"Conscious Uncoupling:" A Year-ish Later

by Jaclyn Anglis

When Gwyneth Paltrow announced her separation from Chris Martin as "conscious uncoupling" last March on her lifestyle website Goop, eyes seemed to roll around the world in unison. The unfortunate phrase followed Paltrow whenever she did an interview or made an appearance, as further confirmation of her perceived pretentious nature. But lately, Paltrow seems to have been speaking out more frankly and honestly about the pain of her relationship with Martin, making her seem much less pompous. And on Wednesday, Paltrow revealed she regrets using "conscious uncoupling" to describe her separation, during an interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM radio show.

She said,

I made a mistake. I didn't give it context. But it is a goofy term.

Though she did originally attempt to explain what the term meant through an essay written by Dr. Habib Sadeghi and Dr. Sherry Sami that she published on Goop, there was a big focus on her joint statement with Martin, which ended on this incredibly formal note: "We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple, and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner." Publications and social media jumped in and dissected the post that had so much traffic it actually caused the site to crash. The New York Times described the phrase as "ungainly." Slate described it as "much better than your divorce." The New York Daily News aligned the term with kale and macrobiotics. And of course, people chimed in on social media with their own opinions. It's not hard to imagine why Paltrow might be regretting using the phrase.

But Paltrow is not alone in regretting something she said in the past. It would be hard to find a person on earth who didn't look back on something they said and cringe at their own lack of clarity. Her admission of regret shows that even celebrities say things they wish they could take back sometimes. The only real difference is that Paltrow's "silly" phrase was spread all over the Internet for people to pick apart. This admission of a misstep from her might make her more relatable to people — even those who aren't interested in paying $685 for a stack of coffee table books.

Charley Gallay/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

In the same interview with Stern, Paltrow admitted that she still keeps a few photos of past loves at her home. She also offered her perspective on dating in her 20s and how that compares to how dating is when you get older, especially in regard to getting swept up in good looks. She should know — she did date Brad Pitt back in the day, after all.

As she put it,

When you're a kid, you tend to be more shallow and you're also immature, so you think that being with a good-looking person validates yourself in some kind of way. It's not true.

Again, it's worth applauding Paltrow for her refreshing honesty and willingness to come to terms with the fact that she is not perfect. Hopefully, this will continue!

Image: Getty Images