Real life is no rom-com - that’s why Harry probably left Sally

editorial image
Have your say

It’s a date night classic and if it isn’t already on your rom-com bucket list, it should be.

Nora Ephron’s 1989 story of what happens when best friends finally fall in love had us at hello. Not to mention the fake orgasm scene.

But what of Harry and Sally? Did they get a happily ever after? Now in their fifties, would they still be together?

Sorry to burst your big, pink romantic bubble, especially on the eve of Valentine’s Day, but be realistic. Bin the rose-tinted specs, put on your reading glasses (they’re either around your neck or on top of your head) and look at the statistics. More likely, he started an affair with someone in the Seattle office via email, she’s fighting for his pension and they’re squabbling over who gets to keep the labradoodle.

The cataract-shrouded Grey Divorce is taking up a far greater chunk of the courts’ time than ever before. The increasing number of couples parting ways in their fifties and sixties is also big business for the lawyers. At this time of life, separations are extremely complex. Dividing up the assets of a long-term marriage, let alone the emotions invested in it, can be a horror story.

Bang on cue, here comes the sequel; When Harry Left Sally. Sadly, it’s not a tear-jerker of a movie (imagine the audience figures; all those empty-nesters happy to fritter their voluntary redundancy on the exorbitant cost of a night at the cinema). Wouldn’t you know, it’s a new self-help guide (penned by an American, of course) to navigating the pitfalls of divorce in middle age.

Perhaps the rise of the Grey Divorce is a good thing; in times past brow-beaten women had no choice but to lie in the bed they had made. Now many have the independent will, and the finances, to be able to walk away.

Or is the ease the Internet gives us to meet someone new at the grey root of it? I’ll bet there are some still yearning for what the rom-coms peddled, who look at Sally in that scene in Katz’s Deli, think: I’ll have what she’s having, bin a perfectly good partner and pursue love’s middle-aged dream.

What do you think?

Is the rise of the Grey Divorce a good thing? Email