The internet went into a collective meltdown when rumours started swirling around that one of social media’s golden couples — Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner — were headed towards a divorce. It was so out of the blue that it came as a huge surprise to everyone online. In a summer of the most unpredictable celebrity splits and divorces, no one saw this coming.
This summer, no celebrity couple was safe. After six years of being together, Joe Alwyn and Taylor Swift are no longer a couple. Ariana Grande and her husband Dalton Gomez’ marriage also went up in flames. Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello are divorcing. Almost daily, there is news about a beloved celebrity couple not being together anymore. But if there was one couple that people thought would come out unscathed, it was Joe and Sophie.
In fact, they probably weren’t even on anyone’s breakup bingo card — they certainly weren’t on mine. Which is why social media has taken their split quite hard. And a big reason for this shock is that ever since Nick, Kevin and Joe Jonas all coupled up with their significant others, the band’s entire brand has been their collective family – wives and children included. From music videos to award show appearances to Netflix specials and concerts, the three brothers and their wives, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Danielle Jonas and Sophie Turner, would always appear as a unit.
The band’s first single post reunion, ‘Sucker’, featured a music video with all six of them together as a family. Subsequent music videos have often featured the three wives right alongside them. Every time any one of the brothers or their equally successful wives achieved something, they all congratulated that person on social media. If there was an award show, they all went together, and the wives always sat next to each other. They even released a Netflix special where they all roasted each other. This was the Jonas Brothers brand. A tight knit family that adores each other.
A similar thing happened when it was revealed that Ned Fulmer of the Try Guys had cheated on his wife. Fulmer’s entire brand was being a “wife guy”, so when people found out that he had in fact cheated on the wife he claimed to love so much, it was a huge shock for the internet.
Another reason is that Joe and Sophie were seen as the modern day “dream” couple by a lot of fans. Their banter online has always been playful, with Sophie even posting the song Mr. Perfectly Fine (Taylor’s Version) from Taylor Swift’s re-record of Fearless, which is famously about Joe Jonas, to poke fun at him. Sophie Turner often comes across as fun, hilarious and relatable on social media, which makes fans love her even more.
JOE JONAS AND SOPHIE TURNER ARE GETTING DIVORCE LIKE WHAT THE FUCK IS GOIN ON WITH 2023 pic.twitter.com/Lik1UMtOWD
— elsa (@mcclafloy) September 3, 2023
Dr. Becky Spelman, a psychologist and relationship expert at Private Therapy Clinic, explained why fans are feeling a sense of loss at the demise of this relationship.
“People may be taking Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas’ break up badly because they were seen as a “dream couple” by many fans. The couple’s public displays of affection, their active social media presence, and their relatable personalities gained them plenty of support. They were seen as aspirational, causing fans to feel personally invested in their relationship,” says Dr. Spelman.
They were viewed as the representation of a modern love story, meeting through social media and having a spontaneous Las Vegas wedding. This made fans feel both relatable to and inspired by the couple,” says Bayu Prihandito, a certified psychology expert and life coach. “They were also very active on social media, which created a sense of intimacy and helped build a deeper connection.”
In the age of social media, where fans have an unprecedented level of access to celebrities and their personal lives, it is quite easy for them to form parasocial relationships with the people they admire and look up to.
goodnight Barbies, not at all thinking about Timothée Chalamet making out with Kylie Jenner at the Beyoncé concert, Joe Jonas filing for divorce from Sophie Turner or Tom Holland being so madly in love with Zendaya that he films her everywhere like he’s holding a 90s camcorder pic.twitter.com/UneCucM3JW
— T (@trinawatters) September 6, 2023
“Celebrities are often seen as inspirational or a source of escapism, leading fans to form emotional attachments. This one-sided connection allows people to feel connected, admired, and even comforted by their favourite celebrities,” says Dr. Spelman.
“When it comes to celebrity couples, people develop parasocial relationships with them because their romantic stories are often idealised and seen as aspirational. Fans are drawn to the chemistry, romance, and drama, projecting their desires and fantasies onto these relationships, which builds their emotional investment,” she adds,
If their favourite celebrity is in a relationship that fans deem as “goals”, their behaviour takes a turn for the extreme when that relationship does not work out.
“The celebrity break up can feel like a personal loss or betrayal. It can shatter their idealised image of the couple and disrupt their sense of escapism. It may also trigger feelings of disappointment, loss, and even a sense of personal investment being invalidated,” explains Dr. Spelman.
This was very apparent in the case of Paul Mescal and Phoebe Bridgers. Fans went berserk when they found out their favourite couple weren’t together anymore. Bridgers faced near constant harassment for it, too. And now, with tabloids spinning misogynistic tales about Sophie Turner amid her divorce, it is possible a similar pattern might emerge. I don’t even want to imagine what will happen if — god forbid — Tom Holland and Zendaya ever break up.
When it comes to Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner, the demise of this relationship is hitting people harder than most celebrity breakups this summer because ‘Jophie’ were like the modern day relationship goals. They were camp, they were fun, they weren’t afraid to poke fun at each other’s pasts and they were chic. To see them not get their happily ever after in the end is quite upsetting for fans who aspired towards a relationship like theirs.
However, given how Joe Alwyn, Joe Manganiello and Joe Jonas’ relationships disintegrated this summer, it isn’t looking too good for men named Joe this season. So if your name is Joe and you’re in a relationship, you’d better watch out.