Could 'Celebrating' Your Exes Like Drew Barrymore Be The Key To Healthier Relationships?

Going through a breakup is one of the hardest things to do. No matter how amicably things ended, it can take a long time to get over a breakup, and you may start to resent your former partner. While we are all guilty of it, hating your ex might not be the healthiest thing to do. Take it from Drew Barrymore.

The actress and talk show host is an open book. Barrymore has even made some steamy admissions about her celebrity exes. But according to an interview with Kate Hudson on "The Drew Barrymore Show," Barrymore's favorite thing to do is "celebrate and champion" her former loves, both on her talk show and in her everyday life. When you're getting over an ex, you might find it easier to ignore them completely and pretend they don't exist. But you may start to carry that baggage and trauma into your future relationships until you learn to work through your past and acknowledge the love you once had for someone. Barrymore believes that being happy for your exes is a great way to find your own happiness as well.

Drew Barrymore has a long history of celebrating her exes

Kate Hudson made a special appearance on "The Drew Barrymore Show" to discuss her new movie, "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery." But soon, the two old friends were chatting about relationships in the past. Hudson and Barrymore laughed about dating the Wilson brothers on the show. Per Us Weekly, Drew Barrymore and Luke Wilson met while working on the 1997 film "Best Men," and split up in 1999. Kate Hudson dated his brother, Owen Wilson, from 2006 to 2007, via the Daily Mail. Both stars admitted that their flings didn't last long, and joked on Barrymore's show that they should prank call the brothers.

Drew's star-studded dating history doesn't stop at Luke Wilson. Barrymore has been in the spotlight most of her life, so her dating pool usually consists of co-stars and big-wig Hollywood executives that go on to achieve massive success — and she believes that is worth celebrating. She even hosted her ex Justin Long on her talk show after years of not seeing each other. In an interview clip on YouTube, the two "former loves" had such an emotional reunion that Long said he "forgot he was on national TV." They discussed her complimenting him on other talk shows and reflected on their time together with appreciation rather than anger or frustration that it didn't work out.

While we applaud Barrymore and Long for their emotional maturity, we might need a bit more time before we can do the same with our exes.

How to celebrate your ex without making it awkward

Whether you're newly single or you and your ex have been apart for some time, finding it in your heart to be happy for your ex can be a challenge. But contrary to popular belief, moving on from your ex doesn't mean pretending they don't exist. One of the healthiest ways to move forward in your romantic journey is to accept what happened, take responsibility for your part, and let go of the rest. One study found that healthy reflection after a breakup actually leads to a shorter emotional recovery period, per NPR.

While discussing past relationships, Drew Barrymore told Kate Hudson, "I think it's so fun to celebrate and champion your exes." Hudson agrees, citing that "love changes form," and that holding onto the hurt and pain of a breakup doesn't allow you to grow. Celebrating your ex doesn't mean being their BFF. In fact, Insider recommends taking some time away from them in all forms (yes, including their Instagram profile). As you search for your own happiness and spend time getting back on that horse, remember that your partner is likely doing the same thing. Both of you deserve to find happiness, even though it's no longer with each other. Resist the urge to talk poorly about your ex to others. Instead, try to practice your "I'm so happy for them" face when you inevitably hear they are in a relationship with someone new.

What letting go of your past will do for your new relationships

Celebrating your ex will also help you in future relationships. While talking with Kate Hudson on "The Drew Barrymore Show", Barrymore recalls going on a date with a man who "trash talked his ex-wife," and she found it to be a huge red flag. 

When someone is carrying their past baggage into their present relationships and placing blame on others, it often indicates that they do not assume any responsibility for their own shortcomings in a prior relationship. This can be a sign that they have not grown from the past and may exhibit the same patterns of behavior in their current and future relationships. According to therapist Dr. Sharon Martin, "People who don't think they've done anything wrong, have no reason to change." Finding ways to stop hating your ex will indicate to your future partners that you are totally over your past relationship and tell your new boo they have nothing to worry about. 

If you're having a hard time letting go right now, there is still hope. Expert Brian Boutwell conducted a study about recovering from breakups and found that "we have a mechanism in our brains designed by natural selection to pull us through a very tumultuous time in our lives." Unfortunately, he found that the only way to fully recover emotionally is with time ... and maybe some ice cream. 

Other celebrities that are friends with their exes

Celebrities: They're just like us! Well, maybe not exactly like us, but they definitely experience the same heartache when going through a breakup. Not all A-List couples end in total drama. There are plenty of celebrities who have nothing but love for their former flames. Whether they're co-parents or co-stars, these famous duos have found a way to stay friends long after they dated.

According to Marie Claire, actors Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner may have ended their decade-long marriage, but the two have stayed close for their three children. When Affleck and Jennifer Lopez rekindled their flame after years apart, Garner was reportedly very happy for the couple and thinks JLo is a "positive" influence on her ex-husband (via E!).

Andrew Garfield is an expert at championing his ex, Emma Stone. The couple dated for a few years during the filming of "The Amazing Spider-Man" movies and had fans everywhere rooting for them. The co-stars broke it off in 2015, but Garfield never stopped rooting for his ex. Per Vanity Fair, Garfield once said on a podcast, "I'm [Stone's] biggest fan as an artist ... and it's also been wonderful to have that kind of support for each other." He called their mutual support for each other a "beautiful thing." We couldn't agree more, Andrew!

The exception to the rule: When to stop celebrating your ex

While in theory, we love the idea of celebrating your exes, not all relationships end with the possibility of friendship. There are some cases where exes need to get out and stay out. In the words of Drew Barrymore: "Sometimes there are a few toxic old bags you have to get out of the picture" (via YouTube).

Identifying when you're in a toxic relationship can be difficult, especially when you have a lot of love for the person. According to Choosing Therapy, signs that you may be in a toxic relationship include excessive stress, anxiety, or sadness around your partner, being controlled physically or emotionally by your partner, isolating yourself from other loved ones, and constant scrutiny about your physical appearance or personality.

If you have experienced any form of abuse from an ex-partner, finding a way to redeem them may actually further harm your own healing process. Attempting to have a future relationship with an abusive ex in any context could lead to old habits and dangerous behaviors that keep you in a cycle of abuse. In those cases, relationship experts recommend prioritizing your own journey back to happiness without them in the picture (via Marriage).

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.