Jennifer Lawrence is on the cover of Vogue’s December issue. Per tradition, the issue includes a profile of the actress. As is often the case with celebrities, much of Lawrence’s life is, well, unrelatable. For instance, Forbes revealed that she is the highest-grossing actress in Hollywood, making $52 million last year; although she is frugal by habit, she splurges on private jets because her fame makes flying commercial a hassle. But even if we can’t relate about finances, many of her comments about dating sound all too familiar.
“I can’t wait to be married,” she says. “I feel like if I find that one person who I want to spend the rest of my life with, who I want to be the father of my children, that I would absolutely not f— it up.” She waits a beat. “But I’m also not banking on that.”
In a separate interview with Diane Sawyer earlier this month, Lawrence said, “I don’t really plan on getting married. I might. I definitely want to be a mother. I don’t really imagine getting married anymore. I don’t feel like I need anything to complete me. I love meeting people, men, women, whatever; I love people coming into your life and bringing something.”
I can’t wait to be married, but I’m not banking on it. How can you be waiting eagerly for something that you’re not really expecting? I don’t feel like I need anything to complete me, but I love people coming into my life. On the surface these notions seem utterly contradictory—but I don’t think they are. In fact, I think they shed light on the difficulty of both maintaining confidence as a single person and remaining open to love.
I am not a relationships expert, but I can speak from personal experience. As a young single woman, I often found myself rejecting the idea of marriage in an effort to establish my confidence as an independent woman. A truly confident single woman would not really want to be married and would not spend any time thinking about it or preparing for it—or so I thought. But that’s not true. It is possible to both like the idea of being married and even prepare for it while not necessarily needing it to feel fulfilled. It is possible to be a complete person with a complete life who also has room for the right person if he comes along.
That’s why I appreciate the apparent ambiguity of Lawrence’s words. She appears to be struggling, like so many women and men, with not falling into the trap of rejecting marriage altogether in a pursuit of some faux notion of independence or confidence. That is a noble goal—one worth the struggle. So, though I may not grace the cover of Vogue or traverse the globe on a private plane, I certainly know what J. Law is talking about when it comes to matters of the heart. And in that, Lawrence seems simply to be setting a good example.
Photo Credit: Getty Images