“I always loved to hear love stories, of it working, but for me, I was so focused on my career, and I looked at it like . . . gushy girls: ‘She’s weak, she’s vulnerable’. But in the end, when I let myself go a little bit, it was the most beautiful thing to want to do things for someone else. He was my first real experience, sexually. I mean, you can fool around. There’s basis and all that. But that was the first time. He was my first . . . everything.”

“They are wearing me out! Dancing with a bunch of cute guys… oh, poor me!”

“Yeah. That was more weird for him than for me, because he was a very independent, Puerto Rican, headstrong, do-for-myself kind of guy. So it was hard for him that his girlfriend is paying his way. And it’s my house, my cook, things like that.”

“My relationship is something I won’t talk about. It’s an aspect of my life I’ve learned that the press takes and runs with.”

“In the past it has created a defense mechanism in me. I never took love all that seriously, I wanted to play the tough role and I was like ‘no guy’s ever going to break my heart, I’m never going to be helpless to a guy’, to a point where I was like, I don’t even get what love is about. What the hell is that? I don’t even want to be a part of it. I’ve learned a lot and I’ve learned to try and break down some of my walls that I have up.”

“I feel stronger now. Being in a breakup (with dancer Jorge Santos) was really hard for me – that was the first knockdown during the making of this record (Stripped) that set me back. He was the love of my life, and that was really, really hard to go through. I thought, why now, when I’ve got to get this record done? I feel really lucky to have the people that are around me now and who have gone through it with me.”

“It was real casual at first, but it turned out being something that I really tried to give my heart to. Even though, in the back of my mind, that was the first time I smelled bullshit. But I liked him so much I wanted to make it work. I think I’ve got a lot of anger at myself for putting up with the shit so long. I felt unloved, abused. . . not physically, not like my mom went through but abused in other ways, and I’m mad at myself for having put myself in that position. It was my first dealing with a quote-unquote ‘playa.’ I found out later on he was with other girls, and never really giving as much as I did. It showed me the real sleazy, dog side of how guys can be. [About Dallas Austin]”

“I’ve always been more focused on my career.”

“I was in this elevator with this drunk guy in Atlanta. I’d been working all night in the studio. He was like, ‘You’re Chrissstinnna Aguilerrra!’ I was like, ‘I’m her cousin.’ ”

“I’ve met a lot of celebrities… pretty boys… and, you know, the brain does not work. I’m attracted to intellects and to artists – if I could go on a date with anyone, it would have been the painter Jean Michel Basquiat. I love him.”

“He’s got to have some flava and edge to him. I don’t discriminate because of color. I actually dated my first one recently. I put some cream in my coffee.”

“Creativity is a great turn-on for me, and so is someone who’s intelligent and can offer something to the relationship – somebody who has real goals, and things they want to do with their life. I don’t really go for the typical hunky guys: I’m sort of weird that way. I prefer someone who’s interesting, intriguing and who might have little quirks; the sort of guy that’s going to stand out from the crowd. That’s what I like.”

“Possibly. I’m always looking for possibilities! But I’m good right now – and single. I have learned to just chill about it, do my thing, and re-focus on my career. But I’m always looking for a sweet, nice boy. That’s what I want: a sweet boy!”

“Well, actually, you know, my schedule makes me so busy that I don’t have time to actually date anybody at the moment. When I do meet people it’s like hi, good-bye. I’m in a different city every day. But if I did meet someone on tour that I was crazy about, I’d probably make some time for him.”

“I’ll date here and there, but nothing too heavy. I’m trying to find me a really sweet guy, but I’m also focused on my career right now.”

“I just want a sweet boy.”

“My new guy is not well-known but he’s kind of in the music business. I like men who are strong and impress me.”

“I have hung out with Tobey and I met Robbie. We didn’t really talk much – when I was 17 I thought he was cute.”

