For the first time since their split up last year, Shailene Woodley discussed her ex-fiance, Aaron Rodgers, saying she had gained a lot of wisdom from her first “public” romance. The Big Little Lies star claimed in an interview with Porter that the public’s curiosity about their relationship felt “violating,”, especially on social media.
“It honestly never really hit me that millions of people around the world were actually watching these things and paid attention to them. Then, I dated somebody in America who was very, very famous,” she explained. “It was the first time that I’d had a quote-unquote ‘famous‘ relationship, and I watched [the] scrutiny, opinions, the desire for people to know my life and his life and our life — it just felt violating in a way that, before, it was fun.”
Since joining Instagram in 2016, Woodley has frequently posted about politics and other interests. Social media changed when she started dating the Green Bay Packers quarterback in 2020. Throughout their one-year relationship, Woodley’s posts came under scrutiny.
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“I’m a very private person, and so I found that any time I posted anything, I instantly felt like I was sharing too much of who I am with people I didn’t necessarily trust,” she added.
During the pandemic, Rodgers, 39, and Woodley, 31, started dating covertly. Weeks after their romance became known to the world, they declared that they were dating and engaged. Yahoo Entertainment confirmed the couple called off their wedding in February 2022. Even after the broken engagement made headlines, they continued to be seen together. They allegedly put a halt to things permanently that spring.
While her personal life was in disarray, Woodley pushed herself into her job as she filmed Three Women, an upcoming show based on Lisa Taddeo’s New York Times bestselling investigation into the sex lives of women in America.
“It was hard to film because I was going through the darkest, hardest time in my life; it was winter in New York, and my personal life was shitty, so it felt like a big pain bubble for eight months,” recalled Woodley. “I was so grateful that at least I could go to work and cry and process my emotions through my character.”
Since then, the actress deleted Instagram from her phone. Woodley stated that she is putting greater emphasis on being present and is already taking advantage of the inner calm that aging brings.
“I’ve always loved getting older, but it’s almost like I feel an exhale; I’ve been waiting so long to experience not giving a f*** about what other people think about me and my life and the choices I make,” she declared. “I’m so excited to continue letting go of so many of the things that controlled me in my twenties; to really experience the joy of life in a way that, when you’re younger, is more difficult to experience — because it’s controlled by the way you were raised instead of the identity that you create as your own person.”