real life

"Elizabeth Gilbert is proof that where we find love is impossible to predict."

It’s so self-evident it sounds trite to say it:

Love is love.

I’ve been married for a long, long time now and I’ve seen friends marry and divorce, hook up with lovely people and horrible people and not hook up at all.

I’ve seen every possible combination, and what they all have in common is that it’s the two people in a relationship that matter.

Listen: some people know their whole lives, for others it takes a bit longer. Meet the women who didn’t realise they were lesbian until their forties and fifties. Post continues below.

Some people never find that person, or it takes them years and years of loneliness before they do. I have friends, and yes, they are all women who have split up with husbands or partners and 10 years later they are still single. I’m not sure whether it’s self-preservation, tiredness, a desire to cocoon with family, or all three.

With 14 years of separation under her belt and not one boyfriend in that time, one friend made sure she got all her kids to university before she opened herself up to love. She is now moving interstate to be with a man who she has fallen deeply in love with. I’m thinking she did her job, now it’s her turn.

Where we find love is impossible to predict.

Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat Pray Love announced today that she is in love – not just loves – her best friend Rayya Elias, who has terminal pancreatic cancer.


In July the author announced she was separating from her husband and she confirmed today this was a result of her relationship with Elias.

“I do not merely love Rayya; I am in love with Rayya. And I have no more time for denying that truth,” the 47-year-old wrote.

“The thought of someday sitting in a hospital room with her, holding her hand and watching her slide away, without ever having let her [or myself!] know the extent of my true feelings for her… well, that thought was unthinkable.”

It’s a beautiful love story. My friend’s story is a beautiful love story too.

You love who you love when you are ready for love.

And everyone should be allowed to do that.

00:00 / ???