In 2003, One Tree Hill first debuted and it was one of the best things to have ever happened to television. What made the series even more exciting is when Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray, who played love interests on the show, got married in real life. Unfortunately, their marriage came to an end after a short five months. Even though it's been over a decade since they said "I do" and got divorced, many can't help but think of Murray when they see Bush. Well, guess what? Sophia Bush's marriage to Chad Michael Murray doesn't define her.
In an essay written by Bush for Cosmopolitan and published on Wednesday, she opens up about her first marriage. To be clear, she never mentions Murray by name, but talks about their marriage in general terms. She rarely ever discusses that time of her life, but the piece is all about why people need to stop looking for "the one.," which is something she has learned over time, including through her marriage to Murray.
"In my 20s, when I was starting out my career as an actor, I wasn’t looking for a relationship, but one found me and became serious, even though I hadn’t planned to settle down until my 30s," she writes. "But when the person you’re with asks you to marry him, you think: This must be happening because it’s supposed to."
She then goes on to express how someone she met in 2003, married in 2005, and divorced in 2006 by no means makes up 100 percent of who she is today. As she explains,
I think most of Bush's fans can agree that she is so much more than that time she was with Chad Michael Murray. That's not the only interesting thing about her. She has a series regular role in NBC's Chicago P.D. She does amazing charity work, including inspiring young girls all over the world. She also takes the time to ensure women of all ages that they don't need to look a certain way to feel worthy or validated at any point in their lives, all while trying to boost their confidence. Aren't those the things everyone should be discussing when Bush's name comes up, not a former relationship from the early 2000s?
It's sad that Bush can't escape that time of her life that she has clearly put behind her. It sounds very similar to the Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie situation that many still can't get past. Like Bush and Murray, Aniston and Pitt's marriage ended 11 years ago, but it somehow manages to still be a topic of conversation whenever one of them is brought up.
Why does anyone, especially a celebrity, have to forever be linked to the person they previously dated or were married to? And it seems that women encounter this more so than men. Believe it or not, but a man isn't there to give a woman purpose. A woman gives herself purpose.
Entering a relationship, finding love, and being able to share your life with someone, all while learning and experiencing new things with them is wonderful, but when it ends, someone like Bush shouldn't have to repeatedly face questions about what is now a defunct relationship.
It's understandable that the OTH fandom latched onto Bush and Murray's relationship and can't help but think of one or the other when their names are brought up. It's going to happen and it's totally fine for fans to root for Bush's happiness. However, it's not fair to continuously define her by Murray. It's time to move on and appreciate Bush for the amazing woman she is today.