Drew Barrymore: I don’t know how to date as a single mom

In a new episode of the Drew Barrymore show, Drew interviews the Queer Eye guys. One of the segments features interior designer Bobby Berk talking about where to host Zoom dates. Drew tears up and explains that she does not know how to date as a single mom. Drew’s vulnerability in that moment opened up conversation around single parent dating. In an appearance on CBS This Morning, Drew told Gayle King that she never realized that she felt it was hard to date until she said it out loud. Drew has been single the last six years after divorcing Will Kopelman with whom she has two young daughters, Olive, nine, and Frankie, sevn. Drew explained that her ex has since remarried, but she has been struggling to date and that the pandemic compounded the issue. Here are a few more highlights via Yahoo! and the interview with This Morning is posted below:

“I had never realized and said out loud that I don’t know how to date with kids,” Barrymore said on CBS This Morning while promoting the episode. “My kids’ dad [Will Kopelman] is happily remarried with the most wonderful woman in the world, Allie [Michler]. My children have this extraordinary stepmom. Our processes have been different and their side of the street is so functional and whole and happening. And I think I’ve been on the sidelines — in a beautiful, honoring purgatory.

“I’ve been saying ‘It’s me,’ ‘It’s my choice,’ ‘I’m not ready,’ ‘I wanna wait,’” she continued. “I don’t think I’ve said out loud that it’s really because I have these two daughters.”

“I’ve been single for six years and I’ve [no idea] how to do this,” she added of dating. “I’ll go on an occasional date but that’s only in the last two years. It took me four to even step out there. And people have different processes. Then enter a pandemic, where you think maybe I should step out of my comfort zone and see.”

But dating in a pandemic isn’t Barrymore’s cup of tea. “I also honestly found Zoom dates really unromantic,” she explained. “They’re just a reminder to me of the state of the world that were living in. However, counterpoint, you can’t fight City Hall. Online dating is where it’s at.”

As far as the kind of man she’s looking for, well, it’s definitely someone who isn’t “interested in marriage or kids.”

Still, that doesn’t mean she’s ready to walk down the aisle anytime soon. “Never!” she exclaimed at the prospect of getting married again.

“There’s no reason to be. I would maybe live with someone, maybe, but I’ve had kids. There’s no way. I will never ever ever ever [get married],” she added. “This is not just about me being stuck. This is about, when you’re a single mom, it’s a dynamic that I have probably not been able to figure out yet. And that’s OK to have patience with ourselves.”

[From Yahoo!]

I honestly decided when I was 21 that I did not want to be anyone’s mom. I have never regretted that decision. However I grew up watching my mom trying to navigate dating while parenting and it did not seem like an easy task. Like Drew, my mom was very protective of me and would never introduce me to someone until it was serious. Drew is not alone in this struggle. I have also watched several of my friends go through this stage of single parent dating after a divorce. It was stressful for them as well and my friends are some multitasking beasts. In fact, dating is hard AF full stop.

I also love Bobby’s response to Drew tearing up. When Bobby told Drew not to put so much pressure on herself, I felt that. We can work so hard to do something perfectly the first time that it takes the fun out of the experience. I also giggled when Drew said she is not looking to remarry again because there is no point in it. I have been a Drew fan since ET and Firestarter and watching Drew’s growth over these last few years has been so heartwarming. I have been enjoying Drew’s show because her vulnerability is so refreshing. Hopefully Drew will start a conversation around this very real problem for millions of people.

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27 Responses to “Drew Barrymore: I don’t know how to date as a single mom”

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  1. Lady Baden-Baden says:

    LOL the clip from Drew’s show plays like reality TV satire! I love her and I certainly sympathize, it’s just the over-the-top (and very Drew) facial expressions when she gets upset…!

  2. Sandy123 says:

    I totally sympathise with her, I’ve been a single mom for three years and there’s been nary a fish in my sea…😭

  3. Eleonor says:

    Dating it’s hard, as a single mum I can’t imagine.

