It was Hollywood’s first big party weekend of the year, and Jennifer Aniston was in her element. At a pre-Golden Globes bash thrown by her talent agency CAA, the actress was a “social butterfly,” says a close source: mingling, hugging hello to her former fling Bradley Cooper and laughing up a storm with her Bounty Hunter costar Gerard Butler. “Gerard entertained her, and Jen giggled like she always does with him,” says the source. Two nights later she wowed the Globes crowd in a slit-to-there Valentino gown and was practically inseparable from Butler (“You wait for me!” she told him outside the ladies room). When Butler wasn’t around, she chatted with ex-boyfriend Tate Donovan. “Jen is excited about the new year,” says the source, “and curious to see what this year will bring.”
A boyfriend? Husband? Baby? Those may be the questions on the minds of fervent Jen-watchers, especially now that the actress, 40, has passed the five-year anniversary of her split with Brad Pitt (Jan. 7 for those keeping tabs). But while Pitt, 46, has embraced family life with Angelina Jolie, 34, and their six kids, Aniston, according to sources, is—gasp!—still enjoying being single. “She is happy,” says a friend. “The whole ‘I need a man’ thing is not her.” Her pal adds that Aniston isn’t pining for Pitt either. “Brad is so far in her past. She has 100 percent moved on.” Echoes another source: “Jen never mentions Brad.”
One ex who isn’t completely out of the picture, however, is John Mayer, 32. They officially broke up last March but remain in touch. “I wouldn’t say the John thing is totally over,” reveals the friend. “But she’s certainly not planning on marrying the guy.” She stepped out with The Hangover‘s Cooper, 35, a few times last year. And then there’s Butler, 40. Two sources close to the actor said he and Aniston got to be more than friends while filming last year. “He said she’s fun,” one pal told People last August. “She’s got a rockin’ body. . . . [But] they’re not taking it seriously.” Both Aniston and Butler denied any romance, though their flirty Globes night didn’t do much to dispel the rumors. The New York Post reported that the pair were spotted “making out” in the kitchen backstage, which Aniston’s rep denies. Later, though, at the INSTYLE/Warner Bros. party, a solo Butler was surrounded by female admirers and chatted with Avatar‘s Zoë Saldaña on the way out.
Those who know Aniston well say that she is hardly desperate to settle down. “Of everyone in Hollywood, she is misunderstood the most,” says her friend. “She dates to have fun. She chose John Mayer because he’s fun. She’s not calculating her love life.” How men feel about her is another story. “There’s no way you can’t fall in love with her,” says Adam Rose, a costar in The Bounty Hunter, due out March 19. “She’s amazing—talented, charming and a sweetheart.” One more thing: “She’s got killer legs.”
That better-than-ever body comes from jogging, intensive yoga at least four times a week, and spa treatments on demand. “She works on being beautiful and has no qualms about it,” says her pal. “Her closest friends know she’d prefer wearing no makeup and eating guacamole. . . . She considers staying thin and beautiful a job requirement.”
Aniston soon hopes to show off a different side: She’s getting ready to film Goree Girls, about a band in a women’s prison. “She’s been taking singing lessons and is eager to surprise her audience,” says a source.
Yes, this half of the former Golden Couple still has reasons to glow. “Her career is stable; her friends are incredible,” says her pal. “She’s all good—and she knows it.”