Chelsea Handler, 47, says therapy gave her the 'self-awareness' she needed to fall in love with Jo Koy

Comedian Chelsea Handler is totally in love with fellow comic, Jo Koy, and has not been shy about expressing it over the last few months.

In a candid sit down with E! News, Handler, who once made a name for herself in comedy as a proud single woman, opens up about how going to therapy gave her the mental clarity she needed to fall in love.

“I had gone a long time without ever sitting down to contemplate or reflect. And therapy changed that,” she said. “It gives you the gift of self-awareness. I would never have been open to dating Jo Koy unless I had had therapy.”

“It's been a great love story. I didn't really think I would get this,” she added of her relationship with Koy — a huge shift from where she was prior to seeing a therapist. "I thought, 'Oh, I'm just not getting that,'" she would say to herself. "'That's okay. I have my family, I have my friends, I'm set. I don't have to worry about finding love.'"

The couple became Instagram official last year, after having been friends for years. In fact, Koy was a frequent guest on her show, Chelsea Lately, though the sparks never really flew until much later. Their connection really blossomed during the pandemic, Handler said, recalling moments when she would genuinely miss him when he wasn’t around.

"When he was leaving, I was like, 'That's a bummer,'" she recalled. "Or if I didn't hear from him for a couple of days, I was like, 'Where's Jo Koy? He's usually up my ass.' And then I started to realize, 'Oh, he's not annoying me.'"

“Jo was the first person in my life who I didn't want to leave,” Handler continued. “He was the first man, romantically, in a long time that didn't annoy me. That's been my MO with men always is that they don't know when to leave or they don't know when to stop talking. I always felt like ‘Nope, this isn't right, this isn't it.’ And I would cut things off right away as soon as I felt that. So, to have a slow burn where I was hanging out with Jo for a year before anything transpired was something I had never experienced.”

“Everyone said, ‘You can fall in love with your friends’ and I was like, ‘No you can’t,’” she added. “Like either the attraction is there or it's not. And guess what? It wasn't there in the beginning and it developed over time and then I fell madly in love with him and I'm still in love with him. He's always in a good mood and he's always ready to go. Like, that is the best energy to be around.”

The comedian, whose been touring the country with her standup show, Vaccinated and Horny, also pointed out that the last couple years have changed her outlook on life — and love — for the better, a message she hopes can resonate with other women looking for love.

“Men have proven to be pretty disappointing in many respects. Not all men, but enough,” she explained. “So, to get this in my life, at this stage makes me believe in everything. Everyone deserves it. Everyone's gonna find their person, as long as you never give in to someone and settle.”

In addition to love, in the last couple years, Handler has been embracing her body more than ever before. But despite some criticism she's faced for posting hilarious nude videos and photos of herself enjoying life, she can't help but point to double standards.

"I'm just having a good time," she said. "It's ridiculous that women can't be topless when men's bodies are allowed to be out," before adding, "there's a complete double standard and a sexualized thing that women can't show their breasts because men — what? — will get boners?"

Looking ahead, though, the funny lady is embracing life and all its blessings.

"I want to spend my life being real, being present and having people rely on me for the truth and knowing that I'm going to show up if you need me," she said.

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