Lena Dunham Talks Jack Antonoff Split, Secret Engagement and How Her Hysterectomy Impacts Dating
By Leena Tailor
Lena Dunham is revealing how she was briefly engaged following her high-profile split from Jack Antonoff, and is now on a “hiatus from dating” -- unless the person in question is someone she can start a family with.
“I’d just had a hysterectomy, I’d broken up with my boyfriend, I was in the process of breaking up with my business partner -- I had no business buying a pair of shoes, [let alone] getting engaged,” she says of the difficult period, which saw her grappling with health issues, her breakup and a prescription drug addiction. “Then I just went, ‘You know what? I’ve been dating since I was 15 years old. I’m allowed to take a break.'”
“Sobriety for me means so much more than just not doing drugs,” she adds. “It also means that I abstain from negative relationships. It means I’ve taken a hiatus from dating, which has been amazing for me.”
Having been single for more than two years, describing the period as “the best time of my life,” Dunham also shares that she remains close with Antonoff.
“I look back and we had a great ride, we cared for each other, but you know what? We were both starting our careers and that was our true passion,” she says, reflecting on her relationship with the musician. “The love you have for someone doesn’t disappear because you don’t have them; it’s just logistically it doesn’t work anymore.”
“I love him so much,” she continues. “He is a dear, dear friend of mine. Has it been easy every second? No, it’s not easy to divide life with someone. There are definitely moments where I was catty, rude or sassy, but he has been beautifully accepting of those and I’ve been able to be accepting of his anger too. What’s really nice is we don’t try to pretend that we don’t have this history together, but we’re also willing to move forward.”
The pair met in 2012 through a blind date. After dating for five years, news broke of their breakup in early 2018. A few months later, Dunham was photographed holding hands with a mystery man.
She now says the prospects of starting a family with someone are a significant factor when it comes to dating. However, she doesn't feel the biological clock ticking due to the hysterectomy she underwent to help alleviate symptoms of endometriosis.
"If someone came up to me and they were sweet and asked me to dinner at a pub, or whatever you people do in England, I’d be like, ‘Yeah, totally,’" she says. "Or if they brought Celebrity Love Island back, I would be so tempted. But, for me, the freeing thing about my hysterectomy is that I know that I’m going to become a mother in a non-traditional way, whether it’s through eggs that I’ve frozen or through adoption, and so I’m not stuck in that race."
"I don’t care if I’m in a relationship. Here’s the thing: if I meet someone who I think would be great to raise children with, that’s wonderful, but I’ve compromised on too many things in my life,” she notes. “I’m not going to compromise on that.”