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Don't feel sorry for Renee as she returns to the singleton's life

If you're a newly single women of a certain age and in the public eye, then you're fair game when it comes to pity parties from the press.

Dining alone after breaking up with Bradley Cooper, Renee Zellweger was pictured under the headline: "Table for one, please! Lonely Renee Zellweger puts on brave face after split as she dines alone."

Apparently, it is her skill as an actress that allows "poor Renee" to mask her immense loneliness with a "brave face".

The fact is she didn't look lonely, she seemed cheerful and hungry as she waited for her food at Le Pain Quotidien.

And in what can only be conclusive evidence that some entertainment reporters have too much time on their hands, Zellweger was then followed to a bookshop where she purchased David Brooks' The Social Animal, a text which follows American couple, Harold and Erica, through their ups and downs.

In another amazing insight, the reporter observed that Renee may in fact be "looking to literature to get a deeper understanding of her newly single status".

Maybe I'm naive, but I have another theory -- perhaps the Bridget Jones actress might actually have been starving, didn't feel like cooking, and after her meal bought a book. I've been known to do the same myself on a day off, but no one thinks I'm a sad, lonely heart or reads far too much into the nature of the books I buy.

More interestingly, further down the story we learn that her ex, Hangover star Bradley, was pictured arriving back to Los Angeles from New York looking "dejected".

And here's the rub -- Renee is supposed to be the one who ended their relationship after almost two years. In my own experience, any time I was the dumper all I felt was relief. It's lovely being with someone you love but, equally, if you're in a relationship which is not working out, and there are no children to consider, then most of us walk away without a scratch.

It's better to be single than settling for a prospect that doesn't seem long-term -- and with one broken marriage each behind them, Renee and Bradley must have already observed this.

But if you speculate about Cooper's sadness at the top of the article and how lonely and despondent he looks then your story doesn't have the same currency. A sad, lonely woman over 40 with one brief marriage behind her and no children is a much better hook. > Dee O'Keeffe