Demi Lovato has overcome her "daddy issues."
In a new interview with Howard Stern, the singer reflected on her preference for older men when she was younger, calling her former dating habits "gross."
"I think what I went through is that I had a phase of dating older men and dating older guys," Lovato said Monday on SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show. "I went through a phase when I was attracted to older guys because of my daddy issues, obviously."
Mike Coppola/Getty Demi Lovato
She continued, "For me, I was a teenager. And so to me, that's gross. If you are 50 and 60, you're fine. 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."
Lovato, who uses she/her and they/them pronouns, told Stern "with confidence" that she has since resolved her daddy issues. "And I think there's a few signs to that," she said. "I'm with a partner that is my age, essentially. I look back on the past and think, 'That's gross.'"
Lovato didn't reference any specific past relationship partner, but she famously dated Wilmer Valderrama, who is 12 years her senior, between 2010 and 2016. They met when Lovato was 17 and Valderrama was 29, beginning a relationship when she turned 18.
Lovato, now 31, is currently dating fellow musician Jutes. "Now I'm at a place where I'm in an amazing relationship and my boyfriend is a year older than me," she told Stern. "We're growing together, and it feels so healthy."
Last year, with the release of Lovato's eighth studio album, Holy Fvck, fans speculated that the song "29" was about her relationship with the That '70s Show actor, as it alluded to their ages when they began their romance. It features lyrics: "Finally 29 / Funny, just like you were at the time / Thought it was a teenage dream, just a fantasy / But was it yours or was it mine? / 17, 29."
Jeff Vespa/Getty Wilmer Valderrama and Demi Lovato
Lovato never confirmed that the track was about Valderrama, and offered the following sentiment to Apple Music's Zane Lowe when probed about it that year: "When I turned 29, I remember I was on vacation and I just realized, 'I'm 29 now,' and it put things into perspective. I'm very careful with the way that I answer these questions because I feel like the song says it all."
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