Most people would agree that 2015 was a horrible year for romance. From break-ups to divorces, the majority of popular culture focused on the difficulties of relationships. Even TV shows, the perennial refuge for escapism, delved deep into the mire that is love. Few relationships, however, were as publicly dissected and humiliated as that of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.

The world was taken by surprise when, on January 13th, 2014, Robert Pattinson—one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood—proclaimed his undying love for, and desire to spend the rest of his life with, his girlfriend of five years, Kristen Stewart. The couple’s whirlwind romance was made possible by social media, when they famously dated for a month before announcing their engagement on Facebook. Their relationship received widespread coverage, and was even parodied on SNL.

It seemed like the perfect storybook romance. And then, as so often happens in Hollywood, it wasn’t. The story of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart doesn’t end with a happily-ever-after; it’s really more of a tale of two broken people. In the months that followed their engagement, the couple’s public appearances were rife with tension, and they struggled to keep their relationship alive. In January 2015, Robert filed for divorce from Kristen, citing irreconcilable differences. It was an incredible betrayal of the public’s—and, especially, Kristen’s—faith in their relationship. And it all started with a meme.

Robert Pattinson: Move Out From Kristen Stewart?

It’s been two years since Robert Pattinson’s divorce from Kristen Stewart, and while the world has largely moved on, the pain and humiliation of that time is something else entirely.

The world was taken by surprise when, on January 13th, 2014, Robert Pattinson—one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood—proclaimed his undying love for, and desire to spend the rest of his life with, his girlfriend of five years, Kristen Stewart. The couple’s whirlwind romance was made possible by social media, when they famously dated for a month before announcing their engagement on Facebook. Their relationship received widespread coverage, and was even parodied on SNL.

It seemed like the perfect storybook romance. And then, as so often happens in Hollywood, it wasn’t. The story of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart doesn’t end with a happily-ever-after; it’s really more of a tale of two broken people. In the months that followed their engagement, the couple’s public appearances were rife with tension, and they struggled to keep their relationship alive. In January 2015, Robert filed for divorce from Kristen, citing irreconcilable differences. It was an incredible betrayal of the public’s—and, especially, Kristen’s—faith in their relationship.

The coverage that Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart’s brief romance received was unprecedented. But it wasn’t surprising. The world had been waiting for this day since the couple first began dating in 2011. Stewart had publicly declared her undying love for Pattinson in an interview with Elle in December 2013, proclaiming that their relationship was ‘more important’ than her Twilight co-star’s marriage to Taylor Lautner. And the wait was well worth it. When they finally got hitched, it was like a dream come true for Twilight fans. For a while, at least. Things went downhill from there.

It only took a few months for the relationship to unravel. The couple’s first public outing as a married couple—an appearance at the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards in April 2014—was marred by Stewart’s embarrassing slip up. While accepting the award for Best Supporting Actress, Stewart forgot the lyrics to the award-winning song ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams, prompting the audience and the presenter to laugh awkwardly. It was a PR disaster for the couple. And that was just the beginning. In June 2014, Stewart filed for divorce from Pattinson, citing ‘irreconcilable differences.’

It was an incredible betrayal of the public’s—and, especially, Kristen’s—faith in their relationship. And it all started with a meme.

The couple’s troubled relationship was made public after they both appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone in May 2014. The article was poorly written and riddled with inaccuracies, but it was the perfect vehicle to bring their story to a mass audience. And it wasn’t just the media that turned on the couple. Fans and society at large had a beef with them too. On April 30th, 2015, Robert Pattinson posted a video to his Instagram account, announcing that he and Kristen were separating. The post received over 1.7 million views, and was met with an avalanche of backlash. In a matter of weeks, the video was followed by a series of public spats and disagreements between the pair, mostly taken up on social media. Things finally came to a head in June 2015, when the couple were spotted kissing and cuddling during a romantic night out in New York City. One of them even proposed to the other, an engagement for which they both tweeted their excitement (though neither actually followed through on the promise). The following month, they both attended the Cannes Film Festival, where they were photographed holding hands and appearing to enjoy each other’s company. It seemed like a happy ending, until it wasn’t.

The media frenzy that was created when Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart first started dating in 2011 did not subside with their marriage in 2014. On the contrary, the public’s appetite only increased, as the story of this famous celebrity couple became more bizarre and unbelievable with each new revelation. And it wasn’t just the media either. Their fans and, to a certain extent, even their friends had become suspicious of the relationship. In June 2015, it was reported that Stewart’s close friend and co-star, Emma Roberts, felt “betrayed” by Stewart when she found out about their separation, and had sided with Robert during their argumentative spat. This type of intrigue and backstabbing only served to fuel the media fire surrounding this iconic celebrity couple. Ultimately, it was all too much for them. In September 2015, they both announced that they had called it quits. They were no longer an item, but they didn’t exactly treat their fans to a rose garden when they broke up either. Pattinson went on the record to say that they had been “toxic” for each other, and that he hopes they can “find a way to be friends.” He also apologized for not being “there” for Stewart, explaining that he “didn’t do enough to show [her] how much I care.”

Why Did Robert Pattinson And Kristen Stewart Break Up?

In the months and years that followed their break-up, both Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart have gone on the record to explain the reasoning behind their decision. And, at least so far, the explanations fall into two categories: external and internal.

On the surface, external factors like intense media scrutiny and suspicious fans may have played a role. In a 2014 interview with Elle, Stewart acknowledged that her fame had made her “a little paranoid” about her personal safety, and she worried that her personal life would be held against her as a star. She also expressed frustration at the media circus that surrounded her and her relationship with Pattinson. “I don’t understand why [the media] keep printing these lies about us,” she said. “I don’t even know what those [stories] are based on.”

Pattinson himself has also gone on the record to say that the break-up was a mutual decision. “It just didn’t work out,” he said in a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone. “We wanted different things.” He also apologized for not being “there” for Stewart after the divorce was finalized. “I didn’t do enough to show [her] how much I care,” he said. “I was so focused on myself and what was going on with me, that I didn’t realize what was going on with her.” In a separate interview, Stewart accepted responsibility for the collapse of their relationship. “It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be with him, it was just that everything changed when I became famous,” she told Vogue. “My entire life turned upside down, and I needed to figure out who I was without all this pressure.”