— -- Rihanna admits she made a mistake getting back with her ex Chris Brown after he pleaded guilty to assaulting her in 2009.
"I was that girl," she told Vanity Fair's November cover story about their brief reconciliation.
"That girl who felt that as much pain as this relationship is, maybe some people are built stronger than others. Maybe I’m one of those people built to handle s*** like this. Maybe I’m the person who’s almost the guardian angel to this person, to be there when they’re not strong enough, when they’re not understanding the world, when they just need someone to encourage them in a positive way and say the right thing."
In fact, Rihanna thought she could change Brown.
"A hundred percent," she said. "I was very protective of him. I felt that people didn’t understand him. Even after... But you know, you realize after a while that in that situation you’re the enemy. You want the best for them, but if you remind them of their failures, or if you remind them of bad moments in their life, or even if you say I’m willing to put up with something, they think less of you—because they know you don’t deserve what they’re going to give. And if you put up with it, maybe you are agreeing that you [deserve] this, and that’s when I finally had to say, ‘Uh-oh, I was stupid thinking I was built for this.’ Sometimes you just have to walk away."
Despite their past, Rihanna said, "I don’t hate him. I will care about him until the day I die. We’re not friends, but it’s not like we’re enemies. We don’t have much of a relationship now."
Nor does the singer have a relationship with anyone right now.
"People have this image of how wild and crazy I am, and I’m not everything they think of me," the 27-year-old singer said. "The reality is that the fame, the rumors -- this picture means this, another picture means that -- it really freaks me out. It made me back away from even wanting to attempt to date."
That doesn't mean she doesn't get lonely.
"It is lonely," she said, "but I have so much work to do that I get distracted. I don’t have time to be lonely."
Still, she's hopeful about meeting the right guy one day.
"I always see the best in people. I hope for the best, and I always look for that little bit of good, that potential, and I wait for it to blossom," the singer said, adding that most men today are afraid to be gentlemen because it makes them look "soft."
"I will wait forever if I have to," Rihanna told Vanity Fair, "but that’s O.K. You have to be screwed over enough times to know."