Red Flags In Aaron Rodgers And Shailene Woodley's Relationship

Ever since they first announced their quickie engagement, Aaron Rodgers and Shailene Woodley have sent tongues wagging. Many were left blindsided by the NFL quarterback and nature-loving "Divergent" star hooking up, since the pair appear so... divergent. She's a clay-consuming free spirit; he's a hot-headed Cheesehead. While the hippie-esque Woodley may seem like she ain't no quarterback girl, she actually seems to have a thing for sports stars, having previously dated Rugby player Ben Volavola.

Alas, in February 2022, Woodley and Rodgers reportedly called off their engagement a year after they first announced their plan to tie the knot. Since then, there has seemingly been no end to the tea surrounding the sadly departed lovers. From a seemingly sketchy relationship timeline to Rodgers' controversial views, it appears as though there might have trouble in paradise from the outset. But let's be honest, Woodley was never going to let a man hinder her from living her truth. Rodger that.

Whether it was true love or doomed from the start, watching the unusual twosome's romance pan out was sending us. But now that we no longer have the couple's bizarre social media posts to amuse us, it's become clear that there may have been some glaring red flags staring these former flames right in the face. What exactly was the fault in these stars that led to their speedy breakup? Let's take a deep dive into the red flags in Aaron Rodgers and Shailene Woodley's relationship.

They hooked up right after Aaron Rodgers' breakup

In 2020, Aaron Rodgers split with his girlfriend of two years, racing driver Danica Patrick, and appeared to move onto Shailene Woodley almost immediately. There may even be parallels between Rodgers' relationships with the two women. For instance, Patrick told Jenny McCarthy that she and Rodgers hastily became an item. Likewise, when it was first announced that Rodgers and Woodley had hooked up, the same pattern seemed to emerge, with insiders expressing concern at their speedy blossoming romance. "It was a surprise that they got so close so quickly. ... It really felt like one day he was with Danica Patrick, and then suddenly he was with Shailene. It happened super fast," a source told People.

A potentially major early red flag in Rodgers' and Woodley's romance is the supposed overlap between his relationship with Patrick. In April 2020, Patrick told People that she and Rodgers were isolating together amid the first wave of the coronavirus. A few months later, Woodley would reveal that she was doing the very same with her new beau.

That July, Us Weekly reported that Patrick had unfollowed Rodgers on Instagram. Concurrently, sports gossip site Terez Owens alleged that Rodgers and Woodley had hooked up, which supposedly led to his split from Patrick, who was allegedly "devastated." It should be noted, though, that these claims haven't been confirmed as anything other than gossip. However, an insider did allege to Hollywood Life that Patrick was "griev[ing]" the relationship's end and had wanted marriage and children.

COVID forced them together

Ironically, it took a deadly pandemic to bring Aaron Rodgers and Shailene Woodley together. Hooking up at the height of the biggest global pandemic in recent history doesn't exactly sound like the makings of a lifelong romance. In fact, quarantine can negatively affect relationships

Speaking with Shape, Woodley revealed that she and Rodgers were pretty much forced to move in together because of COVID-19 lockdowns. "Starting a relationship where you immediately move in with someone — because it's a pandemic and you can't just get on a plane and go back and forth on weekends — taught us a lot about each other very quickly," she said. "We jumped in headfirst and got some of the sticky bits out of the way early."

There's just one apparent issue with Woodley's admission. She mentioned that she spent the first three months of quarantine alone, which was hard on her. "I was by myself with my dog and didn't see anyone for three months," she admitted. But California, where Woodley and Rodgers resided during lockdown, implemented a stay-at-home order in March 2020. This potentially implies that she met and moved in with Rodgers in June 2020, as opposed to July as previously reported, seemingly confirming the allegedly sketchy details surrounding his split from Danica Patrick. Big yikes. Although we can't say for certain, perhaps Rodgers' apparently overlapping cohabitation with Patrick is what Woodley was referring to when she said the couple were able to get over "the sticky bits" at the inception of their romance.

Their engagement seemed too hasty

Mere months after getting together, Aaron Rodgers and Shailene Woodley announced that they were engaged. Woodley confirmed the exciting news during a February 2021 appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," revealing that the pair had actually "been engaged for a while," but kept the deets top secret.

What makes the whole situation even more confusing is comments made by Woodley in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Opening up about her surprise announcement, the actor revealed that she and Rodgers had been engaged for many months prior to making it public. "We didn't do it for months and months after we had become engaged, but the reaction to it was really a lot, and so we were like, 'Let's just politely decline [to talk about the relationship] for a little while and live in our little bubble,'" she divulged. At this point, the couple had been together for around seven to eight months, making it increasingly probable that Rodgers got down on one knee pretty much from the outset of their whirlwind romance.

