Love is now dead.
At least, that’s what the Internet thinks, in light of the recent divorce announcement from actors Chris Pratt and Anna Faris. But the general reaction to the announcement is indicative of today’s melancholy relationship atmosphere.
— Anna Faris (@AnnaKFaris) August 7, 2017
The celebrity couple announced their divorce via a joint social media post yesterday. Pratt and Faris said they “will always cherish [their] time together and continue to have the deepest respect for one another,” according to the post.
But Twitter isn’t taking the news well.
Chris Pratt and Anna Faris separating has me seriously reconsidering if love exists pic.twitter.com/eUXi3URzCt
— Megan Villars (@Megan_Villars) August 7, 2017
anna faris & chris pratt 🙁 i don't believe in love it doesn't exist
— lindslay (@lindsaydemeola) August 7, 2017
I'm not saying love is cancelled but if Chris Pratt and Anna Faris can't make it work? Then…… pic.twitter.com/je1E8AMiLp
— Luis Rojas (@MexicanGummy27) August 7, 2017
Chris Pratt and Anna Faris are getting a divorce and in other news love is dead and there's no hope for any of us.
— Emma Kitty (@EmmaKitt) August 7, 2017
While some are brushing off the reactions as nothing more than reveling in celebrity gossip, the murmurs of “love is dead” are revealing about the modern perception of marriage and relationships.
Although the divorce rate has dropped in recent years, millennials are delaying marriage, and cohabitation is on the rise. Marriage is also generally less valued. Two-thirds of people aged 18 to 29 say society is just as well off if people have priorities other than marriage, according to a 2014 Pew Research Center study.
In this atmosphere, people are latching onto couples who appear to have lasting love for each other. Whether these are fictional couples or celebrity couples, fans slap on the label “#couplegoals,” and yearn for a similar relationship.
This is why Pratt and Faris, who avoided most of the drama surrounding a celebrity relationship, became an idolized couple. Their goofy, fun-loving relationship became a token of True Love in an age where it just doesn’t seem to exist.
So when they broke up, people found it disheartening. Not because they’re personally affected, are generally upset about any celebrity breakup, or enjoy indulging in celebrity gossip (okay, maybe a little to the last one), but because if even a couple who seem perfect for each other can’t stay together, what does it say about the prospects for everybody else?
In actuality, probably nothing. But that won’t stop people who idealized a complex relationship from a few Instagram posts from bemoaning the death of all love, and the fact their relationship was idealized in the first place shows exactly how love-starved society is.