At no time did she or the SpaceX billionaire elaborate on being semi- separated. Picture: AP
At no time did she or the SpaceX billionaire elaborate on being semi- separated. Picture: AP

From entanglements to consciously uncoupling: A semi-separation is not going to cut it, either you’re in or out

By Marchelle Abrahams Time of article published Oct 7, 2021

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To say that Grimes and Elon Musk had an unconventional relationship is an understatement. The former couple, both eccentric characters in their own right, went together like chalk and cheese.

And yet, their relationship managed to last at least three years. They even share a child together with a moniker that tops the weirdest names list - X Æ A-Xii.

While their breakup made headlines around the world, the thing that stumped most of us is how they announced it – via a statement with Page Six, saying: "We are semi-separated but still love each other, see each other frequently, and are on great terms.”

Semi-separated – what does that mean? For hours after, the recycled phrase was trending on social media, with many asking the same question. It elicited as much debate as that time Jada Pinkett-Smith turned her messy marriage into an “entanglement”.

Elon Musk, Grimes and their baby boy. Picture: @elonmusk/Twitter

Musk and Grimes first made their relationship public in May 2018, when they attended the Met Gala together after reportedly meeting on Twitter after sharing a joke about artificial intelligence, according to Forbes.

“Musk planned to tweet a pun involving Rococo and a thought experiment called Roko’s basilisk, but Grimes had beaten him to the punch years before, creating a character called ’Rococo Basilisk’ for a 2015 music video,” reported Forbes staff writer Carlie Porterfield.

A few days after announcing their separation, Canadian singer Grimes made light of the fact and joked that she’ll “be colonising (one of Jupiter's moons) Europa separately from Elon for the lesbian space commune."

At no time did she or the SpaceX billionaire elaborate on being semi- separated.

Musk and Grimes first made their relationship public in May 2018, when they attended the Met Gala together. Picture: Reuters

Isn’t that the point of breaking up? Either you’re in or out? There’s no grey area when it comes to relationships. In short, it reminds me of slowly pulling a plaster off a septic wound instead of just doing the quick swipe, and you’re done.

To add confusion to the whole breakup is when Musk admitted his 33-year-old ex still shares a home with him and “Baby X is in the adjacent room.”

We smell a conscious uncoupling-type situation happening here.

The term semi-separating is hardly groundbreaking. First coined in 2017, the Huffington Post first cottoned onto it in 2017. “This is when a marriage is coming to an end, but the couple decides not to leave the marital home and remain living together under the same roof,” wrote divorce coach Sara Davison.

According to Davison, the reason for this strange concept could be the following:

  • Uncertainty as to whether breaking up is the right decision
  • Financial reasons
  • The couple have children and don't want to break up the family environment
  • Lifestyle choice
  • Fear of change and of the unknown future apart
  • The home is part of the family business and cannot be sold without damaging consequences

But that’s not all. Davison notes there are three stages to semi-separation.

Stage 1

The couple take separate bedrooms. “This is easily explained to the children by saying that Dad snores or Mum has to get up early for work,” she added.

Stage 2

The couple alternate weekend child care responsibility.

Stage 3

“The couple will no longer eat together in the evenings and will live separate lives during the week, too,” Davison explained.

In Musk and Grimes’ case, real name Claire Boucher, it looks good on paper. Whether they can pull it off remains to be seen.

In the meantime, Musk has been enjoying the semi-single life. A few weeks ago, he attended a party thrown by Google co-founder Sergey Brin's wife, Nicole Shanahan, alone.

We reckon it’s time to rip off the plaster?

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