Rihanna: It's awkward because I still love Chris Brown
The Bajan singer also revealed in her emotional interview to US chat show host Oprah Winfrey this weekend that she's "very very" good friends with her ex.
The 24-year-old broke down in tears as she admitted: "It's awkward because I still love him. My stomach drops, and I have to maintain this poker face and not let it get to the outer part of me. I have to maintain that and suppress it, interpret it and understand it, and understand that that's not going to go away.
"When you don't understand those feelings, you can make a lot of mistakes."
Chris, 23, who now has a new girlfriend in model Karrueche Tran, also 23, beat Rihanna black and blue before the Grammy Awards three years ago.
As a result, Rihanna took out a restraining order on the R'n'B singer. But this was lifted in February 2011 and the pair have since built up a relationship again.
She continued: "We've been working on our friendship. Now, we're very, very close friends. We built a trust again. We love each other and we probably always will, and that's not anything that we're going to try to change.
"He's in a relationship of his own. I'm single, but we have maintained a very close friendship ever since the restraining order's been dropped. Just worked on it little by little, and it has not been easy."
Rihanna went on to admit that she's not sure any other man will come close to Chris.
She added: "I think he was the love of my life. He was my first love and I see that he loved me the same way. I truly love him. The main thing for me is he's at peace.
"I'm not at peace if he's not happy or he's still lonely. I care. It actually matters that he finds that peace."