Demi Lovato says 'daddy issues' led her into 'gross' relationships with older men

Demi Lovato attends Boss Spring/Summer 2023 collection presentation on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, at Herald Plaza in Miami
Demi Lovato has opened up about her feelings on dating older men. (Scott Roth / Invision / Associated Press)

Demi Lovato has reached a new phase in her romantic relationships.

The "Confident" singer, who uses she/her and they/them pronouns, recently reflected on their previous romances by sharing some very pointed analysis.

"I think what I went through is that I had a phase of dating older men and dating older guys," Lovato said Monday on "The Howard Stern Show." "I went through a phase when I was attracted to older guys because of my daddy issues, obviously."

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Most famously, Lovato began dating fellow actor Wilmer Valderrama when she was 18 and he was 30. Their relationship lasted from 2010 to 2016, and in 2015 — while marking a sobriety milestone — she declared publicly that she "really wouldn’t be alive today without him."

Without mentioning any of their former romances specifically, the "Sorry Not Sorry" artist noted they look back negatively on those relationships that included large age gaps.

"For me, I was a teenager. And so to me, that's gross. If you are 50 and 60, you're fine," Lovato said. "Even 30 and 40, that's not gross at all. But, I think, that when you're in those development years, you should absolutely not be with somebody that is older than you by that much. It's just unhealthy and toxic."

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Lovato would later add she's moved beyond some of the emotional issues that led to her gravitating toward older men.

"I can say with confidence that my daddy issues aren't anything that are inside of me anymore. And I think there's a few signs to that," they said. "I'm with a partner that is my age, essentially. I look back on the past and think, 'That's gross.'"

The 31-year-old vocalist then talked about current partner Jordan Lutes. She met the 32-year-old Canadian songwriter when he co-wrote several songs for her 2022 album, "Holy Fvck."

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"He came in to write on one of my sessions and I was in the studio and was immediately attracted to him," Lovato recalled. "I texted my friends on the side and was like, 'He's so hot!' ... Now I'm at a place where I'm in an amazing relationship and my boyfriend is a year older than me. We're growing together and it feels so healthy."

In August 2022, the "Cool for the Summer" singer warned young women to not date older men while making an appearance on the podcast "Call Her Daddy."

"If you’re a young girl and you think that it’s sexy or fun to date older men, it’s not OK unless you’re of age," Lovato said.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.