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'It's not this big taboo'; Jennifer Lopez on dating younger men, the pain of cheating and being a love addict

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For a woman who has dated the likes of Diddy and Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez's relationships have long attracted media scrutiny. And with a formidable set of talents to her name, she's not afraid to speak her mind. 

The 45-year-old star has opened up about all things cheating, break-ups and dating younger men, in a candid new interview with Self magazine

Above: J-Lo's Instagram post on the shoot 

Showcasing her incredibly toned figure in a retro athletic-themed shoot, the American Idol judge talks about her relationship with back-up dancer Casper Smart, who is almost 20 years her junior (the pair split earlier this year). 

"I've dated a younger guy once in my life... all the old clichés about women need to be undone. Enough already," she says. "We're in the other position now. We are desirable older, we can date younger guys and it's not this big taboo. Men have been doing this for years, and it's no big deal." 

Jennifer Lopez and her ex Casper Smart, in February this year

Jennifer Lopez and her ex Casper Smart, in February this year

J-Lo's love life has been closely documented over the years, with the media scrutinising every one of her high-profile relationships, her three marriages, and her break-ups. She describes herself as a "love addict" who hates being alone.

"When you have that much pain, you have to anesthetise yourself in some ways," she says. "People do different things. Some go out and party and sleep around, but that's just not my way. I found the comfort in someone else.

"That's called being a love addict. When I face myself, I go, 'You have a fear of really being on your own. So you know what? That's what we're gonna do right now.'

"But it took me years to get there. So first it was learning to love myself. And then it was about facing my fears."

J-Lo's Self cover

J-Lo's Self cover

Jennifer also talks about the pain of being cheated on.

Referring to her role as a suburban mum with an unfaithful husband in upcoming thriller The Boy Next Door, Jennifer says; "I’ve been through divorce. I’ve been cheated on, just like every other girl in the world. So you sympathize, you understand the emotions." 

As ever, J-Lo has a huge number of projects in the pipeline for 2015, including working on The Boy Next Door, appearing in US TV drama Shades of Blue, creating a wellbeing programme with health and fitness company BodyLab and holding her role as a judge on American Idol.

And of course, she's mum to six-year-old twins Max and Emme, her children with ex-husband Marc Anthony. 

Jennifer with her twins at an event in 2013

Jennifer with her twins at an event in 2013

"I still consider myself a dancer first and foremost," says the woman who started her career with dance troupe the Fly Girls, nearly two decades ago. "Well, after being a mother, of course.

"I want to prove to everyone that I can do everything and be a superwoman. But I have to take time for myself."

See the full interview in Self magazine, out now

Photos: Self magazine, Instagram and Rex Features

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