Tm hoping I will find my happy ever after in 2016′
Actress Roxanne Pallett opens up to Closer’s therapist Emma Kenny about feeling alone, coping with the death of both her grandmother and best friend and her hopes of finding love
EEMMA: How’s this year been for you?
ROXANNE: I guess it’s been a year of reflection – it’s started to occur to me that I’ve spent so long focusing on my career that I’m now about to turn 33 and I’m still single. Allmy friends are getting married, having babies and building a family unit, and there’s me going home to an empty house.
E: Do you feel lonely?
R: My work can make me feel very isolated. I’m often living in a hotel and spending time alone before or after filming a project or on stage, and I don’t have a traditional office set-up with colleagues who become friends, as actors tend to be constantly moving and changing to suit the job. Working away a lot means I end up missing out on social events with friends. The busier I am, the less people want to get in contact as they think they’re bothering me, which isn’t true. When it comes to family, it’s just me and Mum.
E: How come?
R: I’m an only child and my dad left when I was a baby, so Mum and I moved in with my grandma. Aged 16, we had a house fire and lost allour possessions then, later that year, Grandma died. She was like my second mum so losing her was extremely hard.
E: How terrible for you, you’ve suffered a lot of loss…
R: Ten years later, my closest friend tragically died [Roxanne’s friend sadly took her own life in 2009]. I’ve only ever been really close to three people – my mum, my grandma and my best friend, and I lost two out of three.
E: How does that make you feel?
R: It scares me to tears. My mum, Monica, is about to turn 60 and it suddenly occurred to me this year that if I didn’t have her, I’d
have nobody. Not even to spend Christmas with – I’d literally be alone. My mum and my friends would love for me to find a genuinely lovely guy as I’ve often ended up with bad boys who mess me around. My career has always been my distraction for when everything else around me has fallen through. But I’d like more than my dream job now – I’d quite like a happy ever after.
E: What are you doing to find a partner?
R: I like men to do the chasing, so I tend to wait for them to come to me. And they never do! I’m quite old fashioned. I’d love fora guy to just sweep me off my feet.
E: Choosing your partner is an important decision. You’re successful and attractive so perhaps men are intimidated? Some men just don’t have the confidence to ask a woman out. You should put your future into your own hands and asksomeone out.
R: I see where you’re coming from. There’s a guy who’s shown an interest. He hasn’t asked me out and I was waiting, but maybe us girls need to just bite the bullet E: You should! Tell me about your previous relationships.
R: I was with a man who I’d have married –
he was perfect, but we broke up as I was so career-focused, and working away all the time takes its tollon a relationship. I don’t know if any man willever match up to him, as I always compare guys to him. He’s now married with kids and I crumbled when I heard. He’llalways be the one that got away. I’ll always love him.
E: It occurs to me that after everything, you’ve built up this wall around you…
R: My ex did used to be pulling his hair out, telling me to let him in. I find it hard as I’ve been let down so many times.
E: It’s not surprising you worry that everything you love will betaken away. But in order to make a relationship work, you have to let partners feel like they know the real you.
R: You’re right. I’m going to work on that and I’m going to take your advice and maybe I’ll ask someone out! Hopefully 2016 willbe my year as this year has been really lonely. I used to think success meant happiness, but now I’ve realised happiness is the realsuccess.
‚ Roxanne supports the Samaritans (Samaritans.org.uk) and she’s starring in British film The Violators, out next year.
“It was brilliant to speak to Emma and I’ve come away with a lot to think about. I’ve been through a great deal and I think I bottle things up, but Emma’s helped me realise I need to open up more to people and let them see my vulnerable side.‚
“Roxanne has experienced significant losses in her life, which have made her fearful of losing people who get close to her. This has created a defence mechanism and she struggles to let others see her vulnerabilities. But in order to make a relationship work, you have to let down your guard and show your partner every side of you. It is completely understandable that Roxanne is worried about getting hurt, but some additional therapy 1 sessions could help her I deal with the grief and I find peace with her losses, which in turn will benefit her future relationships. It’s clear Roxanne has spent the past decade focusing on her career and while she’s in a fantastic place, she’s now ready to move on to have a partner and a family. This will require her to start facing some of her issues of past losses to ensure she’s emotionally open to this new and exciting phase.‚