Some people split up, or break up, call it quits, go their separate ways, amicably part or any number of other Hollywood euphemisms for throwing in the towel on their marriage/engagement/long-term relationship.
But when Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay singer Chris Martin announced their separation after 11 years of marriage on Tuesday most of us were left with one question: what the hell is “consciously uncoupling?”
No one knows what it means, but it’s provocative. Well, actually, someone knows what it means.
In addition to launching the mocking hashtag #consciouslyuncouple, Paltrow’s Goop site — which briefly crashed after the couple’s separation statement went up — served up a definition of the previously obscure term.
“By choosing to handle your uncoupling in a conscious way, regardless of what’s happening with your spouse, you’ll see that although it looks like everything is coming apart; it’s actually all coming back together,” reads the rather lengthy explanation of the concept by married couple Dr.’s Habib Sadeghi and Sherry Sami.
The couple argue that the nation’s high divorce rate might actually be a signal that we should look relationships in a new way, especially since human life expectancy has skyrocketed over the past 114 years.
“For the vast majority of history, humans lived relatively short lives — and accordingly, they weren’t in relationships with the same person for 25 to 50 years,” they write. “Modern society adheres to the concept that marriage should be lifelong; but when we’re living three lifetimes compared to early humans, perhaps we need to redefine the construct. Social research suggests that because we’re living so long, most people will have two or three significant long-term relationships in their lifetime.”
Bottom line: sure, divorce happens and it’s hard, but if we rethink the whole concept of marriage we can make divorce something powerful and, they say, positive.
What did the Internet think of all this? Jokes!
When I take yesterday's underwear out of the jeans I'm wearing again today. #ConsciousUncoupling
— Suburban Snapshots (@SuburbanSnaps) March 26, 2014
There's finally an expression 4 when I never want 2 see someone again but also hide the fact that I'm a huge asshole. #ConsciousUncoupling
— Ariel Kashanchi (@IranianMermaid) March 26, 2014
Wonder if Gwyneth & Chris were ever so out of it that they had an unconscious coupling? #ConsciousUncoupling
— Con Crean (@ConCrean) March 26, 2014
I just cheated on my diet so freaking bad that I don't think that there is any coming back! Talk about #ConsciousUncoupling LOL
— Nenaya Jazmine (@NenayaJazmine) March 26, 2014