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Sheryl Crow: My Famous Ex-Boyfriends Made Me Feel 'Smaller'

07/15/2014 at 06:00 PM EDT

Sheryl Crow Talks Past Relationships
Sheryl Crow
Sara De Boer/Startraks

Owen Wilson

Owen Wilson

Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow hasn't given up on finding "the one" – though when she does, she may not meet him at the altar.

"Hey, I would love to get married – I'm still old-fashioned. But I don't think marriage is the be-all-and-end-all," the nine-time Grammy winner, 52, says in August's Good Housekeeping. "It's better to have three broken engagements than three divorces."

Crow also reflects on why her past relationships with celebrities – including Owen Wilson, Eric Clapton and former fiancé Lance Armstrong – eventually ran their course.

"I have always gone out with guys who were highly successful, which would seem like it would put me at an equal level," she says. "But what ends up happening is that one of you becomes smaller – and it was always me. … I do think that sometimes in order for one person's light to shine, everyone else has to dim theirs."



Whatever the future holds, Crow currently couldn't be happier with her family life: She adopted sons Wyatt, now 7, in 2007, and Levi, 4, three years later.

Calling a 50-acre ranch in Nashville home, Crow says her boys "could not be more like brothers if I'd had them both myself."

"They understand that they came out of different tummies," she tells the magazine. "But they also believe, as do I, that God put us together. They know how blessed I am to get to be their mommy. So when they're mad that I won't let them play video games, I say, 'God put me in charge. I'm raising you all the best that I can, and some decisions are not fun.' "

In terms of her career, Crow is going full country on tour with Rascal Flatts this summer, performing songs from her September album Feels Like Home.

Sheryl Crow: My Famous Ex-Boyfriends Made Me Feel 'Smaller'| Rascal Flatts, Colbie Caillat, Eric Clapton, Lance Armstrong, Owen Wilson, Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow on Good Housekeeping

Courtesy Good Housekeeping

Though she remains successful a full two decades after her debut, Crow admits the industry has changed.

"It's hard to be a woman in music today," says the artist, who recently contributed a makeup-free selfie to the lyric video for Colbie Caillat's self-esteem ballad "Try."

"There's so much sex that's projected, and that's a bummer. These singers talk about how empowering it is, but a good musician who can command the stage doesn't have to rely on sex to sell her music."

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