Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth: Can we ever really know what goes on in someone else’s relationship?

In happier times. (Mario Anzuoni / Reuters)

For a news reporter attempting to cite other media organizations about the status of a celebrity relationship, a measure of caution must be employed. For what does it really tell us if “sources” say someone is dating or not? Think back to your own relationships and the ambiguous levels of seriousness between the time you first connected and when you broke up. Sometimes you weren’t even able to say if you were in a relationship or not, so how could anyone else rely on the word of your friends/parents/publicist/manager/coat-holder?

And yet: While Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth have not yet set the record straight on the flurry of tabloid rumors claiming their engagement is kaput — and really, shouldn’t it just be their declaration that matters? — we can’t help but notice that People magazine, the most cautious of celebrity journals, finally weighed in after much delay at 3 p.m. Thursday. The young actors, People reports, appear to have “split for now.”

So there you have it.

No, wait. Us magazine says, as of 5 p.m., they are “still talking.” Let’s go back to our first paragraph and leave it at that.

Earlier: Love etc.: Miley Cyrus engaged to one of the Hemsworths, 6/6/12
Which Hemsworth is which anyway?, 5/13/12
Red carpet Kremlinology: Is your relationship status showing?, 2/22/12

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Amy Argetsinger is an editor for the Style section.

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Amy Argetsinger · March 14, 2013