Elizabeth Gilbert is dating her best friend after an ironic divorce from her ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ husband
It’s sort of terrible to talk shit about someone’s divorce or gawk at the gender of the person they’re dating, but I swear that’s not what I’m doing. I’m just happy to finally be right: the Eat, Pray, Love way of “finding yourself” is sort of all bullshit. Eat, Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert is now dating a woman, Rayya Elias, who she says has been her best friend for ages.
It’s a little ironic, given that her fame comes from a memoir — which was made into that terrible Julia Roberts movie — that ended with Gilbert finding herself, totally in love with José Nunes, known as ‘Felipe’ in the book, and living happily ever after. They ended up marrying in real life until they separated earlier this summer. That alone was a little shocking. At the time Gilbert wrote that the split was “very amicable. Our reasons are very personal.” But now we know why — she fell in love with her best friend.
Gilbert announced this week on Facebook that she is now dating Elias, who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer. The writer says when she found out about her best friend’s illness, everything became about taking care of her friend; but they also realized their relationship was more intimate than that.
“Here is where we stand now: Rayya and I are together,” she wrote on Facebook. “I love her, and she loves me. I’m walking through this cancer journey with her, not only as her friend, but as her partner. I am exactly where I need to be — the only place I can be.” She also wrote that her relationship with her BFF is really why she and Nunes got divorced, but that she’s not writing about that yet since she’s still in the thick of everything and figuring out her “truth.” Maybe she should stop trying to figure out the answer and just roll with it.
This sort of makes the divorce a little more understandable, given that she and Nunes were supposed to be so deeply, madly in love. I always just thought Nunes finally got sick of being her favorite “souvenir,” as she’s called him, from her travels, like he was a blanket she bought at a market in Bali, but it’s more complicated than that.
It’s also a good reminder that even with all the “find yourself,” self-help bullshit out there Eat, Pray, Love is responsible for, no one ever has any fucking clue what they’re doing with their lives. It’s also a unique chance to see what really happens “happily ever after,” when the book or the movie ends. It’s usually, just like for everyone else, happy for some time and then things get crazy again. No one has it together — not even the people who claim to.