Ashanti Says She and Ex Nelly Are 'In a Better Place' After Tension: 'We're Cool Now'

The former flames recently reunited for a performance of their 2008 hit "Body on Me"

Fans of Ashanti and Nelly were thrilled to see the pair reunite on stage for a performance earlier this month — and now, the singer is weighing in on the possibility of a reconciliation for the former couple.

Ashanti, 42, and Nelly, 48, have been linked on and off since 2003, but have stayed notoriously tight-lipped over the years on the details of their romance.

On Dec. 4, though, Ashanti joined the "Ride Wit Me" rapper on stage during Power 98.3 and 96.1's Under the Mistletoe concert in Arizona, and their chemistry was evident as they danced and grinded to their 2008 hit "Body on Me."

The "Foolish" singer stopped by Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on Tuesday night, and said she was shocked by the number of fans who responded to the performance with a plea for them to get back together.

"My reaction was wow. It was a lot of comments and a lot of people wanting that," she said. "What I will say is we're in a better place. You know, cause before, it was like [mimics fighting]. But we're cool now. Yeah, we have some conversations, you know. So it's cool."

Singers Ashanti Douglas and Nelly attend Gabrielle's Angel Foundation 2012 Angel Ball cancer research benefit at Cipriani Wall Street on in New York 2012 Angel Ball Gala, New York, USA
Ashanti and Nelly. Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

When asked by Cohen whether that meant they wouldn't be getting back together, Ashanti struggled for words, telling the host, "I mean, I don't…" before making a series of exasperated sounds.

Ashanti and Nelly's romance has long been something of a mystery, as both have played coy in the press over the years as to whether they were actually together or just friends.

Ashanti confirmed to PEOPLE in 2005 that they "went out," but said they were "not boyfriend and girlfriend" — though three years later, she teased that an engagement was "definitely in the future."

In 2013, she laughed off questions about the rapper in a Hot 97 interview, jokingly asking, "Who said we had a relationship?" Still, she told the radio station that same year when asked if they'd ever discussed having kids that she and Nelly "talked about a lot of things."

"Things happen. People get hurt, people have resentment. People carry old things with them," she said. "Things just happen in real life. You go through things."

Ashanti. Rodin Eckenroth/Getty

In 2014, Ashanti admitted that Nelly was her first real love in an interview with Sway in the Morning, and later told Hot 97 that there was "no beef" between the two.

"It's a very small industry. Are we gonna see each other? Yeah… I'm not bitter," she said. "I feel like in a relationship, it's like ping-pong. Sometimes you love them, sometimes you hate them. That's a real statement, everyone goes through that."

Ashanti will soon appear in the holiday movie A New Diva's Christmas Carol, which premieres Wednesday on VH1.

In the film, the star plays an R&B singer named Aphrodite whose Scrooge-like attitude toward love and the holiday season earns her visits from Christmases past, present and future.

"I think it's a story that so many people can relate to, especially now," she tells PEOPLE. "I think that a lot of people will be able to identify with that."

Though playing the initially hardened Aphrodite meant stepping outside of her comfort zone, Ashanti says the opportunity to play someone so different from herself was "so much fun."

"It's funny because my guys that work with me… They're like, 'Oh, that's how you are all the time. They're seeing the real you,'" she jokes. "I'm like, 'No, it's not. It's not!' Because they watched the trailer. But it was cool. It's a cool experience to be mean and not be held accountable for it."

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