by Natalie Finn | Mon., Feb. 26, 2018 4:07 PM
Adam Levine didn't think he was the marrying kind either.
That was shortly before he screwed it up.
There were reasons why, after winning repeatedly at the game of meeting women but not being able to nail the long-term commitment part, he couldn't picture himself settling down.
"There's two kinds of men," Levine reasoned with Details in the spring of 2012. "There are men who are f--king misogynist pigs, and then there are men who just really love women, who think they're the most amazing people in the world. And that's me. Maybe the reason I was promiscuous, and wanted to sleep with a lot of them, is that I love them so much."
We all know now, of course, that he's over the moon for Behati Prinsloo, his wife of three and a half years and now mother of his two daughters. But who could've predicted that day would come? At least so soon?
Even after he had met the South African-born model, he told Nylon Guys in 2013, "If you don't get married, you can't get divorced. Why couldn't we learn from the devastatingly low percentage of successful marriages that our last generation went through?"
His concerns led to him not locking it down without a hitch the first time. Instead, he dated Prinsloo for almost a year, then they split up in May 2013. Levine was spotted in the company of model Nina Agdalshortly afterward but within a month he and Behati had reconciled, and he proposed that July.
We kid, sort of, but Levine's reputation as a ladies' man had so far preceded him that he signed up for The Voice in part to help give his image a tweak.
"I've always felt a little misrepresented in the world," he told Details in the spring of 2012. "I felt like people only knew me as a singer who dated pretty girls. A little bit of a bimbo. Maybe I was kind of a bimbo. I was the music dude that was naked all the time with the girls, and that's fine, no problem with that.
"But I wanted to create a little balance. When the show came around, I thought, 'People now know that I have a brain.'"
To be sure, his tenure on The Voice, which returns for its 14th season tonight, was the start of a whole new era for Levine—he was still the studly singer, yes, but finally the essence of his charm and appeal were on display. Who knows, maybe Prinsloo was more willing to give him a chance once he became known for more than being—in his own words—"kind of a bimbo."
The Maroon 5 frontman had indeed relished the perks of being a rock star, though it's been pointed out that perhaps he would've been exactly the same even if he'd had a normal job. .
And if he hadn't gone through a tough breakup, the band's smash-hit Songs About Jane may have never happened.
Levine nonchalantly explained to Howard Stern that year that he had bedded his girlfriend at the time, Rebecca Ginos, on her 21st birthday, "the first night we met." (He denied to Stern, however, that he had previously hooked up with Paris Hilton, Natalie Portman and Maria Sharapova. He did not deny hooking up with Lindsay Lohan. He claimed he didn't hook up with Jessica Simpson while she was still married to Nick Lachey. And he insists he didn't break up with her via text.)
Also talking about Ginos, Levine told Rolling Stone, "We were casual at first and it turned into something amazing. She just wants to enjoy my company and love me. And I love her. It's really simple and beautiful. When you're younger, relationships thrive on drama. And if there's no drama, you're bored and it ends. I'm not into that anymore. I know more about myself, which prepares you to figure girls out."
He added, "I guess I should start calling them women now, huh?"
Levine went on to date model Angela Bellotte in 2009 before meeting Anne V., whom he would eventually go on to date for two years.
"He thought I was a stuck-up bitch and I kind of thought he was a d-bag musician" when they first met, she told Stern when she sat in on the interview with Levine in 2012.
Some of that may have been Levine protecting himself. It's not as if he's never been rejected.
"I was super-hung-up on this girl, and I just could not get her to pay attention to me," he told Rolling Stone in 2007, recalling the inspiration for "Won't Go Home Without You." "I was in the driveway, having just gotten home from some rejection, and I said, 'I've got to write a song that's going to make this girl like me.'' That being said, "She doesn't know it's about her. I ended up dating her best friend for a year and a half."
Already by then he'd been labeled a "man-whore" in the New York Post.
"It's funny how they latch on to you," Levine told RS. "By 'man-whore,' they mean '28-year-old guy who fell into a good situation and had fun. I was dabbling, hanging out, partying, drinking, giving hugs, doing other things we won't talk about. It was the hedonistic part of my brain. But was I seriously dating anybody who was a famous person? No. It was flattering, but I got credit for a lot of things I didn't do."
He said in 2011, while he was dating Anne V., that his touring schedule and marriage-like commitment to his band were among the things he considered when thinking about tying the knot.
"There are many things that keep me from getting married," Levine told Elle.com. "But there will be a time when marriage makes sense to me... I have a very all-over-the-place lifestyle. The people I know who are married—90 percent of them have houses and live in the same place and sleep in the same bed every night." Moreover, he said, he didn't want to get married just because everybody else was doing it.
"The most important thing about marriage is understanding that it might not be the right time, regardless of what your friends are doing," he said. "Peer pressure is a motherf--ker. Peer pressure plays a huge role in people's desire to get married."
In April 2012, less than two months after Levine deflected Howard's pointed questions about marriage, he and Anne V. broke up.
They had been having troubles, but Levine was reportedly blindsided by the official statement Anne released first to People.com.
"Adam and I have decided to separate in an amicable and supportive manner. We still love and respect each other as friends. I wish him all the best," the Russian-born model said.
A source told Us Weekly, "Adam's heartbroken. He wasn't even fully sure they were really broken up."
Just in time, though, as it turned out.
He met Behati Prinsloo that June—and all it takes is one to change everything.
"Famous last words: "I'll never get married,'" Levine told Jay Leno on The Tonight Show in October 2013. "You know, I still don't think you have to get married, unless you meet someone that makes you want to marry them. And then you marry them and it's wonderful."
"He somehow found such an attractive woman who actually is, like, an unbelievable person...When you win the lottery and become him, you don't usually win the lottery again and find the most amazing woman in the world," pal Jonah Hill, who officiated at the couple's 2014 wedding in Cabo San Lucas, told Howard Stern in 2016.
Asked if he was surprised that Levine, who was about to become a first-time dad, had settled down, Hill said he actually knew he he would. "I did," Hill said, "because he loves having people around, family...I so see him loving that part of his life, having kids around."
And Levine, who just welcomed his second child, concurs.
"She's the best," he said about his wife during his most recent sit-down with Stern this past October.
And neither marriage nor fatherhood has robbed him of his swagger.
"I think that as far as being a father, or being a parent, or just being a person in the world, which is extremely complicated...I feel like I've managed to figure out," he searched for the right words. "Whatever life is, I'm doing it pretty well. I wake up happy."
The Voice returns tonight at 8 p.m. on NBC.
(E! and NBC are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)
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