Rihanna on love after Chris Brown: ‘I’m afraid of feeling that again’

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Conservative is not a word that comes to mind when you think of Rihanna. Between the racy outfits — both onstage and off — at least 17 tattoos, wild hairstyles, over-sexualized lyrics, and late-night partying, the singer comes off as very rebellious. But she insists she's not like that in all aspects of her life. "I have been conservative in my love life … it's pretty much nonexistent," Rihanna says in the August issue of Harper's Bazaar, despite her very public romances with Chris Brown, Drake, and baseball star Matt Kemp. "If I come across someone who I find really cool, I'll hang out. But the minute I find that we're getting too close, I just — I don't let people in."

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Perhaps that's because she was already very badly burned by one love in particular. After Brown beat Rihanna, now 24, so badly following a pre-Grammys party in 2009, the relationship instantly ended — but those strong feelings for the "Turn Up the Music" singer didn't diminish as quickly. "When I was in love, I fell so hard. I was really, really, really in love," she tells the mag. "The way it made me feel was priceless. And in a blink of an eye my whole life changed. Everything that I knew was different. I never thought I'd feel that pain in my life. I'm afraid of feeling that again."

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Yet she put herself back in that situation when she had Brown, 23, collaborate on the mix of her song "Birthday Cake" earlier this year. Rihanna admits that she wanted to work with an artist who would be "shocking" to her fans and the world, but she didn't exactly expect the mega backlash she got for reuniting with the hot-tempered R&B singer. "I understood that people had every right to be concerned about it," she says. "But I didn't see it that way because I'm in a different place."

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The other thing that Rihanna doesn't see — even though anyone with a working pair of eyes can — is her amazing body. Although she claims she's "eating everything in life" to add some curves to her stick-thin physique, it's not going where she wants it to. "I miss my ass," she tells Bazaar. "It just went away! I have an idea of one, but it's not living up to its full potential right now."

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