Skip to content

John Mayer Said He Broke Up With Jennifer Aniston Over Their Age Gap

The two stars briefly dated in the late '00s.

Between her respective marriages to Brad Pitt and Justin Theroux, Jennifer Aniston had a few brief relationships, including a 2008 to 2009 fling with singer John Mayer. In his now-infamous 2010 interview with Playboy, the "Your Body is a Wonderland" singer claimed that the eight-and-a-half-year difference in their ages was the reason he and the Friends star broke up. Read on for more on what the singer, then age 32, said about the then-40-year-old Aniston and how his love of Twitter contributed to their split.

READ THIS NEXT: Carly Simon Found Out Warren Beatty Was Cheating on Her From Her Therapist.

Mayer was driven by a need "to be 32" and "like a ninja."

John Mayer in 2010
Gustavo Miguel Fernandes/Shutterstock

Aniston and Mayer first met at a 2008 Oscars party, according to a 2009 People article. Their on-again-off-again relationship lasted through a brief summer 2008 breakup and into 2009. That February, the musician helped the actor ring in her 40th birthday with a song he wrote for her. But Mayer was the first to divulge what drove them apart when they broke up for good a month later in March 2009. In his lambasted Playboy interview, he implied that their age gap–at the time, he was 32 to her 41–was what tore them apart. "I'll always be sorry that it didn't last," he said. "In some ways I wish I could be with her. But I can't change the fact that I need to be 32."

Mayer later went on to expound on exactly what being 32 meant to him: "I want to dance. I want to get on an airplane and be like a ninja. I want to be an explorer. I want to be like The Bourne Identity." These things were apparently at odds with being in a serious relationship with the TV star. "I don't want to pet dogs in the kitchen," he added.

Mayer said Aniston was behind the times.

Jennifer Aniston in 2010
FeatureFlash Photo Agency/Shutterstock

Mayer spent much of the interview musing deeply on the bold new world of 2009 (likening hours spent viewing online adult entertainment to opening up "a new synaptic pathway," for example). In contrast, he implied Aniston was a bit of a Luddite and particularly unable to wrap her head around his social media usage—although he assured the interviewer that was not why they broke up. "One of the most significant differences between us was that I was tweeting," the "Daughters" singer said. "There was a rumor that I had been dumped because I was tweeting too much. That wasn't it, but that was a big difference." He added that they had come to stardom at very different times—she before TMZ and Twitter, adding: "I think she's still hoping it goes back to 1998."

Aniston never responded.

Jennifer Aniston in 2019
Ron Adar/Shutterstock

Aniston never responded to the allegations around being too-Gen-X-to-Tweet, but had previously spoken about Mayer after an earlier breakup when he held an impromptu press conference to share with reporters that he had ended things to keep from wasting her time.

"He had to put that out there that he broke up with me," she told Vogue in 2008. "And especially because it's me. It's not just some girl he's dating. I get it. We're human."

For more celebrity trivia sent right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

They still keep an eye out for each other on Instagram.

John Mayer in 2019
Ben Houdijk/Shutterstock

In the years since their split, Aniston went on to date, marry, and divorce Theroux, while Mayer briefly dated Taylor Swift (13 years his junior) as well as Katy Perry. The former flames apparently stayed friendly, however, and seem to be on the same page in terms of social media these days. In April 2020, Aniston made a surprising foray onto her ex's Instagram account as the singer remembered the late singer Bill Withers by saying in an Instagram Live, "Four percent of the things that I say are useful. One hundred percent of the things he said were useful." Aniston quickly responded with a triple laugh-cry emoji, according to Us Weekly. Several months later, the Mayer prompted speculation of a rekindled romance when he liked photos of Aniston posted to a fan Instagram account.

Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller is a pop culture writer living in New York. Read more
Filed Under