At one point in life, we all find someone we can never get over. We don’t really know what it is about that person that draws us in for eternity, but the love we feel is overwhelming. It’s great when that relationship lasts, but all too often, it doesn’t. Things happen, and people drift apart and separate.
When you’re a celebrity or sports star, it’s even more difficult keeping a good relationship. Everyone has an opinion on your relationship and everyone feels the need to publicly express that opinion. Sometimes temptation becomes a factor that divides the couple; other times, their busy schedule gets in the way.
For the rich and famous, it’s also even harder to get over that wonderful person. After all, you might see them on your TV daily, or on the cover of a magazine while checking out at the grocery store. It’s never-ending and sometimes quite torturous. There have been many wonderful relationships coming out of the sports world that last, like Stephen and Ayesha Curry or Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union. On the other hand, there have been great relationships that couldn’t stand the test of time; like Steve Nash and his ex-wife, Alejandra Amarilla.
Fans get attached to the relationships, almost as much as those actually involved in it. It’s never easy to say goodbye… From the meant to be to the big mistakes, here are 15 superstar athletes who still can’t get over their exes, no matter how much time has passed.
14 Tiger Woods (Elin Nordegren)
Tiger Woods was involved in one of the most publicized cheating scandals ever. His then-wife, Elin Nordegren chased him out of their home with a golf club after discovering he was not faithful. Before the news broke, though, they were your everyday happy, in the spotlight couple. Woods and Nordegren met in 2001. They were engaged in 2003 and married a year later. It was five years after they said, “I do,” that the National Enquirer blasted Woods affair with nightclub manager, Rachel Uchitel and tons of other women came forward claiming they, too, had an affair with the pro-golfer.
Woods and Nordegren inevitably divorced the next year in 2010. However, because the former couple share two children together it was not a cut and dry divorce. They remained in each other’s lives and according to Woods, they are still best friends and share deep conversations with each other.
13 Ryan Sweeting (Kaley Cuoco)
Former tennis pro, Ryan Sweeting made a real “Big Bang” when he swept actress Kaley Cuoco off her feet in and married her only six months later. Cuoco knew their whirlwind romance was crazy but she went along with Sweeting’s plan anyways. The tennis star underwent a life changing back surgery in 2014 and was prescribed some pain killers. He, then, became addicted to the pain killers and ruined his marriage with Cuoco.
Cuoco stuck by Sweeting, hoping he would get help and become sober, but that was never the case. Sweeting would reportedly promise to get help, but then go out and get wasted. Cuoco eventually couldn’t take it anymore and filed for divorce nearly two years after marrying him. The split crushed both, but Cuoco moved on to marry again. Sweeting didn’t recover quite as quickly as her.
12 Kris Humphries (Kim Kardashian)
You can’t search former NBA player Kris Humphries’ name without finding reality socialite Kim Kardashian’s appear next to it. Humphries and Kardashian had a very publicized relationship, wedding and then divorce. When the two met, many questioned if their relationship was real at all, but they ignored all speculation and wed in 2011. But only for 72 days.
When Kardashian filed for divorce from Humphries, he was confused and heartbroken. He took to the internet to announce he would do anything it took to keep his wife and make the relationship work. Kardashian had another plan, though. She went even further to say how done with the whole thing she was and that she just rushed into things. Humphries dragged on the whole divorce proceedings and was more than difficult to work with and even brings up the travesty years later.
11 Matt Kemp (Rihanna)
Nothing is normal when you date a superstar like Rihanna, and Los Angeles Dodger, Matt Kemp discovered that when he dated her in 2010. The pair dated for nearly a year when she just randomly decided she was done with their relationship. Although rare because of each other’s busy schedules, during the moments they were together, they looked happy and in love. Kemp probably never saw the split coming.
Rihanna has since come forward to explain reasoning behind her decision, stating “I just let it go. I don't ever want to have to depend on a relationship.” She didn’t deny loving Kemp, but simply said she wants to love other things in her life besides a man. Kemp loved being in a relationship with Rihanna but had to accept her decision to end things.
