haring a kiss in Hollywood recently, J-LO and on/off boyfriend Casper Smart looked like they’d put their very public split behind them. But if reports are to be believed, their two-year relationship may never actually have been over.
According to a source close to the couple, J-LO and Casper faked their break-up – which came about after he was allegedly caught sexting two transsexual models – as a way to drum up publicity for J-lo’s latest film, Boy Next Door. But while some have been quick to judge the singer over the ‘fake-up’, I’ll hold my hand up and admit that I can understand why the idea might have seemed appealing.
Entering into the media industry eight years ago – where it’s as much about who you know as what you know – I pretended to be single in a vain attempt to boost my career. I didn’t think I should flirt my way to the top – I was very happy with my boyfriend of six months, Sam* – but in a workplace that relied on schmoozing over sauvignon blanc and cancelling evening plans to stay late in the office, it seemed wise to pretend I didn’t have a blossoming romance to distract me.
For the most part, my plan worked. My single, carefree façade meant I made friends quickly, and I was asked to try my hand at more things than my loved-up colleagues. At the start, Sam was surprisingly cool with it. He encouraged me to get myself established and seemed interested when I regaled him with tales from my nights networking. But his easygoing attitude wasn’t to last.
Relationship expert Rebecca Dakin isn’t surprised. “Pretending to be single for your own gain proves that your relationship isn’t your priority,” she says. “Denying that a partner exists will likely lead to feelings of insecurity or even a split.” Founder of Women In The City, Gwen Rhys, agrees: “Networking is key to building business relationships, but your ability to make a good impression has nothing to do with whether you’re single. You do yourself no favours pretending to be something you’re not.”
They’re right. Within a short time I’d vaulted rungs up the career ladder – but Sam and I broke up. And because I couldn’t tell anyone at work about it, I really struggled.
It’s only now with a bit of hindsight that I can see how wrong I was to think my “single” status had any real impact on my career. I know now that it was my drive and ambition that helped get me where I am today, not the fact people thought I had no ties.
Perhaps with two years under their belt at the time of their ‘fake up’, J-LO and Casper had a stronger foundation to weather the time apart, but if my experience is anything to go by, it could all still end in tears.’
The couple were snapped kissing two weeks ago