Charlize Theron: ‘I haven’t dated anybody for over five years’ (since Sean Penn)

Los Angeles Art Show 2020 Opening Night Gala

Charlize Theron is generally pretty blunt about how she doesn’t need a man at this point in her life. She’s been in long-term, marriage-like relationships (Stuart Townsend) and she’s been in Hollywood mega-star relationships (Sean Penn), so it’s not like she’s always been alone. She has been without a boyfriend/partner since Penn though. That ham-face really did some damage, and she’s never really been clear on what exactly happened. When you realize that the Ham was her last serious relationship and that was five years ago… yeah, it does make me a little bit sad for her. Charlize was a guest (via Zoom) on Drew Barrymore’s new talk show. They bonded over their single-parenthood and how they don’t need men in their lives at the moment:

Self-love central! Charlize Theron has been holding down her single status in the spotlight — and doesn’t plan on changing it anytime soon.

“It is strange for people to, kind of, wrap their heads around it,” the Monster actress, 45, explained of her love life on Thursday, September 17, during an interview on The Drew Barrymore Show. “I’ve been on a few dates but I haven’t dated anybody for over five years.”

“I mean, I’m open when friends of mine are like, ‘You should go on a date’ [or] ‘You should meet this guy.’ But I feel like I’m in a place in my life where you’ve gotta come with a lot of game. … The kind of game that’s like, my life is really good so you better be able to bring that and maybe better. Because I just won’t accept anything less.”

Though she hasn’t settled down in the traditional sense, Theron expanded her family in her own way by adopting two children: Jackson in March 2012 and August in July 2015. Over the years, her “adopted family” has become her central focus.

“I don’t long for that much,” the Bombshell star told host Drew Barrymore. “I can honestly say this on my life: I don’t feel lonely. Once I had my children, it’s not that it replaces something or makes you less interested in [romance] … It’s a lot of work to be a parent and part of that is at the end of the day, I get in bed and I go, ‘Oh, my God, I wouldn’t want this day to be anything different.’”

[From Us Weekly]

I think both things can be true: motherhood completely adjusted her priorities AND Sean Penn did a number on her. But I also think… yeah, I get her energy completely. She’s happy as can be, she’s doing good work, she has two healthy and happy kids and she’s got her mom with her full-time. Why would she – at this point in her life – need to placate some dude’s ego?

Charlize Theron attends the 73rd BAFTAS After Party at Grosvenor House, London, England, UK on Sunday 2 February, 2020.  Picture by Justin Ng/Retna/Avalon

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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26 Responses to “Charlize Theron: ‘I haven’t dated anybody for over five years’ (since Sean Penn)”

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  1. Lady Luna says:

    She has everything, so good for her!

  2. Sara says:

    We have no idea if whatever Sean Penn did effected her to any great extent. She may have moved past it a long time ago.

  3. Jane says:

    It’s nice to read a celebrity be honest about their personal life in a way that ordinary people can relate to, rather than coming out with the same old platitudes about romance and soul mates. Of course she doesn’t ‘need’ a man, she makes her own money and can earn more or less whenever she wants to, she’s got her children, her life works the way she wants it to work. Her situation is preferable to being in a bad relationship out of necessity (I still love that she basically ghosted Sean Penn after he did something horrendous), and once you get to a certain point in your life it becomes increasingly clear that embarking on a new relationship is often more trouble than it’s worth unless the person in question is really something special, which it’s extremely unlikely they are.

  4. styla says:

    Sean Penn did a number on her because she is content with life and open to romance but hasn’t met anyone she feels is worth investing in yet? Seriously?

    • lucy2 says:

      I agree with you and Bryn below. I think that’s giving him way too much power and influence over her, and implies he damaged her self esteem or something. I think whatever happen, she decided they were done, and hasn’t looked back once. She knows what she wants and isn’t willing to compromise for less.

      • Darla says:

        I don’t know. I’m sure he didn’t damage her self-esteem, but that was a fast exit? I think that was actually the first time I found out what “ghosting” is. I suspect something went down, and it wasn’t good.

    • Myra says:

      I honestly get it. Once you’ve been in a toxic relationship, being single feels like heaven. I mean, just the peace of mind. Unless you are sure that it’s someone worth it, why waste precious time with people who will just bring chaos and heartache into your world.

  5. Bryn says:

    I highly doubt Sean Penn did a “number” on her, she seems like the type of lady who can hold her own. Shes a single mother and full time actress. Maybe she just isnt interested in dating or doesnt have the time. If i wasnt married I wouldnt be dating either lol

  6. lucy2 says:

    “The kind of game that’s like, my life is really good so you better be able to bring that and maybe better. Because I just won’t accept anything less.” I love this. And I love her for saying it out loud and publicly.
    Too many people stay with someone who makes their life worse because they believe it’s better than being alone.

