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Jennifer Lopez, SELF Magazine

Alexi Lubomirski

Jennifer Lopez doesn't like being called a cougar.

She's dated several younger men over the years, but Lopez doesn't understand why that's newsworthy. "Enough with the clichés about women," the pop star says. "We can date younger guys. It's no big deal."

"All the old clichés about women need to be undone," argues Lopez, whose exes include Marc Anthony and Casper Smart. "Enough already. 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."

The single singer, who has been married three times, has learned a lot from each of her former flames. Following each breakup, Lopez forced herself to face the music so she wouldn't repeat her mistakes. "When you have that much pain, you have to anesthetize yourself in some ways. People do different things," she says in the January 2015 issue of Self magazine. "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."

What did Lopez learn from her self-diagnosis? "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," the singer admits. "So first it was learning to love myself. And then it was about facing my fears."

Jennifer Lopez, SELF Magazine

Alexi Lubomirski

In the drama The Boy Next Door, Lopez plays a married teacher who has an affair with the boy next door. Though it's role reversal, the actress admits, "I can relate. 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. And I've dated a younger guy once in my life, so I could definitely understand that part, too—the attraction."

Lopez executive produced the movie, since it was the fastest way to get it made. In years past, she says, "People would have been like, 'Oh, a female-driven movie. I don't know if we want to do that.' But now we can just go do it ourselves. All I have to do is bank on myself, which I'm in the business of doing."

Not a bad investment.

So, what's next for the "Booty" singer? "I want to prove to everyone that I can do everything and be a superwoman," the "American Idol judge says. "But I have to take time for myself."

The January 2015 issue of Self is on newsstands nationwide Dec. 23.