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How to Date Like a Celebrity: Try to Act Like a Regular Person, Mostly Fail

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Sia: Not an ideal first date outfit, is it? (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

In this month’s GQ, Sia talked frankly about inviting her friend and collaborator Diplo into a friends-with-benefits agreement. “This year I wrote him a text,” the Aussie singer-songwriter explained, “and I said, ‘Hey, listen, you’re like one of five people that I’m sexually attracted to, and now that I’ve decided to be single for the rest of my life and I just adopted a son, I don’t have time for a relationship… If you’re interested in some no-strings sex, then hit me up.'”

In the same article, Diplo confessed that he’d been “guilty of meeting girls on” Instagram, but that “any girlfriend would end up breaking up with me because I’m so busy, and I’m just a bad boyfriend.” The DJ explained that, at this point in his life, true love to him can only be about his children. “My kids, they love me. And they can’t escape me… My job is to be good to them.”

(No word on whether Diplo ever took Sia up on her generous offer, but she did mention, “Much of our relationship is just being spent trying not to have sex so that we wouldn’t ruin our business relationship.” So probably not.)

These revelations from two wildly attractive and successful people are a pretty solid indication that attempting to date while famous is not at all what it’s cracked up to be. In an age where meeting partners through dating apps is increasingly common—the number of couples who met online rose from 22 percent in 2009 to 39 percent in 2017—what options do celebrities actually have?

In 2018, Laverne Cox admitted that she, like a regular mortal, used Tinder. “I feel like if you want to date, you have to be on the apps to be in the game,” she told Access. Hilary Duff set a precedent in 2015, calling Tinder “wildly addicting.” Chelsea Handler agreed, telling ET, “I like to hook up, so when I go to London or New York or if I’m out of town and I want, I’ll do that … I’m on Tinder [and] all that stuff. I’m a regular person.”


Trying to be a regular person while inherently recognizable doesn’t always work out, though. Last year, Sharon Stone demonstrated the pitfalls of celebrities trying to date like the rest of the world after she was kicked off Bumble. Users reported her account, thinking it was a fake profile, and Stone was forced to take to Twitter to get the decision reversed.

In 2016, Zac Efron told the U.K. Times that even when he was on Tinder, “nobody swiped” him, presumably because “they thought [his] profile was fake.”

So how do celebrities make love connections while the rest of us are swiping?

At 61, Madonna continues to use her tried and true method—searching within her own team. Her first child, Lourdes, was the product of a brief relationship with her personal trainer in the mid ’90s, and now she’s romancing a 25-year-old dancer from her touring crew named Ahlamalik Williams. (Madge is not the only one guilty of such a move—let’s not forget that Jennifer Lopez dated one of her backing dancers, Casper Smart, for five years.)

More commonly, celebs seem to resort to social media as a dating tool. Modern Family‘s Sarah Hyland met her beau, Wells Adams, after publicly expressing interest in the Season 12 Bachelorette contestant via Twitter. But the app of choice for most celebs appears to be Instagram. It was the catalyst for Mandy Moore meeting her musician husband Taylor Goldsmith; it’s where Ricky Martin found his husband, Jwan Yosef; and it’s where “one fine day, out of the blue,” Joe Jonas slid into Sophie Turner’s DMs. Having met his current boyfriend the same way, Antoni from Queer Eye recently noted that Instagram is, “like, the 2019 way.”

The risk of appearing thirsty in a public forum is real, however, as Lindsay Lohan found out last year. She was accused of hitting on newly-single Liam Hemsworth via Instagram after she left a prayer hands emoji on some surfing photos he posted. Lohan later attributed the comment to her work with a surf therapy organization in Australia, but her attacks on Hemsworth’s ex-wife Miley Cyrus during the same period suggested otherwise.

Then there was New York Islanders hockey star Anthony Beauvillier, who saw fit to tweet “Hi” at Anna Kendrick in December. After he received no reply, Twitter hilariously stepped in and acted as wingman, publicly thanking Beauvillier for performing increasingly ridiculous (and obviously false) feats. These included performing open heart surgery, rescuing people from burning buildings and saving the world from errant asteroids. It may not have got him a date, but Kendrick at least got a laugh out of it.

A 2019 study by Stanford University sociology professor Michael Rosenfeld showed that the days of meeting spouses through family have been in decline since 1940, and meeting through friends has been on the way out since 1995. In other words, famous or not, we’re all basically on our own when it comes to making romance happen. So next time you’re complaining about your latest batch of matches, take a moment to think about the poor famous people still trying to get dates with regular Joes.

They may be prettier and richer than the rest of us, but they’re impossibly conspicuous.

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