Hear that? That’s the sound of thousands of tongues clucking over the news of Jennifer Aniston’s breakup.
“I mean, first there was Brad Pitt, now this.”
“She’s just so unlucky in love, isn’t she?”
Well, not entirely.
Yes, her two-and-a-half-year marriage to fellow Hollywood actor Justin Theroux has sadly come undone – the pair told Associated Press on Friday that they made the mutual decision to separate at the end of 2017.
But Aniston’s life is not suddenly completely devoid of love.
She is surrounded by a tribe. One that she has (often) said brings her more fulfilment and joy than any romantic relationship.
These “goddesses” were there back in 2005 when she split from husband of five years Brad Pitt. And again after her relationships with Vince Vaughn and John Mayer came to an end.
And it seems the past few weeks – which included her 49th birthday – have been no different.
“Where would you be without friends?” Aniston previously told Red magazine.
“The people to pick you up when you need lifting? As we know, myself and a lot of my friends, we’ve come from homes that were far from perfect, so you end up almost parent and sibling to your friends, and vice versa. Your own chosen family.
“There’s nothing like a really loyal, dependable, good friend. Nothing.”
Of course, some may find it hard not to read those words without a raised eyebrow.
“Friends“, right. You can practically hear “I’ll be there for you” playing in the background.
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But when Aniston talks this way, she does so in earnest, without a hint of comic intent. To her, there is little more beautiful than an a group of women spending time together, celebrating and supporting each other and, crucially, themselves.
As she noted in a 2016 op-ed for The Huffington Post, the relationships we, as a culture, tend to privilege aren’t those between women – it’s those between a woman and her partner or a woman and her children.
While they are undoubtedly important they’re not the only ones of value.
“We don’t need to be married or mothers to be complete,” she wrote. “We get to determine our own ‘happily ever after’ for ourselves.”