Sarah Harding has spoken for the first time about the breakdown of her two-year relationship with her childhood sweetheart.
In an exclusive interview and photoshoot with HELLO! magazine, the Tumble star says that she is disappointed that the fairytale of a rekindled romance with DJ Mark Foster didn't live up to expectations.
"I guess it's a lovely thought, isn't it, that the person you're meant to be with was one of your first loves all along. That whole destiny thing," she told the magazine. "And I'm really hoping that at some point in the future, we can be friends because we have a lot of history."
And she said that taking part in the hit ITV show helped her get over the break-up.
"I learned that I am a lot stronger and more determined than I realised and I think I needed that confidence boost," she says. "The break-up did shake me and of course I was upset. But I had put so much into the show, I knew I had to focus and that's what I did.
"It's taught me not to expect the world from every relationship and to live in the present more. And I definitely can see that I need to stay single for a while because the worst thing I could do right now would be to rush into another relationship. I've been guilty of that in the past but I need to spend some time on my own, concentrating on me and what I want from life."
But she admits that seeing two of her former Girls Aloud bandmates – Kimberley Walsh and Nadine Coyle – give birth has made her think about having children in the future. "It does get harder to see other people have something that you want," she tells us.
"I do feel my biological clock is ticking and while I'm not ready right now, I do want to be a mum one day. I still have a few years to go but I do go through stages where it plays on my mind."
Read the full interview in HELLO! magazine, out now.