How Gwyneth Paltrow's Brad Falchuk Romance Differs From Her Past Failed Relationships

Gwyneth Paltrow has some serious cred when it comes to her list of relationships. She's dated some of Hollywood's most sought-after (at the time) bachelors, like Ben Affleck, and rejected some, too, such as Leonardo DiCaprio. But as they say, not all that glitters is gold, and Paltrow has the breakups to prove it. The Goop founder opened up about how her past failed relationships provided her with hard lessons and valuable insight about what it takes to make a marriage work.

Speaking with Anna Faris — who also has had her share of heartbreak — on her podcast "Anna Faris Is Unqualified," the two women got honest about what has changed in their relationships over the years. After several short-lived romances, Paltrow was engaged to Brad Pitt before marrying "Coldplay" frontman Chris Martin in 2003. The pair divorced, or should we say "consciously uncoupled," — a term she first used on her website — in 2014, opening the door for Paltrow to marry her current husband, Brad Falchuk. As Paltrow explained to Faris, Falchuk is a man who "demands presence and intimacy and communication," which is a complete 180 from her previous partners.

Brad Falchuk doesn't let Gwyneth shutdown

Speaking to Anna Faris about what's changed about her taste in partners and relationship dynamics throughout the years, Gwyneth Paltrow highlighted a factor that can end many romances — not figuring out who you are before trying to be you plus someone else. Paltrow explained that she was "trying to work s*** out with [partners] that I had no business trying to do in a romantic relationship, it was work that I needed to do myself."

The "Iron Man" star spoke to Vogue about her conscious uncoupling from ex-husband Chris Martin, echoing her self-work sentiments, "There existed aspects of myself I was trying to heal through this relationship that I wasn't honest with myself about." Even though she hated the idea of divorce, Paltrow admitted to Faris that she learned much about herself through the separation process, saying divorce taught her so much about accountability that it paved the way for success in her marriage to Brad Falchuk.

Paltrow's husband "demands that I am honest with myself in a way that is hard for me." When she tries to fall into her old habits of running away from confrontation, Falchuk demands a sit-down conversation where they can figure things out together. Paltrow concluded that her past failed relationships combined with Falchuk's perseverance "really [help] me grow."

She claims it's her first real adult relationship

Gwyneth Paltrow has a laundry list of lovers, but her marriage to Brad Falchuk is what she describes as her first real adult relationship. Speaking to The Sunday Times, the "Glee" actor said, "Now, for the first time, I feel I'm in an adult relationship that is sometimes uncomfortable, because he sort of demands a certain level of intimacy." She noted that she may have subconsciously chosen men who feared intimacy in her prior relationships so that she never had to put in work, and when the romance fell apart, she could take the blame off of herself.

According to her, "I had two typical types of relationships: one where I was constantly chasing and trying to win someone over, and one where I was put off by the person's capacity for the relationship." But with Falchuk, that's not the case, as the producer requires more of her and on a deeper level. She explained to Today that she's very thankful for her relationship with her husband, as it's one that's been built on a deep friendship and grown.

Paltrow is proof that it doesn't hurt to take a step back from dating and relationships to find out who you are and what you want in a partner. She met the man of her dreams in middle age, illustrating that it's never too late for love (including self-love)!