10 Chris Howard (Gabrielle Union)
Retired NFL running back, Chris Howard was once married to actress Gabrielle Union, NBA star Dwyane Wade’s current wife. Many of Union’s family and friends felt Howard was no match from her from the start. Union confessed that even she knew it wasn’t going to last after Howard proposed to her while eating fried chicken. She says she was just after the ring and very naïve. However, for Howard, it was the real deal.
Five years after they wed, Union filed for divorce. She was never really happy with the relationship, and trash talked Howard to the media. But you never heard Howard say anything negative about Union. After their divorce was announced, the pair remained close. Seeing as Union now lays with Wade, that’s probably not the case anymore.
9 Lamar Odom (Khloe Kardashian)
Lamar Odom, former Los Angeles Laker baller, met Khloe Kardashian in 2009. They were literally married three weeks later. The whole Kardashian crew even approved of Odom. He was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in 2011 and his game play and their relationship started to falter.
Odom and Kardashian were continuously struggling to conceive a baby, which contributed to the beginning of their downfall. Soon the relationship became plagued with rumours of Odom’s drug addiction and cheating. By 2013, Khloe couldn’t take anymore and filed for divorce. Odom’s life fell apart fast after that. In 2015, Odom had a near fatal drug overdose and was resting unconscious on a ventilator. Kardashian was by his side for support but did not want to get back together. He still has a ton of love for her to this day and congratulated her on her current pregnancy saying, “she’ll be a good mother.”
9. Colin Kaepernick (Brittany Renner)
Former San Francisco 49er, Colin Kaepernick made big headlines when he kneeled during the National Anthem, but before that he made the news for being linked with the gorgeous Fitness model, Brittany Renner. Before Renner dated a ton of other athletes, she connected with Kaepernick. She posted to her Instagram page announcing that she was pregnant and Kaepernick was the father. The NFL star quickly clapped back saying he is definitely not the father.
It turns out Renner wasn’t pregnant, and it’s not clear why she posted that, but she says she never claimed to be pregnant by the footballer. Since the controversy struck, Renner moved on to other athletes, including NBA rising star Ben Simmons and no doubt Kaepernick must be left sitting (jobless) wondering what could have been if he humoured Renner’s intentions.
8 Kevin Durant (Monica Wright)
When two people can connect on more than one level, things really seem to spark. That’s exactly what happened for these high school sweethearts, Golden State Warrior baller Kevin Durant and WNBA star Monica Wright. The two were engaged for a year before Wright ended it all. She did not agree with Durant’s “un-Christian” lifestyle and he cheated on her during their relationship. Durant was devastated over the split and publicly confessed he wondered if he would ever find a love like that again.
He knew he wasn’t ready for a relationship like the one he had with Wright, but he didn’t want to be alone forever. Rumours spread in 2016 claiming the pair reunited and would soon be exploring marriage again. It was said Durant was finally ready to embrace Wright’s love, but since then nothing more has been said for the couple.
7 Dana Brooke (Dallas McCarver)
Dana Brooke is the beautiful bodybuilder, model and WWE star whose real name is Ashley Mae Sebera. Brooke was dating popular bodybuilder, Dallas McCarver before his tragic early death in 2017. She was understandably devastated to learn of his death. Just minutes before McCarver choked to death in his home, he was on the phone with Brooke and told her he loved her.
Brooke still feels all the love in the world for the late McCarver and calls him her “swolemate.” She says he was the only one who ever understood her, and he was her entire life. While others saw his big strong physique, she made clear she saw him for his heart. She plans to start a charity in the 26-year-old bodybuilding wonder’s name. Brooke believes McCarver will be her guardian angel for life.
6 Carmelo Anthony (La La Anthony)
NBA superstar Carmelo Anthony has been married to his wife La La since 2010, but some nasty rumours and cheating incidents lead the power couple to split indefinitely. It became common knowledge within the sports world that Anthony was not faithful to his wife. Insiders revealed Anthony would justify cheating by saying, “La La is married; I’m not.”
