One of the three key steps I outline in my book, Ring EXchange - Lessons from a Multiple Marrier, is the importance of looking back before going forward.
Is there something we can all learn from observing the behaviors and actions of celebrities and how they navigate relationships?
For example, let’s consider Drew Barrymore. At 41, she's just announced that she and her third husband, Will Kopelman, have split and will soon be divorced.
Officially a multiple marrier (someone who has been married three or more times) Drew has experienced a significant number of relationships over the course of her young adult life – and three of those linkups led to the altar.
In 1987, at the age of 12, Drew had her first celebrity relationship, with fellow actor Corey Feldman. They dated nine months prior to splitting. Nothing like getting an early start! Research indicates that multiple marriers often embark on their relationship journey at a very young age. Elaine Fox, author of The Marriage-Go-Round – An Exploratory Study of Multiple Marriage, published by University Press of America, Copyright 1983, talks about the reasons why multiple marriers get married for the first time in Chapter IV entitled, “First Marriages: Beginnings and Endings”.
Let’s keep going. At 16, Drew was engaged to producer Leland Hayward for three short months, thus beginning an enduring pattern in terms of her private life.
A year later, at 17, Drew dated actor David Arquette for almost a yearbefore moving on to cohabitation with partner #4, Beverly Hills 90210 actor Jamie Walters. That relationship lasted a bit longer; they made it a whole year.
In 1994, Drew finally walked down the aisle with bar owner Jeremy Thomas. She was 19, he was 32. They divorced six weeks later.
After a three-year hiatus, Drew then spent 15 months with actor Luke Wilson, followed by a brief romance with ET co-star Henry Thomas before marrying comedian Tom Green in 2001. Green filed for divorce five months later.
Next, Barrymore had a five-year relationship with drummer Fabrizio Moretti starting in 2002, ultimately resulting in a split because of personality conflicts. From 2007 through 2010, Drew was in an on-again, off-again relationship with actor Justin Long.
In 2011, she began dating and then wed Arie Kopelman, ex-Chanel CEO and father of Drew’s current soon-to-be-ex-husband, Will Kopelman. Nothing like keeping it “all in the family”, right?
When we review Drew Barrymore’s relationship patterns, it is clear that she hasn't taken the time to look back before moving forward. Otherwise, it seems she would finally be in a long-term, stable situation. More often than not, Drew has darted quickly from one partner to the next rather than taking the time to contemplate the reasons for the missteps in her prior relationship.
When we dash to what we perceive as “greener pastures” without any self-reflection or self-awareness, we are most certainly setting ourselves up to repeat the same mistakes, as well as make new ones, no matter who the new partner is.
Remember, it's painfully true that you take yourself wherever you go. And, if you don’t make an effort to change your unproductive or negative behaviors and actions, it's a sure bet that you’ll continue to experience the very same outcomes as before.
Why do we often begin dating immediately following the end of a relationship or marriage?
- To quickly forget the pain brought about by the dissolution of a relationship or marriage.
- To raise our bruised self-esteem and to validate our attractiveness. Jumping into the dating scene quickly can be both a diversion and a morale-booster.
- To regain the sense of social order we may have lost after a failed relationship or marriage.
- To combat sadness and loneliness and get ourselves back on the path to finding true love and, hopefully this time, emotional security.
Let me ask you. Would you immediately drive your car out into traffic from a parked position without first looking in your rearview and side mirrors?Well, the same concept goes for successful relationships. We need to look back before rushing into a new partnership.
It is better to acknowledge and learn from the bad decisions we made in our previous relationship, so we can confidently move ahead to our next relationship without fear of repeating the same frustrating cycle over and over. Because, after all, who wants to live a Groundhog Day type of existence?