Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The New Rules of Social Engagement

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The New Rules of Social Engagement

Article excerpt

BREAKING up is hard to do, and that's if you've managed to find someone in the first place. We are a city of singletons, swiping frenziedly left and right, often on the basis of fickle criteria. Meanwhile January is traditionally known as "divorce month" on account of the number of couples ending the festive season with a bang -- and lawyers.

You need some help if you are to graduate from the lonely hearts club. Mercifully, whether you're ending it or zoning in on a target, civilians can take solace in the habits of the celestial A-list, who have made a strong start to affairs of the heart for 2018.

Guiding light Gwyneth Paltrow announced her engagement to TV writer Brad Falchuk yesterday by sharing a black and white image of the pair of them on the cover of the inaugural issue of her lifestyle magazine Goop -- quite the coup. Meanwhile, millennial provocateur Lena Dunham might be single after the end of her five-year relationship with producer Jack Antonoff but she has made a commitment to self-improvement, sharing on Instagram an image of a teetering stack of books she intends to read this year.

This is the celebrities' guide to doing love right in 2018.

Get social During a break-up social media is weaponised. However much you're wittering on about things being "amicable" this is, to some extent, a war. For example, while Dunham knows that sharing a stack of books is catnip for her cerebral feminist followers, more importantly she knew that it would semaphore to Antonoff -- who is definitely watching -- that she has not been cowed by the end of their affair. In fact, the breakup is a liberating, literally, as it means she now has hours of free time which she can spend, totally alone, on selfimprovement. NB: sharing a picture of your Netflix queue will not have the same effect.

Granted, this is astute psychological warfare -- some prefer a more aggressive approach, one which is accordingly devastating. …

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