Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston are the IRL Ross and Rachel People are Rooting For

The start of 2020 saw the moment in the world of celebrities. The said moment happened in January 2020 at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall during the 2020 SAG Awards. The moment refers to when Brad Pitt’s hand lingered on Jennifer Aniston’s wrist backstage.

You read that right: Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, reunited; hands lingering backstage.

The photo, which spread like wildfire on the internet, was taken by Emma McIntyre, a photographer for Getty Images. She wasn’t the only person in the room when the moment happened, but she captured the interaction at the right time.

According to Elle, McIntyre was instructed to look out for spontaneous run-ins between actors. She struck gold by capturing a soft moment between exes Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. The scenario played out like a dream: Pitt called his ex by her last name, Aniston spun around in her beautiful Christian Dior gown and they embraced. As she walked away, he grinned and held onto her wrist for an extra second before they let go.

Thanks to this photo, the internet went wild. Many fans googled the question “Are Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston together in 2020?” to find out if Brad and Jen were together again. It didn’t take long for the rumor mill to pick up on the craze and start churning out dating rumors about Pitt and Aniston, fueling the desire for them to get back together.

Although it has been more than 10 years since the couple divorced, it seemed as if many fans still wanted Pitt and Aniston to be each other’s endgame. Since Pitt’s separation from Jolie and Aniston’s  divorce from Justin Theroux, the exes have been the real-life representation of Ross and Rachel from “Friends.”

It makes one wonder: why do people want Brad Pitt to end up with Jennifer Aniston? What is it about the Brad and Jen tandem that makes the possibility of reconciliation so desirable?

The History of Us: Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s Romance Remembered

Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt’s first meeting was a casual one. They met in 1994 via their managers. Aniston thought of him as a “normal guy” and a “sweet guy from Missouri,” she revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone.

It would take four years for their relationship to become romantic. In 1998, they had their first date. Aniston had called it quits with Tate Donovan and Pitt was fresh from his breakup with Gwyneth Paltrow. Their managers, who saw the compatibility of both actors, set up a date between the two. After that “easy evening” and “really fun” date, the couple was inseparable.

Pitt and Aniston made their debut as a couple in September 1999 during the 51st Primetime Emmy Awards. A few months later, Aniston showed off her engagement ring during a Sting concert. Pitt reportedly spent $500,000 on her custom ring, which had plenty of diamonds.

Come 2000, Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt gifted the world with their summer nuptials. After their million-dollar wedding, Aniston and Pitt became the darling couple of the tabloids. News outlets were always taking photos of the lovey-dovey couple wherever they went. In their photos, they were always the image of blissful love.

The early 2000s saw Pitt and Aniston dancing into each other’s interviews and shows. One of their iconic moments was Pitt’s guest-starring on Aniston’s show “Friends.” Pitt appeared in the episode “The One with the Rumor” as Will Colbert, one of Rachel Green’s former classmates who hated Rachel with a passion.

During their marriage, the pair had nothing but words of love whenever they were interviewed and asked about one another. In 2003, W Magazine asked Jennifer Aniston if Brad Pitt was the love of her life. She didn’t call him the love of her life but said he was certainly a big love in her life — a foreshadowing, perhaps?

By 2004, Aniston’s time on “Friends” was about to come to a close. She told The Guardian that had a case of Baby Fever. Since she’d have more time on her hands, she can finally have a baby with her husband of nearly four years.  It was during this year that Pitt started filming “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” with his co-star Angelina Jolie.

A Painful Story of Heartbreak

2005 was THE year when Aniston and Pitt ended their five-year marriage and seven-year relationship. The couple announced their split to People magazine. Their divorce was finalized on October 2, 2005.

Since then, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston lived their separate lives, with the ashes of their relationship scattered wind and people still sad over the breakup. It didn’t take too long for Brad Pitt’s dating life to pick up as he and Angelina Jolie flaunted their relationship almost immediately after his separation with Aniston. On the other hand, Aniston became the poster child of an independent woman moving on with her life.

