-year-old daughter, are , we recently learned. Well, duh, say fans. Anyone who saw him and Lady Gaga perform “Shallow” — the Oscar-winning song from A Star is Born — at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony suspected it was only a matter of time.

Fans have — or thought they already were together — ever since. Not only were fans OK with that, but they encouraged it, supported it, hoped for it — even though Cooper was already deep into a relationship with the mother of his child.Considering how so many people think and say horrible things about people who divorce — especially if they have children, especially if they split to be with someone new — it’s rather surprising that fans were willing to throw that out the window for the sake of the chemistry they perceived between the actors in the movie itself and at the Oscars.

They belong together! Nothing — not partners, not children — should keep them apart!

Not a lot of support

Now, this does not generally happen. If your married friend confides in you that he feels chemistry with some woman other than his wife, you’re likely going to feel awkward, ask questions, try to talk him out of it, or maybe just listen and quietly suffer and judge. I’m not sure a lot of people get support for wanting to leave the mother or father of their child for new love.

And as for the “ ”? Well, we all know she’s usually demonized as the .

No one knows if that’s what’s happening with Lady Gaga, who with fiance Christian Carino earlier this year, and Cooper. They may end up together and they may not.

But if they do and you feel good about it and happy for them, here’s my question — are you going to feel the same way if your spouse, your sister, your dearest friend falls in love with someone else and leaves his or her partner — or you — to be with that person?

And if you’re not going to feel the exact same kind of happiness, then what’s behind your happiness for Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper — two people you most likely have never met, don’t know and, if they weren’t famous, would probably never care about?

Following a romantic script

Something is driving fans’ desire for them to be together, and it isn’t the two people involved — it’s that old romantic script of two star-crossed lovers destined to be together, the belief in The One or soul mates. We just may be conflating the characters Lady Gaga and Cooper played in the movie with who they are IRL. That’s dangerous.

I was always of the mind that it’s better to end a relationship because that relationship is no longer working and isn’t fixable, and you’re going to be OK being alone, than to end a relationship because you met someone you want to be with.

Which is why I struggled with final chapter of Astro and Danielle Teller’s book — “The Other Cow.” In it, the Tellers explore whether you’re a bad person to leave your partnership because you want to be with someone else.

As :

“It may not seem obvious at first, but between remarriage (acceptable to most of us) and adultery (unacceptable to most of us) lays a long continuum. The continuum consists of the time when the new partner appears relative to the end of the marriage. If partner #2 shows up while the marriage is intact, we call it adultery. If partner #2 shows up years after divorce, we call it remarriage. If partner #2 shows up while the marriage is on the rocks but before the divorce decree is signed, well, it’s not clear what to call it, other than an uncomfortable situation.”

That does make a lot of sense, right?

We don’t like the idea of people leaving relationships for new love, yet many of us consider Sleepless in Seattle to be an even though it’s essentially about a woman cheating on her fiance to be with a man who’s a better match for her. We root for Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, just like fans are rooting for Lady Gaga and Cooper — never mind the ones left behind.

Should we care about the ones left behind? And would it make a difference if we weren’t talking about celebrities, but people we know?

My guess is it might. What about you?

Want to individualize your marriage? (Of course you do!) Then read (Seal Press). You can support your local indie bookstore (please do) or order it on .

Originally published at

Written by

Award-winning journalist, coauthor of “The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels,” mom, changing the narrative about older women

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