By Kiera Aaron
After 8 years of dating, Mila Kunis and that kid from Home Alone have called it quits. (Oh right, Macaulay Culkin.) Dating an insanely hot movie star might be foreign territory to most of us, but as it turns out, Mila and Macaulay’s situation isn’t all that uncommon.
“Couples often face hardship when one grows faster than the other,” explains Gay Hendricks, PhD, author of The Big Leap and a relationship counselor. “It’s very common for one partner to feel left behind as the other gains more success.”
This could be the case considering that Kunis was the cute (slightly annoying) Jackie from That ’70s Show when she first started dating the child star. And now? Black Swan bombshell.
“A partner’s sudden success taps into the dread of being left, a basic human fear,” continues Hendricks. But when you’re afraid of being left, you often don’t say it outright—instead, people are more likely to pick an angry, irrelevant fight. “Anger is a lot easier to express,” Hendricks explains.
And, get this: According to research from Cornell University, a “lower-status” guy like Culkin (still lots more $$$ than us, though) is more likely to cheat on a hot woman. The study found that men who earn less than their partners were more prone to cheating in an attempt to regain the confidence they lost in not being the breadwinner.
Don’t make Culkin’s mistake. If you’re feeling inferior to your bombshell girlfriend, A) we don’t feel sorry for you and B) join an organization where you can practice an activity that you do well. Identifying with a group is known to enhance self-esteem, according to the cheating study.