Megan Barton Hanson admits 'pressure' to have a family sparked loneliness spiral in lockdown
SHE became one of Love Island’s biggest man-eaters in 2018, but Megan Barton Hanson says her ultimate dream has always been to settle down and start a family.
However, like so many women who have spent months alone in lockdown, Megan fears her “time is ticking” to have a baby.
The 26-year-old reality star, who previously revealed she’s bisexual, found herself single at the start of the pandemic after splitting from on/off girlfriend Chelcee Grimes, 28.
It left her feeling “vulnerable” and lonely, amid fears she was running out of time to find her perfect match and become a mum.
She is now backing The Sun’s Christmas Together campaign alongside a host of famous faces, encouraging people to reach out to those experiencing feelings of isolation this year.
Here she opens up on how loneliness has impacted her more than ever over the last few months…
‘You think your time is ticking’
Megan shot to fame on Love Island when she bedded Eyal Booker in the first week, before ruthlessly dumping him and doing the deed with Wes Nelson – while wearing her ex's jumper.
She eventually coupled up with Wes, with the pair finishing fourth on the show, before they split the following year.
But despite her savage behaviour on camera, Megan insists she has a "vulnerable" side.
And her sensitivity shone through in lockdown when she found herself feeling alone, without the comfort of her ex, songwriter and footballer Chelcee.
The Sun’s Christmas Together campaign
THIS Christmas we are teaming up with the Together Campaign, a coalition of community groups and organisations, and Royal Voluntary Service to combat loneliness.
And we want to recruit an army of volunteers to support those feeling cut off, anxious and isolated, this Christmas.
Could YOU reach out to someone who might be struggling and alone?
It might be someone you know in your own life or community who needs support.
Or we can connect you with someone in need through the NHS Volunteer responder programme run by the NHS, Royal Voluntary Service and the GoodSAM app.
Could you give up half an hour to make a call and chat with someone feeling isolated? Or could you volunteer to deliver essential shopping or festive treats?
Go to nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk/christmastogether to sign up as a volunteer.
You will then receive an email taking you through the sign up process and be asked to download the responder app which will match you to those in need in your area.
Don’t worry if you don’t get a job straight away, because jobs are matched according to the need local to you. Being ready to help is what really matters.
Megan went public for the first time with Chelsee in September last year, but they split up shortly after.
Reflecting back on how lockdown changed her, Megan says: "I think before the first initial lockdown I was kind of in a hurry to be with someone and have children.
"I feel like every woman – because of society – has this pressure to be with someone, have a partner and you think your time is ticking to have a baby."
Sadly Megan is far from alone, as several women have faced a year without being able to date as they would normally – potentially stalling their dreams of starting a family even further.
Just days ago, 38-year-old Claire Fitzgerald revealed the Covid-19 pandemic has snatched away her “happy ever after” – after pledging at the start of the year to settle down and have children.
‘I think it's really important to be open about loneliness’
Megan’s desire to settle down suffered another blow in May, when she discovered the millionaire lover she was dating was actually married.
The beauty was left "gutted" after finding out Harry Fenner, 30, had lied about his relationship status – and dumped him instantly.
It led to months on her own – before sparking reconciliation rumours with Chelcee in September – and she’s now urged others to reach out for help if they’re struggling.
"It's so important to be vocal about these things I think, especially with men, so I'm 100 per cent backing The Sun's campaign,” she says.
"They are too afraid maybe, because of the old fashioned stereotype and stigmas of 'oh man up', but I think it's really important to be open about loneliness.”
‘I've got to know myself more and enjoy my own company’
Megan has since made it her New Year's resolution to meet a serious partner in 2021 – but until then, she's learning to rely on herself – and says sex toys have been keeping her "calm" during the pandemic.
She's sent fans wild promoting a range of vibrators in see-through lingerie on Instagram, promising it will "revolutionise" their sex lives.
"Since the first lockdown I've got to know myself more and enjoy my own company," Megan adds.
"I'm lucky enough to be financially stable, I'm loving everything I'm doing with the podcast and my career, so yeah it's really taking the pressure off."
And Megan has also seen her popularity soar on X-rated subscription site OnlyFans, where it is claimed she makes up to £800,000 a month sharing racy content.
Can you help?
Could YOU reach out to someone struggling and alone to help with shopping or prescriptions?
We can connect you with someone in need through the NHS Volunteer responder programme run by the NHS, Royal Voluntary Service and the GoodSAM app.
Go to www.nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk/christmastogether to sign up as a volunteer.
Need help? If you are someone who would like a friendly call or you need a helping hand with your shopping, just call 0808 196 3646 (8am-8pm, seven days a week).
She recently vowed to keep sharing the daring photos there, for her subscribers, while pursuing her dream of settling down away from the site.
‘Don’t be afraid to reach out’
Ultimately, the former pole dancer admits turning to her LGBTQ+ online community for support during lockdown has helped, as she battled the sudden loneliness.
Megan advises: “Don’t be afraid to reach out.
“Some of the closest friends I've got are on social media and I've got a really good LGBT community on Instagram and the same with sex workers.
"I've really found my own little community online, so don't be afraid to make friends online."
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