Surprised? Not surprised? We've seen it all before, after all.
More than two years after ending an engagement that never seemed to make much sense in the first place, Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth were spotted canoodling at a concert in his native Australia over the weekend. We were told that the sexy stars were "cuddling and kissing" during the outing and—even wilder—a whole bunch of Liam's fellow Hemsworths were in attendance as well!
But back together? It's possible, but there are so many reasons to think not.
First of all, Miley and Liam have—maybe not the whole time, but overall—remained friendly since calling off their nearly four-year relationship (16 months of which they spent engaged) in September 2013. The breakup seemed to suspiciously coincide with the aftermath of Miley's uber-controversial performance at the MTV Video Music Awards that year, but surely they had their other reasons (not least of them being their ludicrously-young-to-marry-in-Hollywood ages).
Even before Miley burst out of her shell that year, these two seemed like an odd duo, personality-wise. Both gorgeous, sure, but aside from co-starring in The Last Song (where they met and fell for each other), the coupling seemed like an obvious case of opposites attracting. Loud-quiet. Extrovert-introvert. Northern Hemisphere-Southern Hemisphere. Etc.
Touchstone Pictures/Sam Emerson
Aside from them both enjoying the respective spoils and pitfalls of fame, Miley and Liam couldn't have spent the last two years in different fashions. While his combination of movie fame and sexy smolder continued its slow burn into our consciousnesses amid the release of two more Hunger Games films and a relative smattering of headlines, Miley went balls-to-the-wall out there, becoming the refreshingly outspoken poster girl for not giving a damn what people think, opening up at length about sexual fluidity and engaging in multiple high-profile hookups. And she even made a little music, sold a few albums and hosted the VMAs this year.
At first glance, it would seem that their paths have done nothing but diverge.
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Hugo Boss
But let's get back to that mutual hotness for a second. As anyone knows who's ever hooked up with an ex, or gotten all-the-way-back-together with an ex after six weeks, six months or six years—it can be tough to stay away. It doesn't matter if you're a celebrity and have eligible men and women blowing up your phone at all hours. As another gal who knows a thing or two about the pull of an ex once sang: "The heart wants what it wants."
And while every couple's different, there is a pattern to these things, and for celebs in particular.
Whether their cozy holiday is an indicator that something more serious is afoot or not, Liam and Miley are merely the latest famous types to fall back into what amounts to a comfort zone when given the opportunity. Ask Katy Perry and John Mayer, who just hung out on New Year's Eve together, about such things. Or better yet, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. Heck, even Kendall Jenner and Harry Styles, more than a year removed from dating speculation, just enjoyed intimate yacht time together.
Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Sony Music Entertainment
Bieber of all people put it pretty succinctly when he told Access Hollywood in November, talking about his Selena-inspired song "What If I Met You in 5 Years": "How true is that? How many people go through life and end up meeting someone and it feels so right, but it's just the wrong time? So many people can relate to that."
Not quite as much for Liam and Miley, who dated for years, but some celebs—such as Kendall and Harry or even Katy and John—spend so much time on the go that they're rarely in the same country as their love interest, let alone available for weekly date nights. There's hardly any time to really get the relationship going, hence the sporadic reunions that inevitably make "Reunited!" headlines and the continued interest in pursuing something if really only to see if it might work out if given a fighting chance.
Add to the absence-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder aspect the pull of exotic locales where these rendezvouses tend to take place: Yachts in the Caribbean, the South of France, the beaches of Australia, Hawaii. There's a reason why it's so easy to "fall in love" on The Bachelor. Can you think of a more potent aphrodisiac than an all-expenses-paid trip to Tahiti or Belize, or VIP treatment aboard a private yacht?
Liam may have been on his home turf, but Miley was on vacation, dammit! When in Byron Bay with your ridiculously hot ex who you still have fond feelings for...
G'day mate, indeed.
And while it's the least romantic of the bunch, there could be another factor that adds to the tendency for celebrity exes to sporadically reunite, one that thankfully is pretty unique to the celebrity world.
Yes, there may be a bit of gamesmanship that factors into all this. There are reasons why it seems like celebs don't stay entirely single for long, not least of them being because, frankly, they often don't. But there's also the increasingly popular pastime of spotting the new hot celeb couple, and therefore any outing with a mystery guy, a mystery girl, a trainer, a stylist, a longtime friend, your BFF's little brother, et al. ends up being fodder for a dating headline.
So whether the former object of your affection goes on to have a relationship with someone else, such as Miley did with Patrick Schwarzenegger; or prominently makes out with someone else, as Miley did with Stella Maxwell; or is just the object of millions of girls' lust, as Harry Styles is; the headlines that even suggest you just might be on the verge of losing an ex for good surely adds a bit of fuel to the urgency fire.
Then, finally, there's the possibility that some of these celebs are meant to be, and they just haven't figured out a way to make it work yet, what with the busy schedules and all. Consider this a friendly reminder that we may be waiting a long time for the likes of 23-year-old Miley, 20-year-old Kendall and 21-year-old Harry to settle down for good.
Hey, no matter the level of seriousness or lack thereof, no matter how short-term or long-term these couplings prove to be in the grand scheme of things, hats off to anyone who's injecting a little more love into the world these days. We'll take celebs crisscrossing the globe to make out over cat fights and thinly veiled sniping any day!