Jennifer Westfeldt and her boyfriend, the actor Jon Hamm, have separated after 18 years.
She’s now 45 so her baby-making years are over.
I bring that up because I read an interview where she said she wanted children but Jon didn’t.
She stayed with him anyway and now…Ooops.
Sure, she might be happy enough. An 18 year relationship is a success story, right?
But not if you’ve compromised on a major story arc.
Then it’s 18 years you can’t get back.
Also, she’s 45 so she’s now a bona fide spinster. Welcome to the club Jen. This bit is for you…
Read my open letter to Spin-sister Charlize (she’s been in and out since I wrote this but it still stands).
I just hope that the 18 years were worth it. That despite his enormous dick he wasn’t an enormous dick to you.
And that you can look back fondly on those almost two decades with some kind of contentment and peace.
If not, good luck making better choices. It’s my new mantra to all women, everywhere.
MAKE. BETTER. CHOICES.
This is true not just of men but of bagels, holiday destinations and hairdressers.
Ironically, all of the above will help you through this rough patch.
I’m spreading the word kids.
(Note to self: Get working on the Spinny book).
But bloody hell. I have a serious girl crush.
And she said I was funny, so we kind of had a love-in.
I’m the worst journalist in the world.
I don’t care.
I like making people laugh.
She called me a bitch.
Go and see Young Adult. I’ve got a feeling you might just love it.
She’s in the Spinster’s “panic room”.
I was there once, and so were many of you.
It caught my eye this weekend that she’s just broken up with summer fling Ryan Reynolds because he wasn’t looking to settle down, and (apparently) she’s desperate to start a family.
She’s 36. I get it.
Her body-clock is currently drowning out every other noise in her head.
Now, or never! Any guy will do!
Trouble is, guys smell desperation a mile off.
Charlize might be eminently fuckable but she’s now a “woman of a certain age.”
She’s at the tipping point where men realise that she’s a threat to their freedom.
There’s no playing with a woman of her age.
She’s ready to be a mother, and it’s just dawned on her that she’s sitting in last-chance baby saloon.
She’s on a full scale sperm-donor alert.
I have no idea why she stayed with her ex for nine long years but to break up with someone at 35 is reckless if you want to start a family.
Sorry ladies but forget romance and flowers – if you’re in your mid to late thirties, and want a family, you have to go after a man who maybe meets half your exacting requirements with a lazer-sharp focus.
Charlize has the edge over us ordinary mortals in that she’s a gorgeous, multi-millionaire movie star.
Chances are she’ll find someone to have babies with, and the fairytale will continue.
But panic mode is not the best state of mind for any woman, especially when it comes to making decisions that will affect the rest of your life.
Her dating choices from now on will be erratic.
Her nights will be sleepless.
I’m not saying I don’t have any regrets at not being a mum (I do), but at 43 I’m pretty certain my baby-making days are over. The one blessing (if you can call it that) is that I’m no longer living in panic mode. I’m making peace with it day by day.
But at 36-years-old, well that’s the time when you think it’s all still to play for.
All a woman can do at that stage of the game is lay their cards on the table, and jettison the idiots who don’t know what they want.
Good luck, Charlize.
You’re going to need it.
How much of your time do you give to others?
How long do you spend listening to the same stories?
Why don’t we protect our boundaries more?
I think people see single women as easy targets.
“She’s got time to listen.”
“She’s got nothing better to do.”
The irony is that single women, in my opinion, should make themselves less available to others.
We have no-one to care for us, therefore we must care about ourselves more.
I’m not saying be more selfish but more wary of those emotional vampire friends. The ones who seem to think it’s okay to bore your ear off about the boyfriend or husband (because it’s usually the boyfriend or husband), call you up at any hour expecting you drop what you’re doing, or be sympathetic even when you have your own issues going on.
To survive as a single woman, you must be able to say no to these people.
Just because you’re single, doesn’t mean you’re available.
My mother used to tell me that I would make myself too available to my friends. That I would listen too long. Take on too much heartache.
I thought she was being harsh but with hindsight she was right.
Because while I was listening to their relationship woes, their concerns about child-care or career dilemmas, I wasn’t looking after myself.
Not having boundaries hurt me.
The fall-out of having your girlfriends whine, sob or rant for hours is that you end up in a soggy heap on the floor.
While they’ve off-loaded their anxiety, and are skipping out the door to give Blokey once last chance, you are left to clear up the mess.
Many the evening I’ve left the bar or put the phone down utterly depressed.
I think sub-consciously I left the UK to as a way of putting a physical distance between me and the women who were draining me of my precious positive energy. Since I arrived in the States, I’ve got really good at saying no to people.
I have found my boundaries.
I will not always be on the end of the phone to you.
(It doesn’t mean I love you less, it just means I care about myself a little more.)
I don’t have the answers. I’m still looking for my own.
I don’t always care about you. But I do love you.
And I love me too.
And that’s why I have my boundaries.