The singer and expectant mom, 31, agonized over being single for almost seven years, but says when she met hubby Brandon Blackstock, she immediately knew her date-free days were out the door.
"Every Christmas, it was like, 'Seriously, I'm still pathetically alone? Awesome. I'm still telling people I'm okay with it? I'm not,' " Clarkson tells Parade as part of a holiday-themed photo spread promoting her new Christmas album, Wrapped in Red. "[When I started dating Brandon], in my head, I was like, 'I'm already married to you!' "
Looking back on past prospects, Clarkson doesn't see any particular one-that-got-away. But, like Adele, there is one ex who (inadvertently) helped boost her career.
"I only had like three boyfriends my whole life before Brandon, and two of them were good, just not a good fit," she says. "I only had one real stinker [who] I wrote [music about] and made a lot of money off of."
But empowering songs about heartbreak no longer seem to be Clarkson's shtick, given how the very first American Idol winner seems so blissfully wed.
"I bawled like a baby," she recalls of her recent nuptials. "We both wrote our own vows, and it was hard to get through them, but I did it … Brandon was like, 'The Notebook ain’t got nothin' on me – come on!' And he took me out [on the lake] in a rowboat. It was very sweet. The whole thing was perfect."