Chrishell and Jason's breakup reminds us there are limits to what we can sacrifice for a relationship

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Photo credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin - Getty Images
Photo credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin - Getty Images

Cast your mind back to July: the halcyon days of hot vax summer and freshly reopened clubs, before anyone had ever heard the word “omicron”. Life was good, right? Among the many things to be happier about, July also saw the shock reveal of one of the juiciest reality couples in recent times: peppy soap-star-turned-realtor Chrishell Stause and mildly-hotter-twin Jason Oppenheim.

Announcing their relationship via a cryptic but witty post on Chrishell’s Instagram – two images of them cosying up on a yacht amongst a carousel of holiday pics, captioned “the JLo effect” – the pairing seemed to come out of nowhere, but was immediately welcomed by fans. Whether it was beaming out at photographers on the red carpet, fooling around on their IG stories or even going to dinner with Jason’s parents and brother, they seemed happy, like truly happy.

After seeing Chrishell struggle with an unexpected divorce (and Christine’s wrath) on Selling Sunset it was great to see her uninhibited and in love. But it all came to an abrupt end a few days ago, when rumours began to circulate that the happy couple were no more. Interestingly, the couple’s official statements – which landed yesterday via grid posts on their Instagram accounts – were far from the usual copy and paste PR announcements. Expressing themselves candidly, they professed sentiments of love and deep friendships for one another, but revealed that what led to their split were differing goals around having children and building a family.

Specifically, Jason’s post mentioned that he wanted “different wants regarding having a family” to his ex-girlfriend, whereas Chrishell went into further depth, pointing to the fact that the former couple’s “ideas for family [were] ultimately not [..] aligned,” and going on to confess that, “I very much hope to one day have a family and decisions I make at this point are with that in mind.”

So it seems their reason for breaking up is made pretty abundantly clear by both camps: Chrishell wants children and Jason doesn’t. But, playing devil’s advocate here, why does that have to be the be-all and end-all? If the love is there, surely there’s a way to make things work, right? Well, this might be the fairytale that we’re sold by rom-coms and tv shows – that if you love someone enough, things just magically work out – but real life just isn’t like that.

When it comes to the big stuff – like kids, monogamy or buying a house together, not your choice of holiday destination – it’s important to be honest and open, rather than pushing these conversations to the side. Ultimately, if you and your partner have different views and goals in life, it can cause serious strife in the relationship. Beyond hoping that they’ll one day wake up and do a complete 360 (it doesn’t work, take it from me) when you boil it down, you have two options when confronted with a serious incompatibility: to compromise or to simply break up.

This is something that Natasha Briefel, marketing director at dating app Badoo UK, also echoes. “It’s crucial to be unapologetically yourself when dating, and to be upfront with what you want – all of us have some sort of idea about what we want from a relationship, so if you start to envisage the person you’re dating within your future, it’s good to address these topics honestly, so that you can work out together how to move forward,” Natasha explains.

“It may be that you have opposing opinions on life goals such as marriage and having children, and whilst this can be hard, and sometimes mean the end of a relationship, you have to remember that being with someone who you can’t be your honest yourself with, is ultimately, unlikely to be the person for you,” she continues. “After all, dating should be free of pressure, fun, and exciting – no one should have to suppress their goals or desires, to fit into another person’s mould.”

Research by Badoo suggests that 25% of daters find it hard to be honest about their intentions when it comes to dating and 27% admit they often say what they think others want to hear. It seems, then, that in the dating market, it’s all too common to put off the conversations about what we really want – either for fear of being “too much” or because we’re tempted to just say what other people want to hear.

This kind of behaviour isn’t just people-pleasing, it’s a form of self-betrayal, and something that you may well go onto regret if you find yourself in a longer-term relationship with someone who just doesn’t align with your true goals. When it comes to discussing your aims in life, it's a case of the sooner, the better for many relationships. Even after as little as four dates, it can be important to take the time to make sure that your values actually align with the person you are investing time into. As Natasha succinctly puts it; “Not being upfront early on unfortunately can risk leading to disappointment later down the line.”

So, if you're not sure what the person your dating's stance is on kids or marriage, ask them and respect what they have to say. Regardless of what they reply with, make sure that you're also being honest with yourself: check in about what you really want and don't be afraid to verbalise it. And, finally, remember that romantic love isn't everything - if Chrishell can put her goals before a relationship that doesn't serve her, so can you.

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