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 

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

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.  

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Why Is Gwyneth Paltrow So Obsessed With Spain?

Whether you know her from her acting career, such as her role as Pepper Potts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or you’re primarily a fan of her wellness company, Goop, most people have heard of Gwyneth Paltrow.

She’s garnered a ton of attention over the years, for reasons as diverse as winning an Academy Award and making product claims so inaccurate that NASA called her out. But you may not know how much she loves Spain – or why she adores the country so much. 

A trip to Spain changed Gwyneth Paltrow’s life

When Paltrow was only 15 years old, she took a trip to Spain. According to Today, that trip altered the course of her life. While she was there, she fell in love with the country and its culture. 

“It is so different from the United States. It seemed to have a history, and the buildings are years and years and years old,” she explained. “Also, the way people live over there. They seem to enjoy life a little bit more. They aren’t running around as much as in New York. They enjoy time with the family.”

She may have been only a teen at the time, but she recognized the place she stayed in, a small town outside Talavera de la Reina, as a special place, and Spain became a second home to her. 

To this day, Paltrow remains close to the family that hosted her during that long-ago trip. She refers to them as her Spanish mother and Spanish brothers. 

Paltrow couldn’t leave Spain behind

When Paltrow returned home, she continued to be captivated by Spain. She studied Spanish, and she became fluent. Years later, when she became a mother, she spoke Spanish to her children, Apple and Moses, so they could grow up with a grasp of the language. She takes her family to visit Spain once a year.

Early on as she was establishing her unusual wellness empire Goop, Paltrow set up a Spanish language version of the website. But according to The Guardian, that isn’t even close to the biggest connection between Goop and Spain.

Paltrow posts a Christmas gift catalog on Goop’s website, known as the Ridiculous But Awesome Gift Guide. In 2018, the guide offered an abandoned village in Spain for the bargain price of $172,910. 

Of course, one of the big factors in Paltrow’s enduring Spanish love affair is the food, and it’s taken her on quite the journey. 

Taking a Spanish road trip for the food

Food & Wine reports that in 2014, well-known chef Mario Batali mentioned to Paltrow that he was about to start filming a project with fellow foodie Mark Bittman. They planned to travel through Spain, on the hunt for the very best food and wine. What Batali didn’t expect was for Paltrow to ask to come along. 

Given her familiarity with the country and the fact that she is fluent in Spanish, Paltrow was a natural choice to join the project. The three food lovers traveled all over Spain, eating and drinking to their heart’s content, and filming a 13-part series about the experience for PBS.

The show led to Paltrow writing her first book. She and Batali put together Spain: A Culinary Road Trip based on their trip.

15-year-old Paltrow could never have imagined all the ways her trip to Spain would change her life as she grew older. The experience has extended far beyond one joyful memory; it has brought her happy times and delicious food in many other ways as the years go by. 

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