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When your relationship lives in the spotlight, it withers in the spotlight.

Some celebrities have gone to great measures to keep their private lives private.

Remember Janet Jackson’s eight-year secret marriage to Rene Elizondo, confirmed only when they got divorced?

Not so for Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson, who in the summer quickly confirmed their (what seemed unlikely) pairing via Instagram and matching “Harry Potter” robes.

ariana grande engaged
 (c) Instagram

A reportedly $100,000 engagement ring, $16 million shared New York apartment and some matching tattoos later, they were a full-fledged internet obsession that put their love on display via late-night interviews, award show red carpets and “Saturday Night Live” episodes.

But real life was also happening to these two humans, and the relationship that became the object of endless fascination ended.

 Picture by 247PAPS.TV / SplashNews.com
 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to breaking up while famous, the Pete and Ariana edition.

1. Go silent

The actual news of the breakup doesn’t come directly from the celebrities involved. Instead, all we discover comes from an array of tabloids, citing “unnamed sources” confirming the split.

Ariana Grande engaged
Ariana claims her relationship with Mac Miller was toxic.
(c) Facebook

In the case of “Grandson” (which is Grande plus Davidson), TMZ reported that “it simply was not the right time for their relationship to take off.” Grande’s long-term former boyfriend Mac Miller died in September, and TMZ called out Grande’s tweets about her going through a rough patch.

Messages about how there are no ill feelings between the two get telegraphed in the coverage. People noted that Davidson’s social media accounts were no longer active amid the news, and Grande had previously said she was taking time off from her public life.

2. Return the ring (but keep the pig)

As with any breakup, particularly one that doesn’t seem to involve poisonous rancour, decorum dictates it’s best to return the engagement ring (at least that’s what Miss Manners has to say about it).

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Per TMZ, Grande reportedly gave back the very expensive engagement ring Davidson had given her. Makes sense.

But what about pets?

There’s the matter of Piggy Smallz, the pet pig they had and adored – so much so that Davidson got a likeness of the pig tattooed on his torso.

According to TMZ, the pig remains in Grande’s care: “Ariana bought the pig and it was really hers from the get-go, so she’s keeping it.” Fair enough.

Davidson had previously explained that the pig was her idea, anyway. “Can I just say, this girl, she was like, ‘I want a pig!’ And then an hour later it was just there,” Davidson told Seth Meyers last month. “Like I’m still trying to get a Propecia refill for the last two weeks.”

3. Cover tattoos

(c) Instagram

Forget diamonds – tattoos are forever. Davidson and Grande wasted no time getting tattoos with each other, in another very public proclamation of their affection.

But, when things end, you’re stuck with a tattoo that can be nothing more than a reminder of how things went wrong. And “Grandson” apparently took some immediate measures.

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While all the gossip websites divulge every little detail and eagle-eyed internet sleuths zoom in on every paparazzi photo, you don’t say much about it at all.

(c) Instagram

5. Talk openly about it

If you can’t be truthful in comedy, when can you be? A week after word first broke of a split, Davidson reportedly talked about the breakup in a stand-up set Saturday night at the Largo in Los Angeles, as part of the “Judd and Pete for America – Benefit to Swing Left” event.

(c) Instagram

Davidson cracked jokes that directly addressed his failed relationship, according to E! News.

“Obviously, you know, I, we broke up or whatever but when me and her first got engaged, we got tattoos,” Davidson said. And now, he’s busy “covering a bunch of tattoos.”

“Well, as you can tell, I don’t want to be here,” he told the crowd, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “There’s a lot going on. Anybody have any open rooms? Anybody looking for a roommate?”

Incorporating your pain into your art? The breakup cycle is now complete.

The Washington Post