Selena Gomez on Her Relationship with Justin Bieber, Friendship with Taylor Swift – and Saying Goodbye to Her Purity Ring

"I got it when I was 13 and I respect so much what it represented, but it isn't for everyone," the singer says

Photo: Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/Getty

Selena Gomez is happy to keep the past in the past – although she understands why some fans cannot.

“It’s difficult for people to separate us,” Gomez tells the U.K.’s Sunday Times of her on-again, off-again relationship with fellow pop star Justin Bieber, which ended for good in 2014.

“The Internet wants to freeze this moment in time and constantly repeat it I didn’t think I was doing anything bad by falling in love. There’s such an emphasis on people being the perfect thing and then destroying them because it’s good press. Also through in the fact that you are a teenager – it makes it more difficult.

The singer, 23, has been candid about the duo’s rocky relationship in the past, even working through it in song on her single “The Heart Wants What It Wants.” Amid the swirl of attention, there was one person Gomez knew she could count on – BFF Taylor Swift.

“I can count on one hand the people I could call and who would be there for me,” she says. “Taylor is one of the greatest people. When I split with my first boyfriend [Nick Jonas] and I was really sad about it, she flew into town with homemade cookies and a bunch of junk food. To this day, if I called her, she would do the same thing, despite being one of the busiest people in the world.”

During Gomez’s time with the “Jealous” singer, the teens wore promise rings, outwardly displaying their commitment to purity. As they matured, neither continued wearing the jewelry. (“It shaped my view of the importance of sex,” Jonas said earlier this year. “It was about me being comfortable with my decisions. As a 22-year-old man, I’m a man in all ways.”)

The “Good for You” singer agrees with her ex, sharing that she has no regrets. “I’m not embarrassed to say [I wore the ring],” she explains. “I’m also not embarrassed to say that the ring has come off. I got it when I was 13 and I respect so much what it represented, but it isn’t for everyone.”

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