After eight years of dating, Rob Pattinson and Kristen Stewart officially called it quits in April 2010. The news was confirmed when the “Swan Song” singer released a statement saying, “We have decided to part ways. We are both mature adults who have loved and cared for each other deeply during this time and continue to cherish our friendship.”

While many people may not have been surprised by the news given their previous public arguments and rumors, Stewart’s decision still came as a shock. After dating the “Twilight” heartthrob for so long, it was fair to assume she’d be married by now to a man 14 years her senior.

While Stewart and Pattinson were never legally bound to each other, they had chosen to commit to each other – and their relationship was one of the most talked-about stories of the decade. In the months and years following their split, the couple remained close friends, even collaborating on a children’s book about friendship. They continued to attend events together and even attended a wedding in 2018 as friends.

In 2010, neither celebrity was the same. While Stewart focused on her acting career – making her Broadway debut in March of that year – Pattinson continued to work on his music career. The 30-year-old spent the last year of his contract with Twilight moving to Los Angeles and working on his solo album. The musician and film producer has since gone on to release several solo albums and work with some of the biggest names in music. With his new found freedom, Pattinson has been able to pursue other collaborations and projects, which in turn, has led to more successful solo albums and a sold-out concert in London this year.

The Split Was Imminent

Both Stewart and Pattinson had been hinting at the end of their relationship for some time, but it was never officially announced. In fact, the couple kept the truth of their split a secret even from friends and family. The truth was outed in October 2010 when Stewart’s sister Jamie told Elle that she’d broken up with Rob. Several months later, in April 2010, Stewart made her announcement public. In the months and years following their split, the couple remained close friends, even collaborating on a children’s book about friendship. They continued to attend events together and even attended a wedding in 2018 as friends.

Why Did They Split?

It’s pretty clear that both Rob and Stewart were happier living separately. Although they remained friends and were open about their feelings for one another, it was never truly accepted that they would stay together. The celebrity relationship expert Jenny Lumet explains that there are three reasons why many famous couples stay together even when they are no longer happy:

  • They believe in the ‘status quo’.
  • They want to change things but don’t know how.
  • They want the kids to have a father figure even though they are not father material.

Given Stewart and Pattinson’s age difference, it was always going to be hard for them to have a traditional family. The singer had already been through so much as a professional. At the age of 22, Stewart had to make the difficult decision to end her engagement to FKA Twigs’ partner Robert Kyncl. Since then, she’d gone on to date actor Jared Leto, singer Joe Perry, and DJ and producer Calvin Harris. While Stewart was happy to settle down with any of these men, they were all much older than her.

Pattinson, on the other hand, had been relatively quiet on the dating scene for the past year and a half. The actor had collaborated with One Direction star Harry Styles on new music and, in 2018, had even been rumored to be dating singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. The couple has remained close friends with both of them publicly cheering on their solo careers. Although Styles and Swift have since ended their relationship, it was certainly a brief romance that had only gotten more attention given their age difference. As he’s stated in interviews, the age difference between him and Stewart is an issue that he sees as a major red flag. Like Stewart, Pattinson has chosen not to have children, stating, “I’d love to have a child, but I don’t think it’s the right decision for me at this point in my life.”

While it’s clear that Rob and Stewart are happy spending their time apart, friends and family are relieved that they’ve finally decided to be together. Stewart’s mother Jeanette feels that their growing age difference played a role in their decision. “They have known each other for so long and grown so much that it’s probably just time to stop”, the former actress said. “It’s the right thing for both of them. They are both very mature young people and I’m sure they will do the right thing by each other.”

What Role Does Religion Play?

The fact that both Rob and Stewart are Christians may have had some influence on their relationship. Lumet explains that there’s nothing wrong with being religious, as long as you are both on the same page. She cites the example of actor Andrew Garfield and singer Madeline Zima, who both practice Buddhism. “There’s nothing wrong with being spiritual or religious as long as you both agree and respect each other’s differences”, she says.

Garfield and Zima have only ever been together on-screen, but their representatives have confirmed that they are committed to one another. In an interview with Elle for its March 2019 issue, Zima stated, “I’ve always felt that Andrew and I were meant to be together. I believe that nothing happens by chance and that everything happens for a reason. That is how I feel about Andrew.”

While their beliefs may have influenced their decision to stay together, it wasn’t the only reason. In the months and years following their split, Stewart and Pattinson have remained close friends, even collaborating on a children’s book about friendship. They continued to attend events together and even attended a wedding in 2018 as friends.

The reason why they didn’t immediately rekindle their relationship is because they were both going through a self-discovery period. Stewart had to face the fact that she’d settled for the “lesser” version of her “soulmate”. Although she was with Robert Kyncl for five years and had dated several other “famous” men after parting from Kyncl, she knew deep down that she’d never be happy with him. Similarly, Pattinson had to come to terms with the fact that he’d never be able to satisfy Taylor Swift. As he’s stated in interviews, for him, dating a younger woman is a deal-breaker. It means he’ll never be as mature as he needs to be to be a solid companion for her.

As both of them established themselves as solo artists and worked on transforming their image, they gradually began rebuilding their friendship. After their solo albums were released in 2012 and 2014 respectively, they finally made their duet “Happiness” together for the 2018 film “Homesick”. While this was initially rejected by Universal due to its “unconventional” nature (the studio felt it would be more appropriate as a gift to their fans), it went on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

In the months and years following their breakup, Rob and Stewart have slowly started to rediscover each other. In June 2019, the actor announced that he’d begun dating his Instagram user @itskristenstewart again after their split. While this is certainly a cause for celebration, the couple has also been able to put their differences behind them and focus on their friendship.

Although it wasn’t easy for either of them, they’ve eventually found the happiness that they were looking for. While they may remain friendly with each other, it’s unlikely that either will ever fully forgive the other for walking out on them eight years ago.