It’s the question on everyone’s mind: What exactly is an entanglement? Ever since Jada Pinkett Smith described her affair with August Alsina while married to Will Smith as an “entanglement,” the word’s popularity has skyrocketed, prompting theories about what she meant and why she would use such a non-specific word to refer to what happened. But Jada is far from the first celebrity to decide that existing terms for relationships and dating weren’t sufficient — in fact, she’s just one in a long line of stars who coined their own terms to describe their love lives as suited them. From Jada’s “entanglement” to Gwyneth Paltrow’s “conscious uncoupling” and more, weird dating terms are scattered all throughout Hollywood.
So, what exactly do these relationship buzzwords mean? Here are all the weirdest words stars have used to describe their “situations” — use them at your own risk.
Jada Smith’s “Entanglement”
Jada used the word “entanglement” during her Red Table Talk episode to describe the relationship she had with singer Alsina while she and husband Will were separated nearly five years ago. When Will prompted her (several times) to clarify what the meant, she confirmed that it was, in fact, a relationship. So, there you have it: entanglement = relationship, in Hollywood speak. And to hear Alsina describe it, a fairly involved one at that.
Emma Watson’s “Self-Partnered”
– connotation of having a sad and lonely life
– sounds cool
– emma watson says it https://t.co/ODgY8XLn1l
— Appa Melintas (@appapams) November 6, 2019
In November 2019, Emma Watson made a splash by having the audacity to refer to her single status in a way that implied she was totally and completely fulfilled on her own, thank you very much. I’m only half-kidding — people mostly made fun of the term “self-partnered,” but it does bear mention that women are the ones more likely to suffer social stigma due to their relationship status, and it makes sense that they’d want to seek out new language around it accordingly. Anyway, here’s the full quote.
“I never believed the whole ‘I’m happy single’ spiel. I was like, ‘This is totally spiel.’ It took me a long time, but I’m very happy [being single]. I call it being self-partnered.”
Is the term a little goofy? Yes. But we love the sentiment.
Katy Perry & Orlando Bloom’s “Respectful, Loving Space”
Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom, who are thankfully now back together (and expecting a little Perry-Bloom!), also had some unusual phrasing for their 2017 split. Representatives for both stars gave this statement at the time: “Before rumors or falsifications get out of hand, we can confirm that Orlando and Katy are taking respectful, loving space at this time.”
While “loving, respectful space” is not usually how two soon-to-be exes describe some much-needed time apart, it may be that their language had a deeper meaning than we realized, and that these two really did stay close all along.
Jeff Bezos’ “Loving Exploration”
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) January 9, 2019
In 2019, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that his marriage to MacKenzie Bezos was coming to an end after 25 years — or, as he put it, “after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation.” Unfortunately, it soon came out that that “loving exploration” had included a long affair between Jeff Bezos and TV anchor Lauren Sanchez, the lurid details of which made their way through the press. Oops!
Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Conscious Uncoupling”
And of course, the term that started it all: conscious uncoupling. In 2014, when Gwyneth Paltrow split from Coldplay’s Chris Martin, she described their separation as a “conscious uncoupling.” The term sparked instant backlash and many, many jokes at Paltrow’s expense — but it also made a lasting impact on how we talk about relationships and breakups.
Revisiting the term in 2019, Paltrow explained it like this on Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard: “The most common wound that I heard from children of divorce was, ‘My parents couldn’t be in the same room and couldn’t be friends…I just thought, ‘I wonder if there’s a way to circumvent that and go directly to the point where we’re friends and we remember what we loved about each other, and constantly acknowledge that we created these incredible human beings together.'”
For any co-parents still dealing with ex-partners, being on cordial, friendly terms is a best-case scenario; and with the resources of Paltrow, Martin, and the entire Goop arsenal of experts, it looks like this star couple had the tools to actually do it right. Today, Martin and Paltrow are still close, and he gets along well with new husband Brad Falchuk. Who’s laughing now?
Click here to see celebrity couples who stayed together after cheating scandals.