Their rocky marriage came to a complete halt when Anthony got his mistress, Mia Angel Burks pregnant. Anthony has since accepted the pregnancy and promises to help Burks in any way he can. However, he remains legally married to La La. In recent months, La La and Anthony have been spotted apparently rekindling their romance and working on their relationship (most likely because they, too, share a son together). Those closest to the couple say Anthony is willing to do anything to win La La back, including renewing their wedding vows.
5 Matt Hardy (Lita)
Matt Hardy, one part of famed WWF duo, the “Hardy Boyz,” developed a romantic relationship with popular WWF wrestler, Lita (Amy Dumas) when she joined Hardy and his brother, Jeff, to form Team Xtreme. Hardy and Lita became inseparable both in the ring and out. They shared a love for wrestling and a strong motivation to reach their goals. However, after several injuries affected Lita’s ability to continue wrestling, the well-liked duo started to drift.
Hardy continued travelling with the WWF and pushing himself 100 percent, but Lita had to stay and search for purpose outside of wrestling. After five years, Lita saw her relationship with Hardy coming to an end in 2005. Lita ended up cheating on Hardy with WWF wrestler, EDGE. Hardy found out by discovering a revealing voicemail from EDGE on Lita’s phone. Hardy moved on, but his tumultuous relationship with Lita is one hard to forget.
4 Aaron Rodgers (Olivia Munn)
Green Bay Packers’ quarterback, Aaron Rodgers is now dating NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, but before Patrick came movie star Olivia Munn and Munn is hardly one to easily walk away from. Rodgers and Munn began dating toward the beginning of 2014. When the pair were together, they were a very popular, high-profile couple. Munn was always by Rodgers side during press conferences and cheering him on at games. In a way, her career took a pause for him. But after three years together, the stress of their every day lives began to get in the way.
Rodgers’ family did not like Munn and reportedly thought she was too controlling. The mutual split happened in 2017, with Rodgers claiming having their relationship in the public eye was difficult and definitely put a strain on things. Opinions from society took a major toll on what could have been a whirlwind romance.
3 Larry Fitzgerald (Brooke Stewart)
Not much was known about NFL’s Larry Fitzgerald’s girlfriend, Brooke Stewart before their relationship disappeared. Fitzgerald has previously been described as “too nice,” and maybe that played a role in the end of their courtship. Stewart is a former college basketball player and current Las Vegas VIP server at Pure Night Club. She and Fitzgerald met while she was attending college in Pittsburgh.
Stewart was able to bring serenity to Fitzgerald’s hectic life and based on her Twitter feed she seems to be close to his family. However, the rumoured relationship has since been rumoured over, and Fitzgerald and Stewart were never really spotted out together. When you find a connection with someone who calms your crazy, it probably is best to keep it out of the spotlight, though.
2 Julian Edelman (Adriana Lima)
New England Patriot’s wide receiver just experienced a sad lost to the Philadelphia Eagles during Super Bowl LII, but before the game (in the beginning of 2017) he went through an even more devastating loss. Edelman was casually dating supermodel and Victoria Secret Angel, Adriana Lima for several months. They were definitely the hot “it” couple out there during the time and loved having fun together.
Edelman reportedly thought things were just chill between them, but Lima felt it was more serious. She wanted him forever and brought up the heavy topic of having kids together. Edelman, not ready for kids yet, got seriously spooked and that was the beginning of the end for them. Immediately after the break up, they completely iced each other. However, just a couple of months later, the duo was spotted out partying together once again.
1 Rick Fox (Vanessa Williams)
Forty-eight-year-old former Los Angeles Laker star, Rick Fox was married to actress Vanessa Williams from 1999 to 2004. They were everyone’s favourite Hollywood couple during their time, but even the happiest pair has dark secrets.
Williams’ mother, Helen Williams, knew her daughter’s marriage to the NBA star wouldn’t last because Fox was very immature at the time and had no idea what it would take to be dating a celebrity. Even in the era before social media, Fox was caught cheating on Williams and the revealing photos were published in the National Enquirer. The couple, who lived on opposite sides of the coast, became even more separated after that incident. Their divorce really didn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but many wonder how an older, more mature Fox would get along with Williams.