Selena Gomez: 'I Don't Like Hiding' My Relationship with Justin Bieber
05/03/2011 AT 01:35 PM EDT
But now Gomez, who calls their Oscar after-party date "our prom," admits she's sick of acting like her romance with the pop star, 17, doesn't exist.
"I don't like hiding," Gomez tells Seventeen magazine. "I do like to keep certain things to myself, but at the end of the day, I'm 18 and I'm going to fall in love. I'm going to hang out with people and I'm going to explore myself, and I'm okay with that."
Her love life may seem just peachy now, but Gomez confesses she's had her heart broken in the past.
"When I went through my first breakup, I thought it was the end of the world, and I thought I was going to die if I didn't have him in my life," she says. "It was good to cry it out and just scream, or call my friends in the middle of the night crying."
Speaking of relationships, Gomez says that she'll always have a special place in her heart for her pal Demi Lovato, who recently completed treatment for emotional and physical issues.
"There's an amount of love that can never – no matter what – be taken away or torn apart, no matter the situation," says Gomez who calls "best friend" labels "so ridiculous." "There are certain people who you will always, always love, so if anything, this just reminded me of how much I truly love her."