Shrink Wrap

What we can learn from the trials and triumphs of celebrity relationships.

Johnny Depp: Can You Trust A Serial Proposer?

He’s giving it another try - Will this time be different?

Movie star and eternal heart throb Johnny Depp, 50, is engaged to 27-year-old actress Amber Heard. The two met on the set of their film The Rum Diary. This isn’t the first time Depp has tried to settle down. He was married once from 1983 to 1985 to Lori Anne Allison, but, despite numerous proposals, hasn’t made it to the altar since.  After his split from Allison, Depp was engaged to actresses Jennifer Grey and Sherilyn Fenn in the late 1980s. He also proposed to his Edward Scissorhands co-star Winona Ryder, after tatooing "WINONA FOREVER" on his right arm. He had a highly publicized relationship with Kate Moss, though they were never engaged. It was with French actress Vanessa Paradis that Depp had his best attempt at a committed relationship. Though they never married officially, they were together for 14 years. She is the mother of his children Lily Rose, 14, and Jack, 11. They split in 2012. Depp and Heard went public with their relationship soon after.

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What can Heard expect from Depp after a divorce, three engagements, and a long term relationship that produced two children without resulting in marriage?  Will she be the one to break the serial engagement spell?

It seems from Depp’s history that he has the desire and intention to walk down the aisle again given the multiple women he has fallen in love with, proposed to, and lived with. That said, in the aftermath of a divorce it is not unusual to be gun shy of remarriage despite being drawn to the idea of being in a partnership. There are so many things that lead people to the decision to call it quits that can haunt future romantic relationships. Sometimes it’s hard to put your finger on the specifics of what’s bothering you and holding you back in a new connection. But often you come up against a wall that blocks you from following through for fear of experiencing again a union that doesn’t succeed.

 The other question that comes up here is why Heard is taking a chance with him. Why does she think it will work out with her this time? So often we like to think of ourselves as special. We say things to ourselves like: I’m the one who will make this person change or for me he will be different. Sometimes it’s true and sometimes it isn’t, but it is this idea that keeps people around. If you are that person hoping to be on the other end of a better outcome, the next question becomes how long are you prepared to wait? When are you going to ask, “Okay, what is going on here?” In other words, move forward with a clear game plan. Decide how long you are willing to wait before the other person takes action so you don’t feel you are wasting your time. When that period has passed and nothing has changed, that’s the point at which to have a conversation about what’s going on. In it you can reference that given that they’ve been engaged and or married before, what’s changed for them that makes them think things will work out with you. Saying, “because I love you,” is a great response, but if that is what you hear make it the beginning and not the end of the conversation. Follow up with asking what is it you love about me, and what do we need to do so you stay in love with me. In other words, you want to figure out what hasn’t worked for him in the past so it doesn’t come up with you. See if the possible fears I mentioned earlier might be at play. Explore to see if there has been enough resolution to enable them to move beyond their concerns and insecurities.

Accepting a proposal from someone who has been down marriage lane before should be entered into with clarity and awareness, as well as focus and perspective. If you come up with your own timeline to handle the journey to the altar you are less likely to feel rejected and let down if things don’t work out. If you fall in love with someone who has proposed numerous times and then gotten out before getting married, it is important to be mindful and know what you are getting into. Take responsibility for yourself around the situation as you move toward building a life together with the hope that it will last forever.

 

Please tune in to “Let’s Talk Sex” which streams live on HealthyLife.net every last Tuesday of the month at 2 PM EST, 11 AM Pacific. We look forward to listener call-in questions, dealing with relationships, intimacy, family, and friendships, at1.800.555.5453.

Connect with Dr. Jane Greer on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/DrJaneGreer, and be sure to follow @DrJaneGreer on Twitter for her latest insights on love, relationships, sex, and intimacy.

            For more on Dr. Greer, visit http://www.drjanegreer.com.

Jane Greer, Ph.D., is a Marriage and Family Therapist, author of What about Me? Stop Selfishness from Ruining Your Relationship, and radio host of Doctor on Call.

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