    • Mindy_Dopple says:

      Maybe in the sense that when you have a horrible experience in a relationship and subsequent break up, it changes you in a way that’s good. Like Charlize will never put herself through that again unless it keeps her or elevated her state of happiness. I know that’s how I felt after my divorce. I’m remarried now and happier than ever but my husband is NOTHING like my first husband. I completely changed what I found acceptable and how direct and clear I communicated my boundaries. So both things can be true and correlate.

    • Meg says:

      the amount of judgement and nasty looks i get from women for being single and the sexist assumptions made towards me about being less than to explain why im single-im sure im not the only woman sent those messages so i fear that contributes to someone sticking with someone who treats them poorly or a staying in a relationship thats just not good anymore

  7. Darla says:

    She probably has sexual partners, society really isn’t ready to hear about a woman not settling, but still being active sexually on her own terms. Society will never ready for that IMO. PS, I will never know what she saw in Penn, that is just mind-boggling.

  8. SJR says:

    She is very wealthy. That makes everything easier in life. Also at 45 and raising kids, a lot of single parents are so disillusioned by life/past we simply adjust to not being romantically involved. Your life is busy, stable, and with money, friends, family you realize you just do not want all the (sometimes) drama of starting a new relationship.

  9. Thaisajs says:

    I loved how she and Drew talked about how a guy would need to be additive at this point in their lives. He would have to bring something seriously amazing otherwise it’s probably not worth the effort. He certainly couldn’t subtract. Maybe because I’m in the same boat, but I really loved how honest they were about it.

  10. Laura says:

    A question was raised about what she saw in Penn and he has certainly been called ham faced on this site. I will say he is not to everyone’s taste however he is a smart guy, extremely talented in his field, has humanitarian interests.
    Hes not conventionally handsome but there’s something there.

  11. Sierra says:

    Man, just imagine if Charlize and Angelina started dating 😂

  12. Dee Kay says:

    I love Charlize Theron as an actress and this interview makes me really respect her as a person. Or rather — it’s not like 4 quotes allow me to know her as a person, but I respect what she is tacitly advocating for here, which is that women DO NOT NEED TO SETTLE. Romance is so hyped up in our society you’d think a person, especially a woman, was a dried-up old hag if she was 50 and single, but it’s just simply not true. It’s definitely better to be alone than to be in what Kim Love (Black Twitter influencer) calls “struggle love.” If you have your own income and you love your life as-is, you’re great!!!!

  13. Emily says:

    I mean, wasn’t there gossip around the time she broke up with Sean Penn? That she basically went no contact with him and ghosted him hard, that overnight she exited and never looked back? Whatever happened had to be major because there were rumors they were engaged. I know she said they were never engaged but I don’t really believe that. I always believed Sean did something and it involved her kids’ safety. It’s the only thing that makes sense. Angelina basically did the same thing after the altercation between Brad and Maddox on the plane, she immediately filed for divorce and pretty much kicked Brad to the curb. And whatever Sean did, it made Charlize realize she doesn’t need a guy around to make her happy. Her kids are her priority as they should be.

  14. Louise177 says:

    Based on what’s written, I don’t know how anybody can feel sad or pity Charlize. Why the assumption Sean damaged her? It sounds like she doesn’t have any interest in dating. Her view seems if it happens great, if not great.

  15. Jane wilson says:

    I like men – I really do…I’ve loved a couple (and still do) but live with one now? Actually get married?
    I can’t even imagine it.
    I love my own company and following my interests and passions. I have wonderful friends (male and female) who understand I need a lot of alone time and it’s heaven that they don’t make me feel guilty. (Or rather that I don’t make myself feel guilty, and they’re fine with that.)
    There are times when I imagine what it would be like to fall into someone’s arms and hand over the weight of my worries for a little bit. But not all that often. My friends know me – and know my worries and quirks and how best to comfort me. I miss the hugs though… and sex would be nice, but it’s not the be all and end all. (And covid is exascerbating the need for hugs…)
    At this moment, in this time, I (and my friends) are enough for me.

  16. Ruby says:

    Don’t come for me for this, but…….. I’d high-key love it if Chawitel happened. Charlize and Chiwetel Ejiofor, I mean lmao

    They worked together in The Old Guard and I think they’d make a good couple.

  17. Nibbi says:

    Her face seems to have aged slightly but in a way that makes her even MORE incredibly beautiful wtf.

    Also, I, too, would like to register my issues with the assumption that if a woman is single for a long time after a breakup, she has been damaged in some way. Whether Charlize is or isn’t, I really appreciate the simple, straightforward view of: why settle ?!!! … Especially, why settle just to conform with society’s expectation that people, especially women, especially as they get older, ‘should’ be fixated on finding/having a mate above all else?

  18. Sammiches says:

    Women who are single by choice don’t need people to “feel sad” for them, but thanks 😂

    • Alyse says:

      I was going to say this!
      I’m a lot younger than Charlize (31 years old), but I’ve been in a long term relationship (6 years), and dated a bit, but would say I’ve been more or less single for nearly the last 6 years (I don’t count the non-serious dating that’s happened during that time).
      I’m single because I haven’t met someone who makes me not want to be single.
      That may never change. Or maybe it will.
      But it’s not something to feel sorry about!