Ciara is the first to admit it: not having sex with her now-husband before marriage was very difficult.
Prior to Ciara and Russell Wilson tying the knot, the couple made a decision to abstain from sexual relations until they said "I do." Their choice received both criticism and praise, as Ciara was already a mother to Future Zahir Wilburn, whom she shares with ex-fiancé rapper Future. Now that the songstress and her NFL star husband are married, they've done the deed and are actually expecting their first child together.
But in hindsight, would Ciara abstain again? The "I Bet" songstress tells Cosmopolitan South Africa's February 2017 issue that she wouldn't change a thing.
"I really believe that when you focus on a friendship, you have the opportunity to build a strong foundation for a relationship—and once you know you're really great friends and you're what we call 'equally yoked,' where you share the same values or the same outlook on life, it kind of sets the tone," Ciara tells the magazine. "Knowing that you'll always have the friendship and that you can always go back to it is very important, and very powerful."
Ciara explains how the decision came to be, saying she and Russell had a "conversation" about the "intimacy part" of life. "I have to give credit to my husband for sharing those views," she explains. "It's awesome how it all worked out."
Of course, it wasn't an easy decision, but Ciara learned a lot along the way and wants to share the message with her fans. "Here's how it works," she tells Cosmo South Africa. "We women think with our hearts and with our minds. When we see a guy, we envision what he's like and whether this could be something special. Guys see us from an exterior point of view—that's something I learnt along the way as a woman."
To combat the superficiality, Ciara recommends starting slowly, working from the inside out instead of the other way around. "It's important to have a friendship. It's important to have standards.
"You shouldn't feel like you have to give your body away to get someone to like you."
Nowadays, Ciara has never been happier. But a few years ago she might not have felt the same way. After a brutal breakup with her ex-fiancé, Ciara hopes that people realize that everyone struggles at one point or another.
"I think that people can learn from your experiences when they happen in front of the world," she says. "You never know what someone else is going through, and you never know how sharing your situation might help them with theirs."