This Week In Hookups, Breakups And Makeups

Relationship pro Dr. Philip Dembo gives his take on Ben Affleck's ode to Jennifer Garner at the Oscars, plus this week's notable breakups.

THE LOVE TRACKER
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Breaking up is hard to do — even when you're a celebrity.

There were plenty of broken hearts this week, with Michelle Williams unexpectedly ending things with Jason Segel reportedly due to their long-distance romance, and Rachel McAdams and Michael Sheen parting ways nearly two years after acknowledging their relationship in 2011.

But heartache didn't conquer everyone in Hollywood. While accepting the Best Picture prize at this year's Oscars, Ben Affleck candidly addressed questions about his eight-year marriage to the love of his life, Jennifer Garner. And although they split before the awards season, it looks like Jennifer Lawrence has remained on good terms with her ex Nicholas Hoult, who sung his former girlfriend's praises following her Best Actress win.

Want to know more about the latest celebrity lovelines? Read more on Celebuzz‘s relationship roundup, along with expert commentary from relationship expert Dr. Philip Dembo, author of The Real Purpose of Parenting.

Michelle Williams & Jason Segel

The former couple quietly split after a year of dating, primarily because of the long-distance between them — Williams lived in New York City while Segel worked in California. Williams and Segel were introduced by the Oscar-nominated actress' BFF (and the actor's former Freaks and Geeks costar), Busy Phillips.

Dembo's opinion: What can couples do when they find themselves living far apart? Rituals are very important in long distance relationships. Find a time every night to talk. Find weekends each month to visit. Touch base the same time each day via text or email while at work. When you miss someone, but you can count on hearing from them or seeing them, it makes the distance easier.

Ben Affleck & Jennifer Garner

In the midst of the excitement of winning an Academy Award, winners can often slip-up, forgetting to mention their loved one in their acceptance speech. Luckily, Affleck didn't falter when he took home the Best Picture prize for Argo at this year's ceremony. In fact, the actor-director candidly spoke out about his nearly eight-year union with his wife, admitting they've been "working on their marriage for 10 Christmases." The line led many to speculate trouble in their relationship, which Affleck has since denied.

Dembo's opinion: Ben Affleck looked at his wife, Jennifer Garner during his Oscar speech and made mention of the 10 years of working on their marriage. Of course, each one of us were wondering if there was "trouble" in the Affleck/Garner household. In many ways making reference to his efforts in his marriage didn't quite fit the moment, however, in a raw, very real moment, we saw a glimpse of a very real couple. The fame, fortune and all the real issues that couples face in marriage today speak to the celebration Ben was feeling about his marriage and like the hard work of making a wonderful film, there is wonderful work happening for Ben and Jennifer to live the life they are living. Good for them.

Jennifer Lawrence & Nicholas Hoult

Although they amicably split before the Oscars, there was no love lost between the Best Actress winnerand her former beau since their January breakup. After her successful run during the 2013 awards season, Hoult even complimented his one-time lady love on her rise as Hollywood's current "It" girl. “I’m very, very happy for her,” the Warm Bodies actor told E! News. ”I’m thrilled!”

Dembo's opinion: So, the question is...Can couples truly remain friends after a break up? And the answer is...depends on how you define "being a friend". It is rare when a couple can split up and remain active friends that socialize together, continue staying in communication on a regular basis, especially as one or both move on and find new relationships to engage in. The truth is when people say we are "still friends" they actually mean that they have nothing negative to say about their ex. That they wish them well and hope good things for them. But what they don't say is that they may be very happy to be away from that person and they secretly wish you didn't bring up their name at all. Now...that's much more common!

Rachel McAdams & Michael Sheen

After meeting on the set of 2010's Midnight in Paris, the couple have successfully maintained a low-key profile since acknowledging their romance a year later. Flash forward to 2013: McAdams and Sheen decided to part ways, although sources close to the couple claim the split is "not permanent."

Dembo's opinion:The advantage of taking a break vs. breaking up is that the intention is to find a way back to one another, if at all possible. The problem for many couples taking a break, is that they don't establish rules and boundaries. Rules and boundaries allow for the couple to trust that each is spending the time in reflection, being alone, and acting responsibly. If there are no rules to the taking a break period, either individual could get caught up in their new found single hood and behave in a way that damages further the possibility for coming back together.

Tell us: Which split took you by surprise? What did you think of Ben's revelation about his marriage at the Oscars? Sound off about this week's relationship news in the comments, below!

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