What Went Wrong With Britney & Charlie?

by Lisa Fogarty

Despite growing close at a rapid pace, Britney Spears and Charlie Ebersol, her boyfriend of eight months, have reportedly called it quits. The 33-year-old pop singer and her 32-year-old television and film producer and director partner couldn't make it work, according Us Weekly. A formal explanation for their split hasn't been revealed, but Spears seemingly made things "social media official" by wiping out all of the photos of Ebersol from her Instagram. How can they do this to us?

Yes, I'm freaking. I had high hopes for Spears and Ebersol and hoped, after the debacle that has been her last few relationships, this would be the one that was golden. How can I put this without sounding like an elitist jerk? Oh, whatever, I'll just come out with it: some of the guys Spears loved and lost were way beneath her. She was young when she got married the first time to Jason Alexander, so we can chalk that one up to immaturity. And her marriage to Kevin Federline from 2004 to 2007 went bust, but at the very least she can thank him for her two beautiful sons, Sean, 9, and Jayden, 8. But her year-long engagement to Jason Trawick? That disastrous relationship with David Lucado that ended with him reportedly cheating on her? Spears deserved so much more.

In comparison, Ebersol has a successful career as the chairman and co-founder of The Company, which produces television shows, and has raved about Spears so much that I was convinced theirs was a mutual lovefest. And perhaps it was.

Just a few weeks ago, Ebersol delared that Spears is the most beautiful woman on the planet to ever take a selfie:

If you want, I can really dig into the vault and uncover gems like this one — #happiness:

What the ever-living you-know-what happened between then and now?

Spears and Ebersol reportedly began dating in October 2014 after her assistant showed her a photo of him and told her he is "good to people," which made her agree to give it a go, according to People. She asked him to cook for her on their first date (ballsy of her — I love it) and he agreed (a keeper). He lavished her with thoughtful gifts, like that time he made her a candlelit waffle dinner that they ate on the floor, then presented her with the framed lyrics to Alanis Morissette's "Thank U." Unorthodox? Sure. But he got her.

Ebersol reportedly spent a lot of time with Sean and Jayden and spoke highly of Spears whenever the chance allowed. In one interview with People, he said Spears has "an enormous heart." In a separate interview with the publication, he said she drives him to be better and that they're really just homebodies at heart:

The thing that I learned from my parents [longtime NBC exec Dick Ebersol and actress Susan Saint James] was no matter how busy you are, home base is the single most important thing. As long as you're centering back to home base and that's the strongest magnet in your life, that everything else is okay.

It all sounds great, doesn't it? But, in the same interview, Ebersol may have given away a clue as to why he and Spears weren't going to ultimately work out. "The best part of this relationship is when we spend time together," he said.

Shouldn't that be a given?

Spears' schedule isn't for the weak and it doesn't allow for a whole lot of that home time Ebersol says he treasures. She'll more or less be spending most of August in Las Vegas, where she holds residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. I'm going to guess Ebersol's career requires that he be based in Los Angeles — that kind of schedule doesn't allow for a great deal of couple time.

We'll probably find out soon enough what happened here. In the meantime, I'm sure I'm not alone in wishing Spears a speedy recovery from this split. Her prince is still out there and will be lucky to find her.

Editor's Note: This post previously stated that Spears posted a photo of herself and Ebersol on a boat two days before the report of their breakup. While the photo does show Spears, that man pictured is not Ebersol.