  4. Katherine says:

    I don’t have a single kid and deemed dating hard before I hit 25 lol. So not for me, I don’t care if that means I keep getting into weird nonrelationships with random people in my social circle only to get hurt (or hurt others, I’ll admit, but I really tried not to and make an effort for that to not be repeated), but I don’t have the stomach to actually go date and really look for a partner. I barely have the energy to go to the gym and shower and cook and clean.

  5. ElllenOlenska says:

    She’s 46, unfortunately it’s not going to get easier. There will be a wave of divorces of age appropriate men over the next 3-4 years and about two thirds of them will want to date a yoga instructor or a kindergarten teacher in their 30s. The rest are options and they will pair up quickly. (And that’s pretending that she was a Normal 46 year old successful mom, not “drew Barrymore”) it also doesn’t help that she has a track record of having a bad picker in the men dept. but I hope she finds what she is looking for.

    • ElllenOlenska says:

      Ps..Drew, Will was no prize either, the money was Daddy’s. And here’s another clue…how old is your kids wonderful new stepmom.

      Drew has an amazing life story and has built quite an empire. She should go with that and if a great guy can appreciate that well, fantastic, let him in. Otherwise just have fun.

      • Jayna says:

        I looked her up. She’s younger than Will. But she has a degree (not that that is necessary) and has a career, and apparently Drew loves her and the ways she treats her children. She turns 34 in a a couple of weeks, and Will is 43. I don’t see the big deal there unless she was some vapid selfie model. She’s been working for Vogue for nine years, working her way up the career ladder there.

      • Yawnho says:

        All of us are very cautious to dating as a single parent – for good reason – our children! We put all our energy into raising our kids as single parents and have no thing left to give anyone else at the end of the day. And be cautious on who you let your children be around please!!! Hopefully when they are teens we can think about dating. But for now a FWB thing when my kid is at his dad’s is ok. It’s just for company bc we all get lonely sometimes!! Good luck ladies 🍀

    • Twin falls says:

      I’m a 46 year old divorced mom of two young kids and I relate to her in every way about this.

  6. canichangemyname says:

    Oh man, I feel this so hard. About seven years ago, an engagement ended with me, and it hurt and confused my 7-year-old (not our child together). The whole thing was messy, it left him confused and hurt, and I just swore off of it. I’ve been on maybe three or four dates since then – the one that seemed promising, boom, COVID. Now my son is 14, and I’ve just decided that I can wait. His dad isn’t much “in the picture” so I’m really his main person. My son obviously takes priority, and dating is something I’ve just tabled for now because I’m not sure how to navigate it, what the effect on him would be, and if it’s even worth the trouble. As my kid gets older, we’ll see. But I 100% get where she’s coming from. I see my friends successfully navigate this, but I haven’t lol

    • ElleV says:

      i can completely understand why you’re wary of dating while your son is at home and i want to offer some encouragement speaking to your uncertainty about the impact on him

      even if dating is messy, it can be an opportunity to model vulnerability, how to grow and learn and respect yourself in relationships, how to set boundaries, how to be resilient in uncertainty, and how women are not exclusively defined by motherhood and his needs

      you can still have a positive impact and prepare your son for the challenges he’ll face in adult relationships even if you don’t navigate dating successfully – it’s all grist for the mill

  7. Amy T says:

    My current (and only successful) marriage grew out of a friendship and my youngest was a senior in high school. We made the life commitment without needing to be married. We did it, though, because we both had good health insurance at our respective jobs and mine was grant-funded and could disappear at any moment and his is dangerous and he could get hurt and be unable to work. So we got married, which, when my job did evaporate, allowed me to automatically jump on his insurance. For people without massive asset-piles, the legal protections it can offer are a consideration. (Which points to massive issues of our capitalist, Puritan-rooted society, but that’s a different discussion. I was only here for the fun escape, and then Drew had to make me think about this….)

