#Love & Sex

11 Celebrities Who Prove Nontraditional Relationships Can Work

by McKenzie Pendergrass

11 Celebrities Who Prove Nontraditional Relationships Can Work

Celebrities always seem to be more open to new things, whether that’s trying a new and crazy beauty regime or tossing out traditional relationship standards. We gathered 11 celeb couples who have rewritten the rules for what a traditional relationship should be, and proven that it can work (if temporarily).


Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith



Among celebrities, the pair has one of the most loving and beautiful relationships in Hollywood, and it might be thanks to their “open” policy. They trust each other, and that’s what counts. In an interview with Howard Stern, Jada Pinkett-Smith put it wisely: “Here’s the deal with that, Howard, you’ve got to trust who you’re with. And at the end of the day, I’m not here to be anybody’s watcher.”


Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie



First thing’s first: R.I.P. The iconic couple might be officially over, but their time together was anything but ordinary. Rumors and reports swirled throughout their long relationship that they pursued other partners, and they weren’t “chained” to each other. Regardless, it worked for a time but sadly didn’t last.


Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore



On the one hand, their relationship was unusual solely because of the age gap. Moore was 15 years older than Kutcher. But rumors swirled that the couple had an open relationship, with Moore telling Fox News people live in “gray” areas and everything isn’t black and white. However, the marriage eventually ended after allegations of Kutcher cheating.


Tilda Swinton and John Byrne



Tilda Swinton is eccentric, but that’s why we love her. Her and John Byrne’s marriage was “open”, even leading her to pick up a boyfriend, a young hunk named Sandro Kopp. Byrne denied that they were ever, um, three’s company, but the arrangement seemed to work for them.


Ethan Hawke



When Ethan Hawke cheated on his ex-wife, Uma Thurman, with their nanny, I have to admit I was disappointed. Not the nanny! But Hawke went on to marry that woman, Ryan Shawhughes, and they’ve been together ever since. That’s not the real kicker, though. In an interview, Hawke noted he thinks monogamy is childish.

“People have such a childish view of monogamy and fidelity,” he said. ‘”He’s cheated so he’s bad, she’s cheated so she’s bad’ as opposed to a recognition that our species is not monogamous.”


Dolly Parton and Carl Dean



Dolly Parton: Sweet. Sassy. Big hair. But did you also know she has a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy with her husband? Rumors have flung that she has had countless affairs in her 50-year marriage, including with Burt Reynolds and Sylvester Stallone, but the ultimate secret to her functioning marriage? She says it’s time apart from her hub.

“They let each other be free to be the way they are,” Dolly’s sister, Stella Parton, told Closer magazine. “They are very unique but they complement each other.”


Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin



Everyone remembers Chris and Gwyn’s “conscious uncoupling”, but the celebrities were always anything but ordinary. Even after their split, they continued to hang out often and co-parented their children as if they were still married.

They reportedly had an open marriage, and Gwyn had this to say about it in an interview with Refinery29: “I think that if the idea of being committed to someone is important to you, you begin to value certain parts of your social life over another. I would like to think that I would be forgiving and/or forgiven, but I can’t give an honest answer as I haven’t really experienced that.”

Very vague.


Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton



We all know Tim Burton as the mad mastermind behind Coraline and Alice in Wonderland, and Bellatrix Lestrange would have been nothing without queen Helena. The couple, now split, didn’t share a house during their time together. Instead, they had conjoined studios. Her side was apparently much cozier, so that’s where they would hang out when they spent time together. Whatever works, ya know?


Mo’Nique and Sidney Hicks



Oscar-winning actress Mo’Nique opened up many years ago about her open marriage to Sidney Hicks. She says it isn’t about sex, and it boils down to one thing: honesty. TBH, seems pretty straight forward. Oh, and it was her idea.

“When we first had the conversation, it was because I was still in the mindset of ‘I’m an entertainer; I’m a performer and I want to have it all.’ So I said, ‘I want to have an open marriage.’ … It was just being able to sit down and have that dialogue to say, ‘Hey, let’s always make sure we’re open and honest.'”


Gay and Nan Talese



Gay Talese, the prolific writer and journalist, and his brilliant editor wife, Nan, have had a very public 50-year marriage. From sex clubs to rumors of girlfriends, nudist colonies and memoirs of their personal life, nothing has been left off the table… or out of the public eye. Nan says their marriage is far from “open”, but in his opinion, marriage isn’t a love story.

“It’s a friendship—a friendship you can’t do without. Sex is not important. Sex you can get anywhere.”


Scarlett Johansson



Honorable mention! Even though ScarJo has never practiced a “nontraditional” relationship, she recently mentioned that she thinks monogamy isn’t natural.

She told Playboy: “I think the idea of marriage is very romantic; it’s a beautiful idea, and the practice of it can be a very beautiful thing,” she said. “I don’t think it’s natural to be a monogamous person.”

“It’s something I have a lot of respect for and have participated in, but I think it definitely goes against some instinct to look beyond.”