How Matthew Perry Really Felt On The Topic Of Having Children

Matthew Perry was linked to many women throughout his life, but he was the only member of the "Friends" cast who never got married. The year before his untimely death, the actor opened up about his past relationships, admitting that his fear of abandonment played a role in sabotaging most — if not all — of them.

Perry's dating history featured a string of high-profile romances, including a brief fling with Gwyneth Paltrow and relationships with Julia Roberts and "Mean Girls" star Lizzy Caplan. He had also gotten engaged to his literary manager, Molly Hurwitz. In an interview with GQ, the actor admitted that he was to blame for the demise of these relationships, citing insecurity as the key reason. "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 shared. "That's why I break up with these wonderful women that have crossed my path... And now they've all moved on, all of them, and are married and have kids ... They're all happy, which is great, but I'm the one who's sitting in a screening room by myself."

Fortunately, Perry had overcome his commitment issues before his passing. He even voiced his desire to finally settle down and raise a family of his own.

Matthew Perry longed to have his own family

Amid his failed relationships, Matthew Perry had long expressed his wish to start his own family. Back in 2004, when "Friends" ended, he described his ideal life, which included having children. "In a perfect world, my tennis game gets better," he told Movieline. "I have kids and a beautiful wife and live on some hill somewhere that's not in Los Angeles. And the script that Tom Hanks just barely turned down gets in my hands."

But life was different for Perry. The star had a very public battle with substance abuse, which he only overcame in 2021 and openly spoke about. He shared everything about his experience in his memoir "Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing," noting that his addiction derailed his plans. But he had gotten close to his dream when he was in a relationship with Lizzy Caplan – to whom he almost proposed.

"For Christmas, I'd paid a huge amount of money for an artist to paint the two of us. My plan was to give her the painting and then ask the question...well, I never asked it... And it was time, all I had to do was say, 'Honey, I love you. Will you...' But I didn't say it. All my fears reared up like a snake,'" he admitted. "I often think if I'd asked [her to marry me], now we'd have two kids and a house. Instead, I'm some schmuck who's alone in his house at 53."

He thought he would do a good job as a dad

Matthew Perry had always envisioned himself as a doting dad. He attributed this to his experience looking after his younger siblings and godkids, all of whom he admittedly had a soft spot. "I would love to have kids one day. In fact, I'm pretty good with them. I grew up with five half-siblings, the youngest of whom is 11 years younger than me, so I think I learned some pretty cool parenting skills quite early on in life," he shared with Daily Mail in 2009. "I grew up babysitting and always enjoyed it. I love family. A couple of my closest friends have kids and I'm their godfather, and that's one of my greatest pleasures in life, just picking them up from school and hanging out with them. So maybe someday."

While the opportunity sadly never presented itself, Perry proudly reached a turning point in his life that rid him of his long-standing reservations about settling down with someone. "It took decades to do it, but I have," he told GQ. "I believe that I am enough, and I believe that I'm not too needy, and I believe that I do matter. In the end, he finally realized his potential to be the man of the house. "I think I'd be a great dad. And now I think I'd be a good husband. But not back then."