What Drew Barrymore’s Surprising Post-Divorce Celibacy Can Teach Us About Love￼
In an October 16 blog post, Drew Barrymore confirmed that she’s been celibate since her divorce from Will Kopelman. The lessons she’s learned along the way are an inspiration to anyone who’s ever relied on a relationship to feel whole.
Drew Barrymore recently opened up about her current love life – or lack thereof. The Charlie’s Angels star revealed that she’s been celibate since divorcing the father of her children in 2016. In the October 16 blog post, she detailed the thought process behind her decision.
This is the first time Barrymore has chosen to be intentionally single and to focus on herself – a decision, it seems, that is only doing her good.
Drew Barrymore’s Early Life and Career
Drew Barrymore comes from an acting family. Her godfather is none other than Steven Spielberg and one of her godmothers is Sophia Loren. Her background, combined with her natural charm, made it almost inevitable that she would find success in the acting industry.
She landed her first acting gig at eleven months old – a dog food commercial – but had her first breakout role as Gertie in 1982’s E.T.: The Extraterrestrial. Barrymore was only seven years old when the film came out. She would continue to act throughout her life, wracking up award nominations and positive reviews.
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The Drew Barrymore Show host is only 47, but she’s lived a lot of life in that time. She’s been very vocal about her early life as a child star and her precocious proclivity for partying, drinking, and using drugs. Her party-girl lifestyle as a young girl received a lot of press attention, and by the age of thirteen, she was sent to rehab for the first time. She ended up back in rehab the next year following a suicide attempt. By age fifteen, she was legally emancipated.
Drew Barrymore’s Search for Love
In 1991, at the age of sixteen, Barrymore was engaged for the first time, to Leland Hayward III. The couple would break up a few months into their engagement.
At the age of seventeen, Barrymore announced her second engagement – this time to actor Jamie Walters. The couple did a nude photoshoot for Interview magazine to mark the occasion; they would go on to break up the next year.
Reflecting on her early experiences with love and dating on her blog, Barrymore writes, “At nearly 48 I have very different feelings about intimacy than I did growing up. I did not have role model parents and I engaged with people in grown up ways since a tender age! I was looking for companionship! validation! excitement! pleasure! hedonism! fun! And adventures!!”
Barrymore seems to have been a serial monogamist from her late teens until 2016. Her first marriage was in 1994 to bar owner Jeremy Thomas. The marriage lasted for two months, at which point Barrymore filed for divorce. Her second marriage, to Tom Green in 2001, was also quite short – Green would file for divorce by the end of the year.
Barrymore continued to date through the early 2000’s, only marrying again in 2012. She and husband Will Kopelman have two daughters together: Olive, born in 2012, and Frankie, born in 2014. But this marriage wasn’t meant to last either. Barrymore officially filed for divorced in July of 2016; the divorce was finalized one month later.
Since then… nothing. For the first time since her adolescence, Barrymore has been single (and, as she put it, celibate) for just over six years. In that time, Barrymore has been working on herself and her assumptions about love – and what she’s figured out could be a lesson to the rest of us.
Drew Barrymore’s Recent Lessons on Love
As mentioned above, in her youth Barrymore used romantic relationships to fill a lot of holes in her life. Most notably, she used them to find validation and fun in her life. But these things can be found elsewhere – as Barrymore is learning, they can even be found in the self.
“I am lucky enough to have my cup runneth over in the love department: I have my two daughters, and for the first time ever in my life, I’m actually including self-love, too,” Barrymore wrote in her blog post.
She also expressed a bit of regret for the way she was raised and how she approached sex and love as a young woman. “I wish I had been taught by my mother or my father or my friends that there is age appropriateness business and that there is a way to become a classy young woman! There are things that are fun but also boundaries that can lead to tremendous self-respect. When you are selective and you look at sex as an expression of love and not love itself…well, I’m so glad to be here now in my life.”
For the first time, Barrymore isn’t focused on a romantic relationship. Instead, she’s working on self-growth and being the best mom she can be. It’s a good look on her, and will no doubt lead her to new heights of self-growth and healing.
The main lessons learned are that sex can be an expression of love, not love itself, and that love comes from many places in this life. These are nuggets of wisdom that we can all get behind.