Emma Forrest: Finding Solitude & Romance In Celibacy

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Episode notes

As political protests go, a four-year vow of celibacy is on the extreme side. And that’s what this week’s guest, British-American film director & writer Emma Forrest, decided to do following her divorce from actor Ben Mendelsohn, a period of her life which coincided with Donald Trump serving as the 45th US President from 2017 to 2021. ‘Looking at him makes me not want to have sex,’ Emma reasoned – devoting herself to single parenting, finding joy in solitude, relocating from sunny LA to not-so-sunny London  – and writing a memoir, Busy Being Free: A Lifelong Romantic Is Seduced By Solitude, about all of the above.  


In this episode, we discuss:


  • How, as a single parent, Emma has instilled an appreciation for healthy solitude in her daughter
  • What it takes to have a ‘good divorce’
  • How celibacy helped cure Emma of her ‘addiction’ to romance
  • Why Emma’s ultimate sexual fantasy begins with a day of uninterrupted writing
  • The joy of leaving a bad movie mid-way through


You can order Emma Forrest’s book, Busy Being Free: A Lifelong Romantic is Seduced by Solitude, now on


You can also order my book, Alonement: How To Be Alone and Absolutely Own It, which is based on this very podcast, now from Amazon, Waterstones and


Thank you so much to Flash Pack for sponsoring this season of the podcast. Flash Pack is a travel company that offers boutique group adventures for solo travellers in their 30s and 40s. Visit to learn more and quote ALONEMENT at check-out for £100 off your first trip.












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