The Most Important Lesson Gwyneth Paltrow Learned From Her Breakup With Brad Pitt

When it comes to ugly celebrity breakups, it’s hard to top Brad Pitt’s track record. The first thing most people think about in terms of Pitt’s love life is his messy split with ex-wife Jennifer Aniston and the vitriol both he and Angelina Jolie faced in the aftermath.

Of course, more recent years have seen the demise of that marriage as well, so Pitt has no shortage of romantic baggage to sift through. Earlier still, Pitt was engaged to yet another high-profile actor, and that relationship also ended in tabloid fodder. 

Since then, Pitt’s ex Gwyneth Paltrow learned some important lessons about how to handle Hollywood fame and scrutiny of her personal life. 

Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt were serious 

Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow were Hollywood’s “It Couple” before Pitt and Aniston took up the mantle. The couple began dating in 1994 when they were both cast — as husband and wife — in the horror-thriller Se7en. The duo got hot and heavy fast and even started coordinating their filming schedules to spend more time together.

Around two years after they first got together, the pair announced their engagement. Things took a turn in 1997, and they split before ever walking down the aisle. Paltrow took it particularly hard and had trouble working — she almost passed up her Oscar-winning role in Shakespeare in Love over the heartbreak!

Years later, Paltrow blamed herself for the split. In 2003, she explained to ABC News that “My kind of internal stuff really tripped up that whole relationship. And I felt really responsible, and also like I was the architect of my own misery.” 

Gwyneth Paltrow has had several serious relationships

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Since her split with Pitt, Paltrow went on to other serious relationships. Almost immediately following her time with Pitt, Paltrow began dating actor Ben Affleck. The pair had an on-again, off-again relationship through 2000. She was briefly linked with other stars like Scott Speedman and Luke Wilson, but her next serious relationship began in 2002. That’s when she met and fell in love with British rock star and frontman for Coldplay Chris Martin.

The pair hit it off fast and got married in 2003. They had two children together before deciding to have a “conscious uncoupling,” which Paltrow announced on her website Goop in 2014. 

Also in 2014, Paltrow met producer Brad Falchuk on the set of Glee, where she made a guest appearance. It would be a year before the pair went public with their relationship. By January 2018, they were engaged, and the pair had a September 2018 wedding at Paltrow’s Hamptons mansion. 

Gwyneth Paltrow has learned a lot about love in the limelight

Paltrow has certainly been front and center in some high profile relationships and breakups. During that time, she’s learned a lot about how to navigate being a star and trying to maintain some privacy.

When she was younger, she was much more open about her famous relationships, but experience taught her to keep more of her love life behind closed doors. 

According to Work and Money, Paltrow stopped opening up to reporters about her personal life. She has her relationship with Brad Pitt to thank for this important insight.

After being pursued by paparazzi and driven to such a distraught position during the breakup, Paltrow learned to protect her privacy going forward.