Indeed, many expressed their shock at the hurried nature of the engagement, with some insiders pondering whether Woodley was a "rebound" following Rodgers' sudden breakup with Danica Patrick. "It was so fast that at first, we thought she was just a rebound," a source told People. "Everyone thought it was a casual thing because that's what he was telling everyone, even when it was clearly not a casual thing."

Aaron Rodgers has some questionable views

Much has been made of Aaron Rodgers' controversial views, and Shailene Woodley's defense of said views. Notably, he was accused of pandering to the right when he appeared on "The Pat McAfee Show" to critique the so-called "woke mob" in November 2021. Regarding his refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccination (as well as being caught in a lie on his immunization status), Rodgers said, "I realize I'm in the crosshairs of the woke mob right now. So, before my final nail gets put in my cancel culture casket, I would like to set the record straight on so many of the blatant lies that are out there about myself." 

He went on to claim that he's "a critical thinker" as opposed to "an anti-vax flat earther," and also revealed that he received coronavirus advice from Joe Rogan, who infamously promotes the use of FDA-unapproved horse dewormer to treat COVID-19 in lieu of a vaccine. Most problematically, Rodgers quoted Martin Luther King, Jr. to buttress his anti-vax stance. The New Yorker slammed Rodgers for invoking Dr. King, as well as his vaccine stance, branding the NFL quarterback a "selfish individualis[t]." But there was one person supporting Rodgers and that was, of course, Woodley. 

On her Instagram Stories (via the Independent), she swooped in to her beau's defense, attacking the media and making strange references to Rodgers' penis size in the process. The Green Bay Packer may be packing heat, but The Daily Beast condemned Woodley for justifying her boyfriend's problematic views, arguing that love doesn't mean defending one's partner at any cost.

The couple reportedly refused to 'debate' their differences

Debate is a "healthy" part of a relationship, with dating coach Tray Kearney telling Real Simple that debating "helps you identify with how your partner communicates." Kearney added that "healthy debates" should not lead to arguments. However, a red flag in Aaron Rodgers and Shailene Woodley's relationship was their alleged refusal to debate their differences.

"They are not talking about their politics, and they never really have," an insider told People. "They disagreed on a lot of things. Early on, they decided to agree to disagree about things and not debate them." The source further claimed that, when it came to her political convictions, Woodley was definitely the main character in the relationship, "so Aaron hasn't even tried" to sway her in a different ideological direction. Rodgers and Woodley's alleged inability to discuss their political differences may have signified an unspoken tension between the two. The fact that their political leanings were apparently so divergent — to the point that they couldn't even mention them — seems sus.

In terms of what those distinct political differences are, Woodley is an avowed Bernie Sanders supporter and staunch environmentalist, as she detailed in an interview with The Daily Beast. While Woodley feels the Bern, her ex appears to be on the opposite end of the political spectrum. As Rolling Stone notes, the quarterback's espousal of election fraud conspiracies led to support from Trumpists, including from former Donald Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington, who quoted Rodgers in a tirade against so-called vote tampering.

Aaron Rodgers allegedly 'neglected' Shailene Woodley

According to some insiders, football was the No. 1 priority for Aaron Rodgers. Subsequently, Shailene Woodley reportedly felt that her fiancé was neglecting her. "While Shailene is supportive of Aaron's career, he put football first and they were barely spending any time together," an insider told In Touch. "She felt he neglected their relationship. Neither of them was happy." The source went on to claim that Woodley was somehow stifling Rodgers' independence, leading to the NFL star having "cold feet" about marrying his fiancée.

There's no denying that Rodgers' passion has always been football. Per USA Today, during an initially faltering performance against the Chicago Bears in October 2021, he infamously yelled in part, "I own you! All my f***ing life, I own you!" to the opposition's fans. The rowdy display not only emphasized his commitment to the game, but his unfiltered and unyielding persona. Speaking with ESPN, he admitted that the outburst came in a fit of rage that he scarcely remembers. "I looked up in the stands, and all I saw was a woman giving me the double bird," he recalled. "I'm not exactly sure what came out of my mouth next." Such is his resounding dedication to football, but for Woodley, this apparently meant taking a backseat to her beau's first love.

Perhaps tellingly, when Rodgers accepted the MVP Award at the NFL Honors in February 2021, he only briefly uttered in his otherwise football-filled speech that he had become engaged, but didn't mention Woodley by name.

He didn't mention her once in his 2022 MVP speech

Speaking of Aaron Rodgers allegedly neglecting Shailene Woodley, when he won the MVP Award for the fourth time at the 2022 NFL Honors, he didn't mention his fiancée once, raising substantial red flags. Instead, he cryptically referred to his "inner circle — you know who you are" and his "Friday night crew." 

