What's Up With All the Holiday Engagements?
By Jo Piazza Posted Dec 30th 2010 07:15AM
Was there something in the water this holiday season? Was Jared having an extra big sale on diamonds in the greater Los Angeles area, or is love simply winning over all the hardened hearts of Tinseltown?
Whatever it is, we have witnessed an overdose of celebrity engagements this week -- from Hugh Hefner, who continues to give us the willies and forces us to try to divide 84 by 24 in our heads, to LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian to Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth. Oh, and how can we forget Natalie Portman! Engaged and pregnant. Double whammy. One of the reasons for so much popping of the question, believes US Weekly's Rebecca Bienstock, is that celebrities really are just like us, and normal people tend to get engaged at the holidays. Just check your Facebook feed this week.
"Just like us, they want to get engaged over the holidays when they're around their families so they can celebrate, or like LeAnn and Eddie they want to immediately go on vacation and enjoy the recent engagement," Bienstock says. "Plus it's easier, you can combine the holiday present with the engagement ring."
And the holidays require very little staging. There is no need for an elaborate set-up since everything is already decked out.
"It's the most romantic time of year because the streets are literally decorated with lights, everyone is smooching under the mistletoe, and the commercials for diamond rings are non-stop," says dating coach Tracey Steinberg, host of 'Dating Help 911.'
Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle, author of 'Don't Bet on the Prince: How to Have the Man You Want By Betting on Yourself,' believes there is a darker side to why folks pair up around this time of year.
"For all people, celebs and non-celebs alike, holiday time can feel very lonely for those who are alone," Dr. Gilda explains. "They see their family and friends gather in groups, and, to the naked eye, they appear to be paired. So the holiday season is the ideal time to become wrapped up in the emotions of the moment as an escape from real life. Celebs are especially prone to the holiday escape."
Dr. Gilda notes that after the romance of the holiday goes away and real life settles back in, some of these engagements just won't stick.
"They must be aware that after the celebrations cease, they will have to actually become more grounded with the person for whom they declared their forever love. When reality comes crashing down, that's when holiday engagements are broken," Dr. Gilda says.
And not to be too cynical, but there is also the sweet spot of the celebrity news cycle. The holidays are a notorious down time for celebrity news, so if a celeb wants attention around their engagement, now is most definitely the time to pop the question.
"Some celebrities are more calculating than others," says US magazine's Bienstock. "I tend to believe that the engagement of Reese and Jim is pure and real, but something like the Hugh Hefner engagement certainly does put him back in the spotlight. Of course, this year there were so many engagements, one could easily get lost in the shuffle."