VeryUnmarried: I’m like, “yes, yes” to everything you are saying! I have had friends who have been in this position as well, and I have had the opportunity to coach them through, but the hard part is when you’re with someone for a long time. The re-positioning of yourself and rediscovery of who you are during that process or after the grieving is over. How can someone in this position rediscover their identity?
Drea Kelly: You have to get back to what truly brought you joy, and when we’re in a relationship, sometimes we don’t know the difference – as women – between compromise and sacrifice.
Sacrifice is when you’re in a relationship with a man and you find [that] nothing you’re doing brings you joy anymore. You have now sacrificed your very being for that man. That is setting you on a road of destruction. Real quick! It’s okay to compromise, but again, staying true-to-yourself. Women have been taught that when we do that, we’re being selfish and that is not true!
I’m making sure, [that] at the end of the day, should all this disappear, should he wake up one day and say I’m done with this whole thing, am I whole? Do I love myself? Am I OK [with] being alone? Am I fulfilling my dream? Am I going for God? OK, bye! Those things have changed for me. But, when we give up our whole self for that man or that relationship, all the sudden you’re lost; you don’t know who you are because you’ve stepped so far away from that mirror that that reflection is so distorted. You don’t even know who you’re looking at anymore. So I tell women, don’t get too far away from that mirror, because when you’re that far away, that’s sacrifice. If you can still see who you are, you’ve compromised. So know the difference between the two.
VeryUnmarried: Ooh. That’s profound. So when do you know it’s the right time to start dating again?
Drea Kelly: You know, I don’t think we ever know [when it’s] the right time, because… I call it you’re limp. I said limp because you’ve been hurt and you’re like “ooh, I remember how I got this limp!” You know, you’re a little scared, but I think you only know. Nobody can tell you, oh six months later, nine months later… Some people break up and their like “ooh, I’s free honey. Give me us free, I’m getting out to date!” Some people are kind of like “uh, I need to work on myself.” So you need to know personally where you are with your relationship with yourself.
Don’t get into another relationship broken, like I said. Because you’re going into it like this person is going to fix you. They’re going to love you, they’re gonna…you know, make you’re dreams come true. You have to do all that for yourself and until you can do that, no, you’re not ready to get into another relationship cause guess what, it’s the same man in a different body; the same characteristics. You’re going to deal with the same mess, you’re going to deal with the same arguments. Over and over again. You’re going to go to bed every night broken, wondering “why, why, why!” Why? Because you’re with the same man, just in a different body. And you’re the same woman in a different relationship.
Then you’re ready.
We thank Drea Kelly for such an amazing interview. Hollywood Exes premieres its second season on VH1 TONIGHT at 8:00 p.m. ET.