Matthew Perry, renowned for his role in “Friends,” had a notable dating history with several high-profile women, yet he remained the only member of the cast who never walked down the aisle. In the year preceding his untimely passing, the actor candidly spoke about his past relationships, acknowledging that his deep-seated fear of abandonment played a pivotal role in undermining most, if not all, of them.
Perry’s romantic entanglements included a brief fling with Gwyneth Paltrow and relationships with notable figures such as Julia Roberts and “Mean Girls” star Lizzy Caplan. He even became engaged to his literary manager, Molly Hurwitz. In an interview with GQ, Perry took responsibility for the unraveling of these relationships, attributing his own insecurities as the primary cause. He vulnerably confessed, “I break up with them because I’m deathly afraid that they will find out that I’m not enough, that I don’t matter, and that I’m too needy, and they’ll break up with me and that will annihilate me and I’ll have to take drugs and that will kill me.” He further lamented how these wonderful women he encountered had moved on, built families, and found happiness while he found himself in solitary moments.
Fortunately, before his passing, Perry managed to conquer his commitment apprehensions. He expressed a genuine desire to finally settle down and experience the joys of family life.
Matthew Perry’s aspiration to create a family of his own had been a longstanding dream. As far back as 2004, when “Friends” concluded, he envisioned an ideal life that involved raising children with a loving partner in a serene locale far from the hustle of Los Angeles. He once shared, “In a perfect world, my tennis game gets better… I have kids and a beautiful wife and live on some hill somewhere that’s not in Los Angeles.” However, his battle with substance abuse, a very public struggle he bravely confronted and detailed in his memoir “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,” disrupted these plans. Perry acknowledged that addiction had diverted him from the path to his dreams. There was a pivotal moment with Lizzy Caplan, where he came close to proposing, yet his fears and uncertainties held him back.
Perry’s yearning to be a devoted father stemmed from his experiences caring for his younger siblings and godchildren, relationships that held a special place in his heart. Reflecting on this, he expressed, “I would love to have kids one day. In fact, I’m pretty good with them.” He credited his upbringing, which included looking after his half-siblings, for imparting valuable parenting skills early in his life. Perry cherished family bonds and relished his role as a godfather to his closest friends’ children. He envisioned a future where he could play a significant role in a child’s life.
Although the opportunity to fulfill this dream never materialized, Perry ultimately reached a pivotal juncture in his life where he shed his longstanding reservations about settling down. “It took decades to do it, but I have,” he affirmed. He finally recognized his own worth, dispelled his fears of inadequacy, and realized his potential as a responsible partner and, potentially, a father. While he believed he would excel as a dad, he acknowledged that this transformation occurred later in life.