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Chelsea Handler broke up with Jo Koy after nearly one year of dating because she realized that “you can’t change a person intrinsically.”
The former “Chelsea Lately” host opened up about her split from her fellow comedian on the “We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle” podcast Thursday and said she had to walk away from the relationship because she wanted to stop herself from breaking as a result of bending too much.
“It’s nice to bend for people. It’s nice to learn how to compromise. It’s nice to learn how to demonstrate my love publicly. … I believe Jo needed that,” Handler, 47, explained.
“I was so inspired by us, but Jo didn’t crack me open. My psychiatrist cracked me open, and then I was open, and then I was able to bend for somebody. …. But you can’t change somebody intrinsically.”
The “Life Will Be the Death of Me” author admitted she was “will to do so much bending” until she reached “a line.”
“I’m proud of myself because I didn’t let myself cross that line,” she shared, later adding that they actually broke up about a month before publicly announcing the news.
Handler discussed how hard she has worked to process her trauma through therapy and meditation and suggested that Koy, 51, was not necessarily willing to meet her halfway.
“I understand the wanting to avoid that, the avoidance of wanting to look in with that,” she explained, “and I think I’m at a place in my life that I have to be with somebody who is where I’m at with that.
“That’s not to say anything about Jo Koy,” she added. “I love him, and he’s on his own path. If I have to choose one person, I have to choose myself.”
The “Chelsea” alum also addressed her social media post announcing the news and said she thought Koy “needed to hear those things, and I really thought I needed to say them.”
“No one cheated or anything like that. It just didn’t work out,” she clarified. “I did everything I could to make it work, but it didn’t work out. I wanted to make sure that everybody knew that this is a different me. This is the first time that I’ve ended a relationship where I’ve felt like an adult.”
Despite the split, Handler credited the “Easter Sunday” star with reinvigorating her love for stand-up comedy and inspiring her to write a new book.
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