Ariana Grande "Loved" Mac Miller Long Before They Dated

"We weren't ready at all, though, to be together," the singer tells Cosmopolitan

By Zach Johnson Mar 01, 2017 3:55 PMTags

As The Supremes sang in 1966, "You Can't Hurry Love"—and Ariana Grande and Mac Miller are proof that the song's message still rings true.

The 23-year-old "Everyday" singer graces the cover of Cosmopolitan's April issue, in which she discusses her six-month relationship with the rapper. "I met him when I was 19," says Grande, who first collaborated with Miller on "The Way" in 2013 before teaming up for the duet "My Favorite Part" in 2016. "We have loved and adored and respected each other since the beginning, since before we even met, just because we were fans of each other's talent."

Ariana Grande Takes the E!Q in 42

Four years ago, Grande was dating YouTube comedian Jai Brooks. Subsequent romances with Nathan Sykes and Big Sean followed before her relationship with Miller turned romantic. "We weren't ready at be together. It's just timing," she tells Cosmopolitan (on stands March 7). "We both needed to experience some things, but the love has been there the whole time."

The turn of events took Grande by surprise. "I've never looked at love as something that I need to complete me," says the singer, who kicked off her Dangerous Woman Tour Feb. 3. "I would like to be complete on my own first and fall in love with somebody who is also complete."

"You can still celebrate and be totally obsessed with each other," the pop singer tells the magazine, "but I want to feel a hundred percent myself so that I can love that person better."

It's obvious Grande has come into her own since her days a Nickelodeon star, and she's not afraid to speak out when she feels under attack. "A lot of times, women are labeled as a bitch or a diva for having a vision and being strong and using their voice, and it's just not the case," the musician argues. "You can be strong and be friendly. [We] don't have to be just one thing."

When times get tough, Grande looks to trailblazers like Madonna for hope. "I have the utmost respect for that woman. I love her with every ounce of my being, and not just because I'm obsessed with her entire discography," the "Side to Side" singer says of the Material Girl. "I'm so inspired by her bravery and her strength. I can look at her and not be scared to be strong."