In a bizarre twist, Woodley's mom, Lori, actually liked a tweet congratulating Rodgers on his Shailene-devoid speech, as pointed out by Awesemo. Could this mean that Lori Woodley was glad the NFL star omitted her daughter's name from the speech, and was thus out of her life? Or perhaps this was a madcap attempt by Lori to enamor the estranged lovers toward each other again? Of course, this is all speculation. But whatever the reason, it's apparent that, by this point, things were pretty much over for the duo.

Accordingly, insiders have singled out the fact that Woodley didn't seem to be at the center of her fiancé's world, as reflected not just in this MVP speech, but the previous year's also. "The person who didn't get the focus was Shailene," a source dished to Hollywood Life, noting that Woodley "just wanted more support from Aaron that just didn't happen." Subsequently, the insider claimed, it was Rodgers' alleged dispassion towards Woodley that ultimately led to them calling it quits: "She wanted to have him be more present and invested in her. ... She thought she was taken for granted and it led to the [downfall of the] romance."

Was Aaron Rodgers pressured to consider retirement?

Approaching the age of 40, Aaron Rodgers is admittedly older than the average NFL player. As such, retirement isn't an outlandish idea for a man who has reached monumental career heights. According to a source who spoke to Life & Style (via Suggest), Woodley was allegedly urging Rodgers to retire and imposing her values on him, having supposedly "turned big, tough Aaron into a wimp." The insider — rather dubiously, it must be noted — continued, "She'll scold him like a kid — like she's his mother." However, as Suggest's Gossip Cop pointed out, there is "no evidence to support" this theory.

Nevertheless, Rodgers' career did seem to be at the forefront of many of the couple's issues. At the height of their relationship in the fall of 2021, Rodgers was accused of not putting in his A-game for the Green Bay Packers, leading to a furious response from the quarterback. On "The Pat McAfee Show," he rallied against claims that he had adopted a nonchalant attitude toward the game, claims that coincided with his romance with Woodley. "It's absolute horses**t to give a platform to people who have no idea what they're talking about as far as my mental state ... my focus, my work habits," he said.

Perhaps it was this career pressure that spelt the end of the once loved-up pair's whirlwind romance. As a source told CNN following their breakup, "They grew apart, both have busy careers and unfortunately their relationship took a backseat."

He celebrated his birthday without Shailene Woodley

When Aaron Rodgers celebrated his 38th birthday in December 2021, not only was Shailene Woodley nowhere to be seen, but she didn't publicly wish her beau a happy birthday on social media, per Yahoo! News. A couple of months later, Woodley was snapped sans her engagement ring in photos published by the Daily Mail, sending tongues wagging.

However, those close to Rodgers and Woodley said that not celebrating birthdays wasn't actually unusual for the couple, who had "a different, non-traditional relationship." As a source explained to People following Rodgers' girlfriendless b-day celebration, "Shailene and Aaron are still together. It's not odd they don't post about each other on their birthdays in that sense, and are very private about things."

The pair may have been "non-traditional" in other ways, too. On a number of separate occasions, Woodley has questioned the value of monogamy and revealed in a 2020 interview with The New York Times that she was once in an open relationship. "I think we're in a day and age where there should be no rules except for the ones designed by two people in a partnership — or three people, whatever floats your boat!" she said. Also, she previously told Marie Claire that she doesn't "even know if humans are genetically made to be with one person forever." While hinting at being polyamorous is by no means a red flag, it doesn't appear that Rodgers shared Woodley's view, having always been in long term, monogamous relationships.

Shailene Woodley admittedly uses relationships as a distraction

In April 2020, Shailene Woodley opened up about her love life and gave some major clues as to what problems she and Aaron Rodgers may have gone on to experience much later. The actor revealed that, more often than not, relationships were a mere distraction as opposed to a reflection of true and everlasting love. "I was trying to use relationships to distract me from getting to know myself," she told Bustle, noting that, due to the COVID-19 lockdown at the time, "I can't run from myself. I can try, but my house is not that big."

It seems like a red flag that Woodley's days of quarantining alone soon came to an end when she met Rodgers, perhaps signifying that he was a distraction from Woodley having to isolate on her lonesome. This wouldn't be the last time Woodley would give clues about her relationship troubles. 

In a column for Leo in 2021, at the height of her romance with Rodgers, she admitted to having bedroom problems in relationships. "To be quite honest, it has happened more than once in my life," she revealed, adding that a partner may seem perfect "until you wake up, and realize that that person doesn't make you feel safe, or seen, or heard." Was she referring to her then-fiancé? Considering her not-so-humble brag at the size of Rodgers' appendage, maybe not. But then again, perhaps the lady doth protest too much?

