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Aaron Rodgers Wasn’t ‘Focusing’ on Shailene Woodley Relationship Before Split: They Had ‘Differences’ (Exclusive)

Not meant to be. Aaron Rodgers and Shailene Woodley‘s whirlwind romance may have moved a little too quickly before the duo’s split.

Related: Aaron Rodgers and Shailene Woodley's Relationship Timeline

“They certainly had their differences and ultimately their relationship didn’t work,” a source exclusively tells Us Weekly of the former couple. “They thought 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.”

The Green Bay Packers quarterback, 38, “is very passionate about his football career,” and the NFL ended up driving him apart from the Big Little Lies alum, 30, prompting them to end their engagement.

Aaron Rodgers Wasn't 'Focusing' on Shailene Woodley Relationship Before Split: They Had 'Differences'
Aaron Rodgers and Shailene Woodley. David Tulis/UPI/Shutterstock; David Fisher/Shutterstock

“He was focusing more on the sport than on future plans with Shailene,” per the insider.

Rodgers and the Secret Life of the American Teenager alum were first linked in July 2020 following his split from Danica Patrick. Us confirmed in February 2021 that the California native and Woodley were an item, shortly before news broke of their engagement. At the time, the actress told Jimmy Fallon that she had “yet to go to a football game” in support of her then-fiancé.

“I didn’t really grow up with sports, especially American sports,” she said on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. “It was never really on my radar. When we met, also, I knew he was a football guy, but I didn’t know, like, what kind of a football guy he was. And I’m still constantly learning.”

Related: Hollywood’s Broken Engagements: Stars That Didn't Make It Down the Aisle

Woodley teased that she “never thought” she would fall for an athlete “who throws balls for a living,” but gushed, “He’s really just so good at it.”

Though the coronavirus pandemic sped up their romance, the pair spent time apart during the 2021 NFL season. Rodgers, however, was optimistic about the long-distance romance.

“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,” he told Haute Living in September 2021. “I think it’s going to be a good thing. I mean, her work was shut down for an entire year [during the coronavirus pandemic], and she’s booked a number of projects. She enjoys working and her own routine, which I obviously enjoy, too.”

However, the now-exes’ packed schedules proved to be a challenge, with an insider telling Us on Wednesday, February 16, that Rodgers and Woodley weren’t “spending any time together” before calling it quits.

“Shailene has been super busy with work. Everything was so different during lockdown, and they had been living in their bubble,” a second source said. “Friends of Shailene didn’t believe Aaron is the best match for her.”

Related: Aaron Rodgers' Dating History: Shailene Woodley, Danica Patrick and More

Along with his love life, fans have been following Rodgers’ controversial views on the COVID-19 vaccine after he tested positive for the virus in November 2021. At the time, the Super Bowl champ said he was worried the shot might impact his fertility.

“The next great chapter of my life, I believe, is being a father and it’s something that I care about a lot,” he said on The Pat McAfee Show, asserting that he “didn’t lie” about his vaccination status. “And to my knowledge, there’s been zero long-term studies around sterility or fertility issues around the vaccine, so that was definitely something that I was worried about and it went through my mind.”

While Woodley didn’t make her own opinion on the vaccine public at the time, she seemingly referenced the scandal in a cryptic social media post. “Calm seas may bring you peace, but storms are where you’ll find your power,” a quote shared to her Instagram Story in November 2021 read.

With reporting by Diana Cooper

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