John Mayer explains why he doesn’t ‘date that much’ after quitting drinking 6 years ago

Michael Kovac

John Mayer is done with the dating game — at least when it comes to playing by his old rules.

Mayer’s love life made headlines for years as he went out with a long list of musical hitmakers and Hollywood stars. But in a new interview on Alex Cooper’s “Call Her Daddy” podcast, he explained why that part of his reputation is a thing of the past.

“I don’t date that much,” the 45-year-old said of his life now. “I look at it like this: Dating is no longer a codified activity for me. ... It’s not patterned anymore.”

And he credits his different approach to relationships to one big change he made.

“I quit drinking six years ago,” Mayer said. “I don’t have the liquid courage (anymore).”

Without that, he finds himself getting to know potential partners in a completely different way.

“You have to be glaringly honest,” the singer-songwriter told Cooper. “'Here’s who I am. Here’s what I like. Here’s what makes me nervous. Here’s what I reject as an idea in a relationship.’ You have to express your anxieties. You can’t just walk over them by drinking. You have to be like, ‘Here’s what I’m anxious about.’ And when someone in life accommodates your anxiety, that’s bonding.’”

He went on to note that his past image as a lothario, reportedly dating everyone from Jennifer Aniston to Jessica Simpson to Taylor Swift, really only represented one part of his life. Prior to fame and a string of high-profile relationships, he’d only had one girlfriend: his high school sweetheart.

“To me, the truest, most innocent, realest, like sweetest (relationship) ... it was high school,” he confessed.

And even after gaining fame, he reached out to that first love again.

“I did reach back out a few times,” Mayer said. “Maybe to bring that part of my life into the new part of my life. But by that point she was married and had kids, and I thought, ‘That’s a separate chapter.’”

But he then revealed, for the first time, how she made a lasting impact on his life all the same.

Contrary to rumors that long linked his huge 2002 hit, “Your Body Is a Wonderland,” to one of his A-list girlfriends, Mayer said, “That was about my first girlfriend.”

He'd "never even met a celebrity" when he penned the ballad, adding, "I was 21 when I wrote that song, and I was nostalgic for being 16.”

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