Charlize felt like a failure while watching romantic comedies, but through motherhood, she has realized what it is like to be surrounded by love anyway.

How is Charlize Theron still single?

That’s a question that occupies many a mind when they catch a glimpse of the actress. She’s tall, she’s blonde, she’s strikingly beautiful from head to toe, and if physical attributes weren’t enough, she could comfortably claim to be one of the most successful, talented actresses of her generation, with countless accolades and blockbuster movies to her name. 

However, love isn’t an easy concept to navigate, even if you are the incandescent Charlize Theron. It’s not for the lack of trying, either: the actress has been involved with many men over the years, but none of the relationships managed to stick. While it’s a futile exercise to examine the failures, it could be valuable to delve into her viewpoint and understand how she feels about long-term commitment. 

For starters, she has a bone to pick with romantic comedies. There is nothing wrong with the genre itself, but traditionally, it operates on a happy-go-lucky fantasy structure that seeks to lift us up only to let us down.  Here’s Charlize’s take on the rom-com, and what it says about her dating style.

Charlize Theron felt like the “loser” who couldn’t relate to romantic comedies

Gabe Ginsberg
/WireImage/Getty Images

When promoting her 2019 film Long Shot, a romantic comedy starring herself and Seth Rogen, Charlize opened up about the genre as a whole and why she decided to take a stab at it. Up until this film, Charlize had stayed away from romantic comedies and had instead focused on drama, action, or biographical features, but every actor needs to venture out of their comfort zone at some point or the other. However, romantic comedies are tricky; as opposed to sci-fi or superheroes movies, they are supposed to feature ‘real’ people in ordinary scenarios, seemingly building a bridge of relatability with the audience. The question is: are they believable at all?

I feel like I’m the only loser who has never experienced the third act of most romantic comedies and it just makes me feel very bitter. So I just wanted to feel like I could bring something to the table and I think it’s hard for me to do that kind of fantasy love stuff. 

Charlize Theron via The Irish Examiner

In her mid-forties and still single, Charlize felt like she’d let too many men slip through her fingers. There is no shame about being in the position she’s in — wealthy, gorgeous, and a mother of two — but the way in which some of these movies villainize or even display pity toward single people can be exasperating. Moreover, the happily-ever-after cliché serves to perpetuate how being coupled-up is the ultimate goal; that’s where your journey is headed, and that’s when it can end. 

Charlize had seen enough of the trope and knew she needed to revitalize the genre with some authenticity. She wanted to take part in a story that featured messy people going through pesky challenges paralleling our own reality. “I just wanted to make sure that we would have two characters that felt modern and that we would focus on a relationship that felt real,” she said. 

In the end, the South African native agreed to do the film because she was empowered to bring her own unique perspective to the set. “It’s hard for me to do that kind of fantasy love stuff,” she said, alluding to her series of dating debacles. Thankfully, Seth Roger, the producer of Long Shot, encouraged her to shape a character she felt she could identify with. 

She doesn’t want to get married and is perfectly at peace with single motherhood

Though Long Shot did a lot of work in convincing Charlize of what romance can and should look like, it hasn’t necessarily changed her stance on marriage. The Mad Max lead has always maintained how marriage isn’t pivotal to her, and that it’s never really excited her. “I’ve never wanted to get married. That’s never been something that’s important to me,” she told Howard Stern. She’s not conflicted about her choice; in fact, it’s something she’s always known to be innate to her being. 

I haven’t been in a relationship for a very long time. I never wanted to get married. Those are things that are not hard for me, because they’re innately my truth.

Charlize Theron to Glamour

What baffles people is how a woman who is so apathetic to the notion of marriage can be so passionate about motherhood. Just because you don’t want to tie the knot doesn’t mean you can’t be a mother; in fact, we as a society are conflating two ideas that can exist independently. You can be a great mother and a bad wife; you can be a great wife but a bad mother. Furthermore, you don’t have to be one to be the other. Charlize has found love in the form of her two adopted children; they are her world, and she doesn’t need any romantic figure in her life to make it complete. “I have two amazing little great loves of my life right now, my life is full of love,” she said. 

Despite not wanting to walk down the aisle, Charlize isn’t necessarily against the idea of dating. In fact, she would characterize herself as “ always open.” If her friends urge her to meet someone, she’s willing to see if there is a spark. She admits she hasn’t been in a relationship for over five years, but if the right person comes along, she is keen to see where it might go. “I mean, I’m open when friends of mine are like, ‘You should go on a date, you should meet this guy,’” she said on The Drew Barrymore Show recently. 

Yet, at her age, and with her history, she has high standards for her potential suitors. “I feel like I’m in a place in my life where you’ve got to come with a lot of game,” she said. When asked what she means by said ‘game,’ Charlize replied how the guy would have to make her life measurably “better.” Her life is already pretty impeccable, so if he were to show up and involve himself in her affairs, he would have to bring something magical; something that’s harder to define but clear as day when it comes your way. The ‘je ne sais quoi,’ as they say. Until then, Charlize is more than content in being a single mother. 

Your life is better than a romantic comedy

As ordinary people, it can be all too tempting to lose ourselves in the fantasy of a romantic comedy. It inspires hope and drives us to believe in the magic of romance. Everyone can find love, everyone has a soulmate, everyone has a happy ending. While those can certainly be true, the remarkable thing about reality is how happiness comes in all forms. We are constantly surprised by the people we come across, the experiences we go through, and our own development over time.  Charlize found love in single motherhood, and while that is not what most people would describe as a happily-ever-after, in her world, it absolutely counts. Similarly, your life is better than a romantic comedy because there is plenty to live for than just your fairytale ending with a romantic partner. 

Choose your happy ending
You are the one who gets to decide what makes you happy.