Drew Barrymore explains why she’s ‘scared’ of finding love again: ‘I’m stuck’

The actress and host, 47, recalls being ghosted by a man who works in the news business: "I never heard from him again."

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 06: Drew Barrymore attends HSS 37th Annual Tribute Dinner at American Museum of Natural History on June 06, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Hospital for Special Surgery)
Drew Barrymore opens up in an emotional interview about feeling "stuck" in her search for love and romance. (Photo: Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Hospital for Special Surgery)

Drew Barrymore is getting more candid about her search for love as a single parent.

The TV host and mom of two, 47, became emotional when speaking about her dating history on Jay Shetty's podcast, On Purpose, during which she admitted she is still "scared" and "nervous" about "receiving love" after her split from ex-husband Will Kopelman, with whom she shares daughters Olive, 10, and Frankie, 8.

"I’m really good at giving [love] to my daughters and to my friends, but I’ve noticed how much of my history with the romantic space, I am so stuck, and I’m the person who doesn’t want to be stuck," she explained.

"I want to know what work I can do to take my walls down, believe and trust," she added, crediting the benefits of therapy for helping her move toward those goals. "I’m still scared, or nervous," she says, explaining that when it comes to dating, she has trouble creating a "safe space" for romance to flourish.

"If you’re not feeling safe, how can you make yourself feel safe? If you’re not getting that from others, how do you make it OK for you?" she asks rhetorically.

Barrymore says she's learning important lessons about love through trial and error. For example, after she was recently "ghosted" by a man (referring to when someone abruptly cuts off all contact with another person after they've had long bouts of communication), she says she's been able to find a silver lining.

"I went on a date with this guy. I thought it was the best date. I mean it really was," she remembered. "We made a plan for that weekend and we were texting back and forth and it was so cute, and I was like, I really like him. What a nice guy. I was attracted to him. I loved his job because he was in the news business and I love news, and I’m like, oh my god this is so cool."

"I never heard from him again," she continued. "I guess that’s what you call getting ghosted. I was like, whoah, that is so, that is so weird. OK."

Barrymore likened her situation to a famous scene in Sex and The City where the character Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) is broken up with by her boyfriend, Jack Berger, via a Post-it note that read: "I'm sorry. I can't. Don't hate me."

When that episode aired so many years ago, Barrymore says she remembers siding with Carrie, but upon closer inspection in therapy, she's found a healthier perspective around being ghosted.

"We can’t be mad at people because they’re not what we want them to be," she told Shetty, admitting that had she gotten a "Jack Berger Post-it note" from the guy who ghosted her, she may have felt a bit of closure.

That's when, she says, her therapist gave her sound advice: Why not write it yourself?

"I was literally like, you just took out all the frustration, anxiety, uncertainty, unfinished business, lack of control, helplessness I feel," she said of her therapist's advice. "I feel good. I feel empowered. I feel like I wanna get on a bullhorn and share this wisdom."

Barrymore has spoken in the past about dating anxiety as a single mom.

In a December 2022 profile with People, the host said, "I love being with my friends and I love being alone, where does dating fit in?”

“Every once in a while, I’ll go on a date because it’s a very human, natural thing to do,” she told the outlet. “I’ve gone on dates where I’m like, ‘Oh my God, why did I say yes to dinner? Because we haven’t ordered yet, and I don’t want to be here.'”

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