Why are so many celebrity couples breaking up? Relationship expert Susan Winter exclusively reveals to Life & Style why it seems to be “the season” of breakups right before the holidays. 

“The holidays evoke warm thoughts of family togetherness,” the Breakup Triage: The Cure for Heartache author explains, noting the large influx of breakups isn’t “unique” to this year. “If the years and months preceding this holiday season have been filled with bitterness, resentment and rancor, then the contrast feels even more extreme.”

From Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello to Bachelorette alums Tayshia Adams and Zac Clark, Sister Wives stars Kody and Christine Brown and Scott Disick and Amelia Gray Hamlin, it seems as though so many famous duos have called it quits in recent weeks. 

The NYC relationship expert adds that the holidays are “known to be stressful” and many people can have “unrealistic expectations” this time of year. “We’re accustomed to the warm and fuzzy Hallmark movies of happy, loving families sharing the holidays,” says Susan. “Families that don’t meet that standard are prone to feelings of increased sadness and depression.”

That being said, already rocky romances can become even harder to maintain. “Nothing is more uncomfortable than ‘faking it’ through the holidays,” admits the expert. “Why suffer the false front and forced smiles of a loving partnership when that’s not the case?”

Moreover, stars with particularly busy work schedules can cause even more strain in their romantic relationships. “Work commitments often separate celebrities from their families during the holidays,” says Susan. 

She adds that “repeated absence” can “negatively impact the family,” warning that the distance between partners can be “hard to close in later years.”

Some couples, like Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik and Elon Musk and Grimes, have ended their romantic relationship but continue to coparent their shared children. 

While Susan admits breaking up is a “harder choice” when the couple has kids together, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll stick things out.

“Holiday stress is augmented with the presence of children,” explains the expert. “Should you fake it for the sake of the kids? Or should you be forthright to not confuse their intuition as to what’s real?”

In addition, the “vast wealth” of celebrities can also cause strain when it comes to how they want to raise their little ones. “Partners can fight over which is the correct route to go; functional gifts that foster social responsibility or over-the-top gifts that supply a temporal thrill,” dishes Susan.

A lot of surprising celebrity couples emerged during 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic when many new lovebirds began hunkering down together early during the early stages of their relationships. 

However, Susan notes that many people are now craving “time alone” after living in close quarters. “‘Me time’ and self-care are essential to regain internal balance after lockdown. I see increasing numbers of coupled individuals taking solo vacations,” says Susan.