Katie Holmes and Emilio Vitolo Jr.’s relationship is thriving, and HollywoodLife learned EXCLUSIVELY why Katie now feels that she can ‘let loose a little more’ in her newfound romance!

Katie Holmes‘ summer romance with restauranteur Emilio Vitolo Jr. is growing more serious as the seasons change to fall. But instead of putting any pressure on herself or her partner, the Batman Begins actress, 41, is enjoying every single moment with her new beau, and it’s given her a new lease on love. “Emilio actually makes Katie feel young again,” a source shared EXCLUSIVELY with HollywoodLife.

“The relationship they have reminds her of the relationship she had with Chris Klein,” the source went on. Katie and Chris, who appeared in American Pie, were an early aughts power couple. They became engaged in 2003, but split two years later. Although the relationship came to an end, Katie still took a lot of positives from their romance. “That was a relationship that was filled with love and was very easy. Distance and her time with Dawson’s Creek ultimately ended that, but there was a great foundation that she has admired [ever] since [and] that she has taken into her other relationships — what she likes at the end of the day in a relationship,” the source went on.

Katie Holmes shares a kiss with her boyfriend, Emilio Vitolo Jr., while out having dinner in New York City on September 22, 2020 [Splashnews].

When it comes to her new leading man, the source affirmed that Emilio is “very down to earth and funny and isn’t this big movie star. So, all that extra stuff – not baggage, but just that extra layer of being a Hollywood celebrity – doesn’t come into this relationship as it did with Tom [Cruise] and Jamie [Foxx].” Katie’s marriage to Tom was highly publicized between 2006 until their divorce in 2012. Subsequently, Katie was reticent to share details about her six-year romance with Jamie.

But now, especially with her daughterSuri, 14, maturing, Katie “feels that she can let loose a little more. So she really likes that she can hold hands, make out and just be herself with Emilio. That is what is making her smitten and happy with the situation,” HL‘s initial source concluded.

Katie Holmes, Emilio Vitolo Jr.
Katie Holmes and boyfriend Emilio Vitolo Jr. share a kiss in Downtown Manhattan on Sept. 18, 2020 [Mega].

Another source who spoke to HL validated what so many fans of Katie have been seeing from her new love fest. “[The relationship] is still new but as everyone can see it’s going well, she hasn’t been this happy in a while,” the secondary source shared. “She’s having fun and seizing the moment and living for herself. [Emilio] seems to be crazy about her, he’s busy with work but every free minute he has he wants to see her or talk to her,” the source went on.

The newly-minted couple have also been showing off their love while out and about — sharing smooches and positively beaming while in each other’s company. As for the romance blossoming at the end of summer amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Katie is only seeing the positives. “The timing for this romance is really good for Katie and it’s nice for her to be so openly appreciated. He’s so openly crazy about her, it’s very sweet and it’s good for her.”

HollywoodLife reached out to Katie Homes’ rep for comment.

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