By Ché Blackwood for CupidsPulse.com

Now that 2011 is behind us, it’s time to reflect on the relationships you’ve experienced over the last twelve months. While retrospect has the uncanny ability to help us grow, a year’s worth of analyzing and prodding into our memory banks can be difficult, and too much self-reflection is exhausting. Fortunately, the best way to learn about love is by watching others, and what better group of people to take notes from than 2011’s celebrity couples. All of the heartwarming and heartbreaking moments in Tinsel Town kept us glued to the gossip all year, and hopefully their entertainment taught us some valuable love lessons along the way.

Even if it meant learning how not to act (read: Kim Kardashian), Hollywood’s generalized behavior yields fruitful advice for the common folk. According to the culturalist theory, we interact with media in a way that allows us to create our own meanings from what we see. When mixed with personal experiences, the lessons learned in pop culture can play a hugely influential role in our lives. So, take some of the pressure off of yourself and let the following loves (and losses) of 2011 teach you everything you need to know about finding chemistry with someone in the new year.

1) Prince William and Kate Middleton

The Lesson: The right one is worth waiting for.

The Downside: Waiting isn’t easy. Though the pair started dating in 2002, Kate had a hard time impressing her future in-laws. The Royal Family found her too common, too unsophisticated, and too undeserving for their precious William. Ouch! All of the pressure caused the couple to split for a few months in 2007 and it appeared as if this fairytale wasn’t going to have a happy ending.

The Upside: Patience pays off. Kate wasn’t after Will for his fame or fortune, and sticking through seven years of publicity hell proved that.  After dating for nearly a decade, the two married in April. Though it’s important to know when to move on, it’s also vital to remember that being with a partner isn’t always easy. Love is great, but there’s real world pressure on us everyday, and sometimes our relationships suffer because of it.  The secret comes from knowing whether or not your significant other is worth the wait.

Related: Prince William and Kate Middleton Set Good Relationship Examples

2) Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries

Life Lesson: If you force it, you’ll break it.

The Downside: Relationships take time. Unfortunately, everyone on the planet knows that Kim wants to get married and have kids right now. She talks about it in countless interviews, walks around with fake engagement rings and dates every boyfriend really seriously. When she met Humphries in 2010, the two crammed their courtship, proposal and marriage into a twelve month span. With the dreams of a lifetime lingering on his “I do,” it only took seventy-two days for the pair to realize that they had made a huge mistake.

The Upside: This doesn’t have to happen to you. Kim is the quintessential example of a woman trying to fit into a self-imposed timeline. Dictating what age and stage of life you’ll be in when married and starting a family is impossible; you can’t predict life or love. Their short marriage teaches us to allow each relationship to move at its own unique pace and to resist the urge to rush things. If he’s the one, you’ll know, and everything will happen naturally when the timing is right.

Related: What Kim Kardashian Taught Me About Marriage

3) Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher

The Lesson: Any relationship can fail.

The Downside: Love ain’t easy, but Mr. and Mrs. Kutcher seemed to bypass the challenges of their relationship effortlessly. Their sixteen year age difference didn’t faze them, Demi’s ex, Bruce Willis, gave their union his blessing, and Moore’s kids adored their young, new stepdad. Six years of apparent bliss passed until the tabloids shocked us with rumors of Kutcher’s infidelity. The Kutcher’s split shortly after, leaving Hollywood and the rest of us with our mouths open.

The Upside: While difficulties may be unavoidable, a relationship doesn’t have to result in failure. All unions require constant care, attention and work. Just as Demi couldn’t survive in a relationship that Ashton had betrayed, you won’t find success in love if your partner isn’t working on it with you. Focus on your problems together like real teammates and defend one another. If your relationship isn’t working because one of you has given up, then it’s probably time to hit the road. Remember, there’s no ME in happily ever after.

 

Cupid’s Pulse is a first-of-its-kind relationship site that takes the latest celebrity news and repackages it to help singles and couples navigate their love lives. What sets CupidsPulse.com apart from traditional gossip sites is its use of entertainment news as a catalyst to spark conversation about relationship topics such as marriage, divorce, pregnancy and being single, offering advice to those who may be in a similar situation as their favorite celebrity. The site gathers research and opinions from guest bloggers including: relationship psychologists, dating coaches, matchmakers, writers, authors and special celebrity guests who have their fingers on the pulse of love in today’s world.

  • Amelia

    I was definitely shocked that Ashton and Demi split this year. They seemed so happy, and everything looked like it was going perfectly! I guess that goes to show that the most important parts of a relationship are only visible to the two involved.

  • Natalie

    The Kardashian wedding was just a train wreck. I hate to see people make a mockery of marriage like that.

  • Jean

    Dating under public scrutiny must be so stressful. I’m glad Kate and William made it through, good luck to them!

  • Kristina

    Also really sad over Demi and Ashton’s breakup. I’m sure their relationship had it’s stresses, but they seemed to be getting through them ok… I wonder what it was that really did them in?

  • Zimora

    I know Kim Kardashian is beautiful, but Kris had to know he was being taken for a ride. Her attitude towards marriage is basically saying that she’s in a rush to get married, and doesn’t care who she’s married to – that’s definitely not a good sign for a mutually caring relationship.