Did Shakira & Antonio de la Rua's Long Engagement Ruin their Relationship?

Emerging reports that Shakira and fiancé Antonio de la Rua’s split may have been prompted by his dragging his feet to have kids when she was ready to be preggers is no surprise to one relationship expert we asked to help us decode what may have gone wrong in between the singer and her Argentinean fiancé. Licensed relationship coach Darshana Hawks also spoke to us about how couples can successfully work together after a break-up and whether long engagements are ever a good idea.

But first and foremost says Hawks, when it comes to talking about children,  “11 years is too long to wait have that conversation.”

When women fall in love with someone who is not sure about babies, it’s common for us to stick around to see what happens. “That is a huge mistake,” she says. “Move on till you find someone who is compatible with your desires,” she says. “If your partner is wishy-washy about that, chances are, they’re not going to change their mind.”

Long engagements, Hawks says, are also rarely a good idea, unless both people aren’t too interested in marriage but are into the heightened sense of commitment that engagement offers. “If you’re not having conversations about following through with marriage, then you’re going to stay engaged for a long time,” she says. And people stay in long engagements because “it’s safe, because they’re in love with the idea of being engaged—and maybe because deep down inside there’s a knowing that this is not the person, there’s incompatibility.”

Though we don’t know the exact details surrounding Shaki and fiancé/manager De la Rua’s relationship, Hawks suspects that there may have been too much focus on work and not enough on their love connection. “They had so much revolving around work and her business, I do wonder how much intimate time they had together, sharing other interests,” she says. Hawks also reminds us that a successful relationship “is really not about losing your individuality. There are three entities in relationships: each person and the relationship itself. You morph when you come together, but that doesn’t mean you stop being an individual.”

Morphing into an exclusively business relationship shouldn’t be too hard for Shaki and De la Rua, she says, since they were already spending most of their time building the colombiana’s career. As for dating advice, Hawks says Shaki should “take time to know what she wants and learn from her previous relationship as to what she requires.” And of course, “Don’t go into another long-term engagement!”