"I've never been in love," the singer says in the April issue of British Cosmopolitan. "I want to be so badly – I'm a hopeless romantic, but I haven't been there yet."
The "My Life Would Suck Without You" singer, 26, says her parents' divorce when she was 6 shaped her attitude towards love, making her "realize that relationships can be broken and people fall out of love."
It didn't help, she adds, that one of her exes was only with her "because he wanted to be famous. Oh, and he also had [another] girlfriend the entire time we were together."
The experience has left Clarkson cynical about romance – "I can spot a cheat a mile off these days" – but she also says her fame gets in the way of dating or settling down.
Grounded by Girlfriends"I love my career and being independent," Clarkson says. "I find dating awkward – it's like a question-and-answer session, but the guy has an unfair advantage because he's probably read about me."
She does, however, know what she's looking for: a great sense of humor, facial hair and "a man who already has a strong sense of what he wants out of life."
Until he shows up, Clarkson sticks close to a great group of friends who keep her grounded.
"My friends have shaped who I am," she says. "I couldn't function without my girlfriends. They're the first people I call if I feel down."
2003: Kelly looks to top the charts after Idol
Complete Kelly's lyrics in Hollywood Hangman