Celebrity breakups often turn into public spectacles that fuel speculation over which party is at fault. It was no different when Leonardo DiCaprio and Camila Morrone broke up late last year after being together for four years. The breakup itself was not as significant as Camila’s age when the relationship ended; she had turned 25 a few months earlier, sparking the two-decade-long debate and universal joke that the “Titanic” star does not date women over the age of 25. For weeks, DiCaprio became the butt of jokes all over the internet as social media buzzed with speculation over the cause of the phenomenon, which some have dubbed “Leo’s Law.” We have compiled some of the most popular theories on why Leonardo DiCaprio only dates women under 25.
Every time Leonardo DiCaprio breaks up with a girlfriend, a new entry is made on a graph that has his age on one axis against the ages of the women he has dated in the past at the beginning and end of their relationship on the other axis. The first entry on the graph was made two years after DiCaprio was catapulted to fame after his appearance on “Titanic” in 1997. 23-year-old Leonardo started dating Brazilian model Giselle Bundchen in 1999. Giselle was 18 at the time. Both were rising celebrities at the time, earning the title of a rising power couple who fans referred to fondly as “Gionardo.” The two dated on and off for six years before they called the relationship off in 2005 when Giselle turned 25. At the time, nothing sinister was linked to the breakup, after all, celebrity breakups are common and fans believed that the relationship had simply run its course.
One year after ending his relationship with Giselle, Leonardo established a pattern of dating supermodels when he started dating Bar Refaeli. Leo met the then 20-year-old Israeli-American supermodel at a party in Las Vegas in November 2005. Their relationship progressed quickly but hit a rough patch in 2009. The following year, the couple got back together but broke up in 2011, when Bar turned 25. Leo bounced back quickly and started a whirlwind romance with Blake Lively. The romance fizzled quickly that fans did not make the possible connection between the end of the relationship and Blake Lively’s age. Neither did they make the connection between the ages of Giselle and Refaeli when Leonardo ended his respective relationship with them. It took a fourth relationship to establish a pattern.
— E! News (@enews) April 16, 2015
DiCaprio ended 2011 with a new woman by his side. His new love interest was Erin Heatherton, a Victoria’s Secret model. The two dated for a year before breaking up in 2012, citing Leo’s demanding work schedule. Erin was 22 when the couple broke up but keen fans had uncovered Leo’s pattern of only dating women under 25 or breaking up with them once they hit the silver age. He proved them right with his subsequent relationships, which he ended when his partners, Kelly Rohrbach and Nina Agdal both turned 25. Last year, Leonardo hit the headlines again when news of the end of his relationship with Camila Morrone, who he had been dating since 2018, broke. Camila was, you guessed it, 25 when the relationship ended.
Leonardo’s pattern of not dating women over 25 earned the name “Leo’s Law” on Reddit. As a result, the actor has become the butt of many jokes related to the phenomenon. When the news of her most recent breakup broke, for instance, social media buzzed with comical concerns that Leo sets a reminder in his phone to break up with whichever model he is dating at the time when she turned 25. Another user proposed a coming-of-age ceremony where Leo’s former girlfriends welcome the recently dumped woman into their fold of women who are now too old to date Leo. While most jokes were shared online by faceless accounts, Amy Schumer told hers at the Oscars. While appreciating Leonardo’s passion for fighting climate change, Amy joked that his work protecting the planet is aimed at leaving a cleaner and greener planet for his partners, who have become progressively younger than him as he approaches 50. Amidst the jokes were some insightful theories demystifying Leo’s law.
Theory #1: Partner Vs. Admirer
The first theory paints DiCaprio as a man who seeks admiration rather than partnership with the women he dates. The theory is founded on the realization that Leo, who has aged progressively since dating Giselle, refuses to date women his age, preferring to date women who are decades younger than he is. As he grows older, the age gap between the actor and his girlfriends has widened so much that earlier this year, at 48, he was linked to a 19-year-old. The theory that he prefers the admiration of his girlfriends to real partnership is based on the significance of the age of 25 on the development of the human brain since the human brain fully matures at 25. The part of the brain that is responsible for decision-making and impulse control matures at this age. Leo’s law suggests that Leo waits until his partners’ brains have developed fully before dumping them for younger women, who shower him with the adoration he craves until their brains mature. The theory acknowledges that Leo’s girlfriends could be the parties who initiate the breakups once their brains finish developing and they outgrow the relationship with him.
Theory #2: Childfree Lifestyle
A second, and more plausible theory of Leo’s Law suggests that DiCaprio is not ready to settle down and start a family. Therefore, he dates women who are in their carefree age and waits until their biological clocks strike the age when they start thinking about having children to break up with them. The theory is based on insider information. After Leonardo and Morrone’s relationship ended last year, a source close to the star revealed that Leonardo does not want to get married and have children and avoids situations where people would pressure him to go down that route. DiCaprio corroborated this theory in 2016 in an interview with “Rolling Stone.” When asked about having children, the actor insinuated that he did not want to bring children into this world but declined to explain his position further, claiming that he would be misunderstood and misquoted. However, he conceded that if he did get a woman pregnant, he would raise and support the child.
Theory #3: Skewed Perception of Long-Term Relationships
A relationship expert put forward a third theory that Leonardo has grown up seeing relationships that barely last, starting with his parent’s marriage, which ended in divorce. As a veteran actor who has been in Hollywood for over 20 years, Leonardo has watched marriages and relationships end, putting children through messy divorce proceedings and exposing them to public scrutiny over their parents’ choices. Naturally, he does not wish to marry or have children, and neither does he wish to be on the other side of a messy breakup, which explains why he breaks up with his partners when he loses interest in the relationship or when his partner starts pushing for a serious commitment. By this time, according to the expert, Leo’s partners become more emotionally mature than him and recognize his perpetual desire for adventure. Besides, he refuses to conform to social norms such as the biological clock that society imposes on men and women to get married and have children. Based on the expert’s analysis of DiCaprio’s beliefs about relationships, Leo is likely to continue dating women in their late teens and early twenties. In fact, earlier this year, he was linked romantically to 19-year-old model Eden Polani.
Leonardo is reportedly displeased with the insinuation that he deliberately seeks out young women whose prefrontal cortexes, which guide decision-making, have not developed fully. However, the graph does not lie and it shows that the median age of all his partners is 22. As we wait to see which supermodel or actress he dates next, and her age when the relationship reaches its inevitable end, I have one question for you. Which of the three theories best explains Leo’s Law?