Decoding a potential partner’s ‘interests’ section on a dating app, to decipher their entire personality, relationship history and, ultimately, the likelihood of them being someone you could tolerate, often comes down to some time-worn compatibility questions.
How much do we have in common? Is being into classic rock a hard pass? Are they my type on (virtual) paper?
Or such was the case before 2023 because this has been the summer of (mismatched) love.
Let’s call it ‘untyping.’ This year romantic scripture has been re-written. First by Bill Murray, 72, and Kelis, 43 (see below) – whose ‘who-would-have-guessed-it???’ coupling this June caused the Twittersphere to do a complete double-take (“Kelis and WHOMST?!”) but latterly by many more perplexing celebrity pairings. For the OAC (opposites attract curious) let’s take a closer look.
Timothée Chalamet and Kylie Jenner
The relationship that initially sounded like it came straight out of a TMZ headline generator has had a strangely enduring staying power this summer, with rumours first circulating about the pair “hanging out” around April. A lot has happened since then — sources telling People they were just “getting to know each other,” sources telling People that they were actually “not serious”, breakup rumours, reunion rumours. Lots of words, and very little pictures for two of the most photographed young celebs on the planet. The best we got was a blurry picture of Kylie and Timmy T walking next to eachother in a garden, which did little to calm our curiosity.
Timothèe Chalamet and Kylie Jenner at Beyonce’s Renaissance World Tour in LA tonight. pic.twitter.com/n1zhCKYuQZ
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) September 5, 2023
Now, finally, we have the most solid piece of evidence yet: Kylie and Timothée were spotted attending the Los Angeles leg of Beyoncé’s highly anticipated Renaissance World Tour, and the pair looked very comfortable with each other. Chatting (or some may even say flirting) in the audience, the pair oozed chemistry — much more than you’d expect from such a seemingly mismatched couple.
Then came the confirmation we were all waiting for at the recent US Open. Watching Novak Djokovic win his 24th Grand Slam title, they were canoodling, laughing and just generally looking super into one another.
As someone on Twitter put it back when the rumours first started circulating: “Kylie Jenner and Timothée Chalamet dating feels like the same as when two people from your high school that never interacted start dating like six years after graduation.”
Kelis and Bill Murray
Admittedly, Bill Murray has a certain charm. For one, and it’s a big one, he’s funny as hell. Lesser-known trivia about the Lost in Translation actor is he’s a huge jazz fan and has even played surprise pop-up performances in NYC hotels to Greece. “I felt like this old Shakespearean actor at the turn of the 20th century, down there in New Orleans, playing shows for people,” he said in a Rolling Stone interview. Which perhaps explains his reported new romance with Kelis. The Kelis. My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, Kelis. The actor was spotted watching the R&B singer at Mighty Hoopla festival earlier this summer and The Sun revealed they were dating not long afterwards.
It was a shortlived and strange summer romance, with sources telling the US Sun it has already come to an end. “Kelis and Bill were - and still are - very fond of each other but things just ran their course,” a source told the outlet. “They both have busy schedules and after a whirlwind romance decided to go their separate ways. They hope to remain friends but also plan to get on with their lives.”
Avril Lavigne and Tyga
While the hard launch had a (brief) moment at the start of the year it seems we’ve gone back to basics. In May, the Sk8ter Boi singer posted an innocent ‘Lyfe lately’ carousal on Instagram featuring mostly filtered selfies sandwiched between a picture of her embracing award-winning rapper Tyga (the pair sparked headlines of new romance when they had dinner back in February at Nobu).
The odd couple stayed together until late June, when it was revealed they had called it quits. A question, we’ll likely never know the answer to: are they fans of each other’s music? And did they ever discuss how Tyga’s ex, Kylie Jenner, is also part of an unlikely romantic pairing right now? Strange times.
Taylor Swift and Matt Healy
Taylor Swift has it harder than most when it comes to relationships. Or rather, how they’re deconstructed in the press. As though who she’s dating is somehow a personality trait, the most important aspect of self, merely because her songs draw from her relationships. Still, her devoted fans were not happy with news that she was hooking up with 1975 frontman Matt Healy. A name that divides many. They apparently split after two months dating earlier this summer. She’s said to be ‘doing great.’ No bad blood, then.
Cher and Alexander ‘AE’ Edwards
No shade on Cher. We love you. The songs, enthusiastic tweets, telling your mother you’re a rich man, even your inconsistent taste in men (from Sonny Bono, Tom Cruise, a bagel maker to a music executive, Alexander ‘AE’ Edwards, 40 years your junior).
The pair were linked in March but had split by May, which is starting to cement a pattern that opposites may attract, but only for so long.
Monica Bellucci and Tim Burton
She’s an Italian goddess. He’s the godfather of macabre moviemaking. The guy has form: having had a 13-year relationship with the mythically beautiful Helena Bonham-Carter.
The pair were spotted kissing earlier this year and have reportedly been dating for months. Unlike most of the other couples on this list, they appear to have stuck it out. In a recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar España, Bellucci told the outlet: “I found in Tim [Burton] a wonderful spirit. I met a spectacular soul.”
Leonardo DiCaprio and Gigi Hadid
Though neither party ever officially confirmed they were dating, we were invested. And apparently so were they at one point: Earlier this summer, the supermodel was spotted meeting Leo’s father and stepmother. Which, as anyone knows, is code for This Is More Than Just A Hang. What’s strange, however, about the coupling is the numbers game: if the rumours are true, at 28 years old it would be the first woman over 25 the actor has dated. With personal growth, you have to start somewhere, I guess. Baby steps.
Sadly, they truly were just baby steps, and the links between the pair seem to have simmered down over the summer. The latest report is that they “still talk” and “have fun” together (insert eyes emoji) but have no plans of settling down.
Lady Kitty Spencer and Michael Lewis
Princess Diana’s niece, Lady Kitty Spencer, 31, made headlines when she announced her engagement to South African multi-millionaire businessman, Michael Lewis. At 61, Lewis is five years younger than her father, Charles Spencer. In a twist of events, when the pair married in a 17th century Roman Villa in 2021, the father of the bride was absent. Cue conspiracy theories. Though it is a trend, he also skipped his daughter Lady Amelia’s wedding this spring. To be fair to him: weddings are a logistical hellscape. So, there’s that.
Madonna and Joshua Popper
Are normcore boyfriends a thing? According to Madonna, apparently so. The 64-year-old hitmaker is now making moves with 29-year-old boxing coach, Joshua Popper. She’s aware of the age-gap optics and fundamentally does not care if this irks people. “I have lovers who are three decades younger than me,” she shared in a 2017 interview with Harper’s Bazaar. “This makes people very uncomfortable. I feel like everything I do makes people feel really uncomfortable.”