  8. GrnieWnie says:

    I feel her so hard. Especially if you had a rough childbirth and a lot of injuries. Nobody wants to throw that out there just to get laid.

    • GrnieWnie says:

      just to put a little hope out there for the “Drew’s mid-40s, it’ll only get harder” comments, I’m 42 and my boyfriend is 34. We have kids the same age, were married the same amount of time, very much in the same place emotionally. I was single for 6-7 years after my breakup.

  9. Songs (Or it didnt happen) says:

    Same, Drew, same. My divorce was finalized a little over a year ago. My ex is getting remarried in a month or two, they’ve lived together a year and are a fully integrated household. While I’m over here putting all my energy in to my kid. I don’t have the time to pluck and primp and pretend in order to attract someone. I barely have time to breathe. I have no idea how I will even try to approach dating, or if I ever will.

  10. Krystina says:

    Navigating the dating world as a single mom SUCKS a lot… I can definitely identify with what Drew’s going through.
    I’ve been single for almost 6 years, and I hate the idea of online dating 🙁
    Even the idea of introducing someone new to my son bothers me, because I worry about what if they get attached, but the relationship doesn’t work out?

  11. Tulip says:

    I love Bobby, he is soooo the best one on QE. I love them all tbh, but Bobby does not get enough credit for doing exactly what he’s doing with Drew with the show ….. he does so much more than decorate!

  12. Queen Meghan's Hand says:

    This really touched my heart. What Drew experienced as a child…I can only imagine how difficult it can be to trust someone to enter her home and life.

  13. Think says:

    Just another reminder of how much more women are expected to sacrifice in life. The comments here really upset me. My mum never had another relationship after divorce due to raising 3 children alone and shouldering all the stress. Plus after a ruthless husband who would want to bother with men again? Women are so often expected and forced to put their needs second, or third, or fourth…

  14. JanetDR says:

    I have such mixed feelings about my years as a single parent (their dad left for another woman when they were 2 and 4). On the plus side I felt like I had been let out of a box that I didn’t know I was in and was free to be myself. On the other, so many lonely nights. Men are generally not clamouring to date mothers. And, no offense to all of the lovely men out there, but there are a lot of men not worth spending babysitter money on! My situation was maybe worse because I live in a rural area and both eligible men and babysitters were almost impossible to find, so I was reliant on my ex’s visitation schedule which was variable.
    There are 4 hills to drive up on my last 10 miles coming home if I had been out dancing or at some event in a city an hour away, and I would get hit with a wave of sadness as I rounded the corner to go up the last one. No matter how much fun I had that evening, I was going home alone. It was 10 years before I found the right person to be with, (although there were two relationships that lasted a year or two and I look back at those relationships with fondness).
    Now I’m questioning even posting this as I meant to give some hope to those who are struggling and this sounds awful! 10 years!
    But in that time, I got my master’s degree, danced a lot, took care of all the things, and was able to be there for my kids everyday 💗
    And maybe I needed some time to grow into being myself.

  15. Meg says:

    Wow what a great response from him. Great guy to have a surprise cry in front of lol

  16. Joanna says:

    I don’t have kids. I thought dating was fun at first after my divorce, the sexual variety was nice. But relationship material? No. Seemed almost every man either commitment, drug or alcohol issues. But now I’m 45 and with a man 5 years younger. There is hope. I was so lonely too. The sex wears thin after awhile if there’s no love. Now I have both!

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  18. Silent Star says:

    What I love about Drew is that she openly admits “I don’t know how to do this”. She has said similar things about “adulting” and parenting (not having had good role models growing up to learn from) and I really admire her for that. But what she does is so smart: by admitting it openly, she not only gets good advice from others but also shows the rest of us that we all struggle with very similar things and can find help if we just ask. She has become the role model she needed herself. ❤