“You know what, I have a crush on celebrities that aren’t very well known yet. Like, if I see an independent film, I’ll have a crush on the guy who doesn’t get a lot of camera time. But I do have a crush on Enrique Iglesias, and I put in a request to present an award with Freddie Prince, Jr.”

“I’m very career oriented, plus I have vulnerability issue’s. My mom went through a really bad marriage, and seeing that hurt me. I thought, I’m never going to let a man do that to me. I thought of being in a relationship as being weak. But then when my relationship with Jorge happened, I wanted to give, I wanted to be there. I’d never even had a huge crush on a guy before. Then it just happened, on tour. We were dancing together, spending a lot of time together, and we fell in love. Even though we’re not together anymore, we still work together. He’s a really great person. And I love him.”

“Relationships are funny, weird, and hard. I’ve had a lot of fun. We’ll see where it goes.”

“Last year the most amazing thing happened to me. I fell in love for the first time. It was the most beautiful feeling in the whole world. I had butterflies in my stomach and a permanent smile on my face. He’s one of my dancers and for a while it was perfect. We were together all the time and he totally understood my work and my lifestyle but, well… we broke up for a while. We’re back together now, but it was a very difficult time for me. He felt he had nothing to give me, and I was like, but I said I don’t need anything from you except you and your time. But I guess it’s hard for a man to date someone like me because I can take care of myself materialistically, and I could understand what he was saying. But we’re trying to work it out because we love each other.”

“Am I single at the moment? I’m very focused on my career. There is someone I have been dating who is super super sweet. I split up with Jorge and he’s a good kid – we’re still in touch. We split up on September 11 – I know it sounds weird. It just happened that way.”

“Being a victim of abuse makes you vulnerable to being hurt and can make a person build a wall around themselves to protect them from it happening again. For me it was even hard to fall in love for the first time because the experiences you have of seeing a relationship is obviously a relationship. What really helped me was finding music as a source of escape.”

“I grew up witnessing what my mum went through and that made me resolve that I’d never put up with that from a man in my life. Instead, I’ve always known I must hold the power position and be in control of my life and emotions.”

“I have a strong personality and know what I want in life. I know where I’m going and people can be intimidated by that. A strong woman doesn’t want to be with someone who feels intimidated by her. I can’t deal with that, and that has been one of my dilemmas. Any man who comes into my life has to have his own thing going on and be driven and passionate.”

“I want a bad boy in public, and a pussy cat at home!”

“I tend to fall for guys who are more out of the limelight but have a love of music. They have to be strong and independent but not too independent. I’m definitely the one who needs space in a relationship, time to write and work. But then, if I’m coming home at the end of the day, I just want to forget everything and cuddle with my man.”

“I got along better with the guys than with the girls. Only two girls came up to talk to me. Later I found out they were telling their boyfriends, ‘If you talk to her, I’ll kill you.’ It’s always rough with that high school thing.” [on her Senior Prom].

“I look for individuality. I have to date someone who has a mind of their own and who isn’t afraid to express himself – someone who pretty much stands out in a crowd. I usually don’t go for the Brad Pitt, typical gorgeous guy. I go for the cute guy who has more of a rough edge – a little more street.”

“I’ve had some cool male friends, but it made me wary of men at an early age and drawn towards the protectiveness of women. But also, it’s no secret that I was bullied at school by other girls, so you’re very lucky if you can find the support of good girlfriends.”

“Well… I’m focusing on my career and I have been in some very bad situations with men, but, yes, there is someone special in my life and that’s all I’m saying!”

“I don’t care about the six-pack. I don’t care about a chiselled body. If anything, when I first meet someone like that it’s actually a turn-off. Usually. I’m not stereotyping all of them because obviously there are some good-looking men who do have a brain. But I like being able to have a DAMN good conversation. I’m into mind stimulation. I can stimulate myself in other says.”

“I like a down-to-earth guy. That’s why I usually go for a non-celebrity. I like kind of a street guy with street smarts.”

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