Debbie Gibson Says She's Single and 'Loving It' at 50: 'I Don't Feel Incomplete'
Debbie Gibson might be single, but there are three guys who have already stolen her heart: her dachshunds Joey, Trouper and Levi.
"I think I'm going to have to wait to date 'til I'm 65 because my dogs will not let anybody near me," the '80s teen queen quips in this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday. "They're like, 'That's our mom! Paws off!'"
All jokes aside, Gibson says that while she's open to finding love, she doesn't feel any pressure to date.
"Here I am at 50: I'm solo, I'm loving it and I don't feel incomplete," she says. "I don't feel like I'm missing anything, so if I do meet someone, what a great place to be in to not be looking to someone to complete me in any way."
After shooting to superstardom at 17 in 1987 with her debut album Out of the Blue, Gibson says she put her love life on the back burner.
"My life has been very unconventional," she says. "I was an adult as a kid. I was employing a hundred people by 17 years old, and I had adult pressures. I'm not breaking out the world's smallest violin — but I lived life out of order."
"I didn't go to college, and I was learning how to cook and do my laundry well into my 20s, later than most people," she continues. "My dating life kind of took a back seat. Marriage was in the picture I had of my life, but it was never in the cards for me."
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While working on her first collection of original music in 20 years, The Body Remembers (out Friday), Gibson channeled all that she's learned about love and life into her songs. On the track "Strings," for example, she sings about "putting self-love above everything."
"'Strings' is a song about creating boundaries with people and saying, 'You know what? I can't do strings-attached friendships or relationships," she says. "There's a line in the song — 'The faith I lost in you, I found in me' — that's everything. It's like, 'Oh, wait a minute. Why am I attaching strings to somebody? Let me cut all those cords and be me.' And that's the place I am in my life."
In the midst of her own "Hot Girl Summer," Gibson says the "texts have been rolling in" from male suitors.
"I'm like, 'Oh, okay. Maybe we're heading into this chapter," she says with a laugh. "I don't know! I'm open to it. I mean, I'm kind of too busy for it right now, but again, that's a fun place to be in. Something really needs to enhance my life to make it worth letting a person in."
For now, Gibson — who will next kick off a series of shows with New Kids on the Block's Joey McIntyre in Las Vegas on Aug. 26 — is focused on taking the advice she'd give her younger self: "Don't stress too much and take in the moments."
"Growing up in show business, I felt like it was noble to run myself into the ground," she says. "Now I see life as an adventure."
For all the details on Debbie Gibson's life now, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.
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