Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt were engaged for almost a year before she got cold feet and decided to part ways.
Not all couples who fall in love stay in love. Whether you're a layperson or a celebrity, love is a universal emotion that everyone understands. It can transform us for the better or for the worse, even without our understanding. It can heal us or break us irrecoverably. That is the power of this great emotion.
Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow had revealed in the past that Brad Pitt was her first love. The former couple had met while filming the movie Se7en in 1995. Paltrow had said that it was "love at second sight" for her. Pitt, 31 at the time, and Paltrow, then 22, were playing a married couple on-screen and became smitten by each other off-screen too. Initially, the Shakespeare in Love actress took his flirting for friendliness back then, as per Mirror UK.
When they finally started dating, the Ironman actress revealed, "I am properly in love for the first time in my life... and I do not care if my former boyfriends read this."
They had been so devoted to each other that they even turned down film roles to spend time with each other. Pitt, a rising star, had been approved by Paltrow's director dad Bruce. One time, the Shallow Hal star was seen drinking out of a mug with her then beau's face on it while on set. She called that separation from his "angel" a "big hairy beast." And, Pitt was equally enchanted by her.
"Really, all I can tell you is I've never been happier," the Legends of the Fall actor said at the time. "My girl's got class."
But, like most relationships in tinsel town, this too didn't last. Before the end of their relationship, they had gotten engaged and wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. The Troy actor had recalled his proposal to the Goop founder in 1996 as "one the greatest moments."
"I take the institution extremely seriously," the actress had said back then. "There are no divorces in my family either – and in his either, so this is not something – we’ve been together for quite some time, so this is not a rash decision."
However, Paltrow later got cold feet and did think of it as a rash decision. She was only 25 and too young to settle down. "I think I was a kid and I wasn't ready. He was too good for me,” Paltrow said in 2015.
"I honestly do think, I was too young and didn't know what I was doing. I mean I was 22 when we met and it's taken me until 40 to get my head out of my ass. You can't make a decision when you're 22 years old."
She told Diane Sawyer in 2003 that she "behaved badly" towards Pitt. "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 and I just made a big mess out of it and..." said Paltrow. Sawyer asked, "Hurt him?" to which the Emma actress agreed.
As per Mirror UK, the break-up with Pitt, which took place in 1997, affected her for a very long time and she said, "It really changed my life. When we split up, something changed permanently in me. My heart sort of broke that day, and it will never be the same."
The regret of her decision didn't leave for many years. "Probably a good five years, I would say. I was very upset for a long, long time about it. I just felt really bad about myself for a long, long time. But I'm so lucky that I spent time with Brad, somebody who was such a good person, especially when I was like such a mess," she told Sawyer.
In 2017, she spoke about it again and acknowledged that she's not good at relationships. "Oh my God, I’ve fucked up so many relationships. I’m a pretty good friend and sister and daughter, but I am at my potentially most vulnerable and fucked up in the romantic slice of the pie. So it's taken me a lot of work to get to the place where I have a good romantic relationship," she said, according to Refinery29.
Her interviewer, Girlboss Radio host Sophia Amoruso then interjected, "So Brad Pitt, if you're listening..." and Paltrow finished, "I fucked that up, Brad."
However, she may not be the only one who was at fault for that relationship failing to go by Pitt's two failed marriages. Paltrow is now married to Brad Falchuk, a writer, producer, and director, and co-creator of Glee.