Charlize Theron has been in relationships since she was 19 years old. She was 26 when she worked with Stuart Townsend on Trapped. The two became a couple and remained together for nine years. The actors were well known for their long-term relationship, especially since they never married. Rumour has it that they decided against marriage until LGBT people were allowed to be married as well, but Charlize has since said on multiple occasions that she doesn’t really believe in marriage anyway, let alone weddings.
Stuart considered himself married to Charlize, famously saying that he needed no certificate from the state or the church. He and Charlize considered each other husband and wife and were wearing commitment rings.
But in 2010 the couple called it quits. At the time it was said that Charlize had broken things off. Considering her comments since the break-up, that doesn’t seem unlikely. But she did say that it was a mutual agreement, because the two had different outlooks on what makes a family. Charlize wanted to adopt and that was her first choice to expand her family. It seems Stuart wanted biological children instead.
Incidentally it had been reported last year that Stuart had a whole family nobody seems to have known about. Enjoying less success than his former partner, Stuart had apparently started to build a life in Costa Rica, where he had fallen for a woman and by the middle of last year had expected his second child with her. His brother had confirmed those rumours, saying that Stuart was happy. As of last year he was mostly busy with TV work.
Charlize ended up adopting her son Jackson in 2012.
After the break-up with Stuart, Charlize didn’t really date anyone. She was linked to a few Hollywood leading men, but there seems no truth to any of it. She spoke about being single and then adopting her son.
When her relationship to Sean Penn became widely known, she admitted to having been single for quite a long time. She hadn’t expected to fall for him, especially since the two had been friends for 18 years already. But it worked out for them, at least at the time, and they were quite happy together.
Once more the relationship ended, however, this time after only a year and a half together. Sean Penn had said he wouldn’t mind getting married again. He even said he would consider it his first real marriage, because the previous two didn’t work out and he felt only now ready to be properly married and committed. Many took that as an indication that he wanted to marry Charlize. There have even been rumours that the two were engaged, but that does not seem to be true.
There were also rumours that Sean was getting ready to adopt Jackson, but Charlize denied that, saying that you don’t do that sort of thing after only 18 months together. She also confirmed once more that marriage simply wasn’t for her, which gives traction to the rumour that Sean’s desire to get married resulted in the couple’s split.
Charlize is back to being single once more and seemingly happily so. She adopted another child, this time a girl, and lives with her two kids as a single mother. She knows her priorities and she will surely find a partner again, but marriage may never be in the cards for her.