Life took its course for both Aniston and Pitt: Pitt had children with Jolie and eventually got married while Aniston married Justin Theroux. Throughout the years, the exes managed to remain cordial first and eventually friendly with each other. Fans of the Brad and Jen ship were content with the former couple remaining on friendly terms.

That was until Pitt divorced Jolie and Aniston separated from Theroux.

For the first time in what seemed like a thousand years, Brad and Jen were both single.

It didn’t help that the moment from the 2020 SAG Awards happened. To add salt to the wound, Pitt and Aniston were part of the star-studded virtual table reading of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” which was hosted by CORE. Despite the presence of Morgan Freeman, Julia Roberts, John Legend, Shia LaBeouf and Matthew McConaughey, fans noticed the chemistry between Pitt (who played Brad) and Aniston (who played Linda).

With the palpable tension between the exes, it’s natural for people to just want for a repeat of Brad and Jen’s Golden Years.

Understanding the Obsession with Brad and Jen

So why are people so invested in getting Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston back together?

The couple has been the subject of obsession and fascination. More than ten years after their 2005 split, people are still dissecting their relationship.

To be fair, Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt made themselves irresistible. He was the heartthrob from “Legends of the Fall” and she was the golden girl that had almost everyone copy her haircut. At their 2000 Malibu wedding, Aniston’s wedding vows included a promise of her making his favorite banana milkshakes. On February 14, 2001, Pitt reportedly filled Aniston’s “Friends” dressing room with more than a thousand roses.

They did not spare romantics an inch of mercy. Their actions of love left everyone emotionally invested in their relationship for years to come.

Their photo from the SAG Awards fueled the flames of renewed obsession over the pair. The familiarity in their faces struck the audience: they were people who once loved each other, and maybe still had bits of affection for each other. Plus, the freeze-fame of Aniston with her back turned to her ex-husband was an image straight out of any Brad and Jen fanfic: she was the one walking away while he pulled her back and tried to make her stay.

Talk about a fantasy come true.

Their little run-ins fuel the potent late ‘90s and early 2000s nostalgia. Every interaction between them causes imaginations to run wild. After all, both are single. Is it possible for them to get back together? Shouldn’t Brad and Jen stay together forever?

Romanticizing the Broken Fantasy: It’s a No for Brad and Jen

It’s natural for fans to live in a perfect fantasy of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston getting back together. People want him to be single, her to still be hot and for the possibility of an “us” between them to come true.

But in the light of their 2005 separation, that shouldn’t be the case.

In case anyone forgot, Pitt’s relationship with Jolie overlapped with the end of his marriage to Aniston in 2005. In 2007, Jolie confirmed to Vogue that they started falling in love while filming “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” Aniston later told GQ that Jolie’s statement confirmed something that “wasn’t confirmed at that time.” Three months after their divorce, photos of Pitt vacationing with Jolie in Kenya surfaced on the Internet. Meanwhile, Aniston was still recovering from the emotional damage caused by the divorce.

Pitt was insensitive to his ex-wife’s feelings during this time. His and Jolie’s W magazine shoot in 2005 triggered Aniston to utter one of the most iconic lines in Hollywood history: “There’s a sensitivity chip that’s missing.”

If you remove the rose-colored lenses, you’ll see that Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt’s relationship was marked by infidelity and lack of sensitivity. Plus, the relationship has defined much of Jennifer Aniston’s life for too long already. Like all toxic relationships, this one does not deserve a second season.

Right now, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston themselves admitted that they will “always remain friends.” Individually, they are respectable in their craft as artists. We respect how Pitt taking a break from the limelight to focus on sobriety and Aniston on her career. It’s lovely to see them maintain a friendship, despite their 2005 divorce.

The 2020 SAG Awards may have sparked hope for Brad and Jen enthusiasts. And although there’s nothing wrong with silently rooting for them in one’s fantasy, reality will eventually hit you. Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt are the “Will They? Won’t They?” couple that is better off remaining “Won’t They” forever.

And that’s a good thing.

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