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The Romance Report for May 19

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Charlize on Sean Penn: 'I really didn't see it coming'The world may be scratching its head over Charlize Theron's romance with Sean Penn, but she reveals their relationshipdeveloped organically from a long-standing friendship. "Look, we're dating, and I don't think we were trying to hide anything," she tells the June issue of Vogue. "I was single for a really long time. I was enjoying mommyhood [with 2-year-old son Jackson]. … And going about dating in your late 30s is such a different ball game. I know so well what I want to fit in my life. And the simple answer to that is: Unless he can make my life better? My life is really pretty [bleeping] good."But it apparently improved after Theron, 38, enjoyed a New Year's getaway to Hawaii with Penn, 53."A friend kind of stepped into that role, and I really didn't see it coming. Sean and I have known each other for eighteen years," says Charlize. "We were just really good friends. And it's been slow going because you are aware that you could screw that up and lose it. We had to think about it. But at the end of the day, it was somewhat effortless. It just kind of naturally happened, and before I knew it, I was in something that was making my life better -- the people who really love me can see the effect it has had on me."She also touches on her nearly decade-long relationship with Stuart Townsend, which ended in 2010. "The last time I was dating, I was 24," says Theron. "I was like, 'Awww, you're miserable and moody, but I'm just going to forgive that because you're so cute! Oh, you treat me so badly, but maybe that will change in five years when I have your children!' That just doesn't exist anymore."
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