Last November, Vanity Fair published a touching article on the 10-month long fallout between Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart after the Twilight star was spotted kissing her costar from the upcoming film On the Road, the handsome actor, 33, who is five years her senior.

The piece, written by Lisa Weissman, paints a revealing picture of the personal struggle the young stars faced following a very public breakup and reconciliation. It also explores the challenges that come with being the best friend and lover of the person you love most in the world.

The couple’s romance was initially kept secret from the media as they tried to keep their deepening friendship a secret, which made the whole experience all the more special. But as time went on and their romance became public, the stress of being so in-demand led to strain on their already shaky relationship and it eventually caught up with them.

The Breakup

It all started in August 2014, when Robert and Kristen, whose real-life relationship had been plagued by speculation for years, announced their separation, with Kristen moving to New York and pursuing a career in acting while Robert stayed in England and began dating another actress, Emily Blunt.

The timing of the breakup, just as the film industry was starting to boom, didn’t help matters. Robert was about to begin filming the third installment of the Twilight franchise, which would serve as a crucial test for his acting career. In between takes, he would sit with Kristen, sharing a drink and a meal while watching films with her at their production company’s screening room. They rarely spent time apart, even when he was away on set. Their separation brought an end to what had been, until then, an exceedingly private affair.

The Reunion

In November 2014, Vanity Fair published a cover story on the couple, which saw them reunited after 10 months apart. In the story, Robert admitted to being a bit of a control freak and revealed that he would often check up on his girlfriend, demanding that she call or text him whenever she left the house. He also expressed concerns that she was spending too much time working and not enough time with him. The couple had a civil union ceremony in Paris at the end of the month and have been living together ever since. They even made headlines in March 2015 when they were spotted vacationing in Bali, the same destination where they met all those years ago. In April, they became the first couple to wed during the coronavirus pandemic, when they exchanged vows at a small ceremony in Las Vegas.

The Challenges

It would be inaccurate to say that Robert and Kristen’s 10-month romance was easy. Far from it. The article, which is an extremely intimate account of their journey, details the challenges they faced, which included trying to keep their relationship a secret, the paparazzi following them around, and the strain that high-profile romances put on relationships. It also explores the special bond the two developed over the course of their tumultuous time together.

From Best Friend To Lover

Despite the stress that comes with being in such a public relationship, Robert and Kristen’s time apart was a positive experience for both of them. Although they were both nervous about the prospect of being together again, they admitted that they gained a new appreciation for each other and the special bond they shared. They also recognized the need to re-establish their boundaries and reminded each other of the parts of themselves that they wanted to keep and the ones they wanted to discard.

For Robert, the experience solidified his status as Stewart’s best friend and led to a new level of trust. He also credited the time apart with helping him grow as a person. “It’s the closest I’ve ever come to being happy,” he told Vanity Fair in November 2014. “The fact that we’ve both managed to keep our sanity is pretty amazing.”

For Kristen, the time apart was a self-discovery process, which helped her to define who she wanted to be with and what she wanted out of life. “I wanted someone to show up and be there for me, who didn’t expect anything in return,” she said in a 2016 interview. “I wanted someone to help me, to help us figure things out, but also let us be ourselves. That’s someone I really wanted to meet.”

Keeping Their Friendship

While their romance was on public display, Robert and Kristen’s friendship was not. During their separation, they still spent time together, calling each other every day and keeping in touch through text messages. They also continued to go on walks, cook dinner together, and catch up on television series. But instead of having a traditional romantic encounter, they would sometimes spend the night at Kristen’s New York City apartment, watching films and falling asleep in front of the TV, laughing and talking until the wee hours of the morning. While some might see this as a chore, for Robert and Kristen, it was a way of life they craved and still want to keep, even now that they’re back together.