Aaron Rodgers called having a break 'a good thing'

Space may be healthy for couples, but too much space — and looking forward to being away from one's partner — usually indicates a red flag. In a September 2021 interview with Haute Living, Aaron Rodgers pretty much admitted that he wanted time apart from Shailene Woodley. Regarding his season in Wisconsin, which entailed four whole months away from his lady love, the Green Bay Packers star was surprisingly positive. Happy, even. This seems rather unusual for a couple who, according to insiders who chatted to E!, shared "a very intense connection."

"It's a busy work time for her, so [my decision] probably came at a good time for both of us to be able to focus on our work," Rodgers told Haute Living. He went on to muse that the several months-long break would be beneficial for the pair, seemingly suggesting that there may have been trouble in paradise. "I think it's going to be a good thing," he said. "I mean, her work was shut down for an entire year [during the coronavirus pandemic], and she's booked a number of projects."

However, a source told E! that Woodley didn't exactly share her man's enthusiasm for spending an extended period of time apart. "They don't like to be apart for too long and are looking forward to being back in the same place again," the insider claimed. The publication noted that the move to Wisconsin would separate the couple by an eye-watering 1,400 miles.

Some claim Aaron Rodgers was the 'jealous' type

Jealousy can be an encumbrance to any relationship. In particular, men attempting to put the kibosh on their female partner having guy friends is, as dating expert Sonya Kreizman told Insider, "a red flag for jealousy and control." If gossip is to be believed, this was apparently an issue for Shailene Woodley and Aaron Rodgers.

A source alleged to British mag OK! that the couple's relationship was hindered by Rodgers' supposed jealousy. "She felt Aaron can be too jealous and controlling," the insider claimed. They added that, while the couple was generally free-spirited, Rodgers was allegedly unhappy with Woodley seeing her male pals "even though those relationships were totally platonic," leading to him "grilling her all the time and she felt suffocated." The source went on to allege that Rodgers was attempting "to cage her in."

Tellingly, Woodley previously explained to Elle that she would not tolerate a man who tried to stifle her. "You're somebody who holds me high, keeps me safe, you've got my f***in' back. ... You also love me whole, wild and free," she gushed of her ideal partner, emphasizing the importance of a lover allowing her to be her true authentic self. If Rodgers did attempt to control Woodley, then that's something that would undoubtedly have led to the dissolution of their romance. And, if anyone thinks the headstrong actor would tolerate such behavior, well that's a big little lie.

These two had vastly different interests

When Shailene Woodley first discussed her engagement to Aaron Rodgers on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," she confessed that she had no interest in football. When she first met Rodgers, she "knew he was a football guy," but other than that, she had no idea "what kind of a football guy he was." While Woodley divulged that she didn't understand sports, she said she was attempting — or rather, struggling — to embrace football for Rodgers' sake. "I don't get it. ... I don't know him as a football guy. I know him as, like, the nerd who wants to host 'Jeopardy!' That's the dude I know," she admitted to Fallon.

It appears that the stars simply weren't aligned for these two wholly different personalities. For instance, Woodley is famed for her unconventional interests. As she explained to In the Gloss, she eats clay, gives her lady parts a healthy dose of vitamin D (the sun, obviously), and only shampoos once a month. Meanwhile, Rodgers' interests and hobbies lie firmly in sports. Speaking with the Green Bay Packers' website, he cited his main hobby as golf, though he also plays the guitar and has a knack for karaoke.

This great disparity in the pair's passions seems to have been their downfall. As a source revealed to Us Weekly, "They thought they were a good match for each other in the beginning but the more they got to know each other they realized their careers, their interests [and] their political views weren't aligned."

Shailene Woodley hinted at trouble in paradise

On a number of occasions, Shailene Woodley has divulged illuminating details about her romantic sensibilities, both before and during her dalliance with Aaron Rodgers. In 2020, the actor told The New York Times that, while she is open to a partner having a different worldview to her own, she cannot be with someone whose differing sensibilities negatively impact her or lead to irresponsible behavior. "But there has to be a level of responsibility in any relationship dynamic, and that responsibility is simply honesty and communication and trust. Apart from that, it's really none of our business what people choose to do with their lives," she stated.

In November 2021, Woodley posted a cryptic message on her Instagram Story (via Page Six), which read, "Calm Seas May Bring You Peace, But Storms Are Where You'll Find Your Power," which possibly hinted at her apprehension amidst the Rodgers COVID-19 vaccination fiasco, and thus her apparent cold feet.

This aligns with post-breakup comments made by Rodgers, who admitted that he regretted the way in which his past behaviors, specifically his anti-vax remarks, negatively impacted his former fiancée. During yet another appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show" in February 2022 (via Yahoo! Entertainment), he acknowledged that his vaccine comments harmed Woodley, aka Shai. "But I am very sorry to those people — Shai, and my loved ones. ... To those people, I just want to say I'm sorry. I never meant to get you in the middle of it," he lamented.