Gwen Stefani is feeling extra thankful for boyfriend Blake Shelton as they approach their four-year anniversary of dating next month.
In her cover story for SHAPE’s November Issue, the No Doubt singer opened up about how her relationship has been “healing” ever since she and Shelton fell for each other on the set of The Voice in 2015 following both of their respective divorces (Shelton from fellow country star Miranda Lambert and Stefani from Bush rocker Gavin Rossdale).
“I feel as if I spent the last four years healing — you know, trying to build my life again,” Stefani, 50, said. “Having a best friend like Blake to help me do that has been one of the greatest gifts.”
Stefani went on to say that splitting time between Los Angeles, where she and Shelton, 43, are currently filming season 17 of The Voice, and Shelton’s Oklahoma ranch is something she never saw coming.
“I’m an unusual product of an ordinary California family,” she said. “My parents met in high school, my mom never worked, and we went to church on Sundays. Now I get to travel the world. And spending time in the middle of America [on Blake’s ranch] — that’s something I didn’t expect. The way we live at the ranch is really simple. There are watermelons that Blake planted and all my wildflowers. It’s a nice contrast to L.A., although I do keep 20 chickens in the backyard here at home too.”
Stefani — who, on top of coaching The Voice, is busy performing her Las Vegas residency shows at the Zappos Theater through Nov. 2 — said she’s all about balance these days.
“I love having projects. But I also love to be in my bed and have downtime,” she said. “I love to know that I don’t have the guilt of being so busy that I miss out on taking my kids to school.”
“Balance is the hardest thing, but it’s also the most important — being with my family, having time with Blake where we just watch movies,” she later added. “It seems like, with your career, you have to keep swimming, keep moving, or else you’re going to look back and go, ‘Shoot, it’s over.’ I don’t like feeling like that. I want to do creative things when I want, and I want to stop chasing all the time. It’s hard, but I’m really enjoying being in the moment.”
Though Stefani said she “always [feels] better” when she’s in a routine, she admitted, “I sometimes hate it.”
“I eat really clean, do my shows and work out,” said Stefani, who added of how she stays fit, “I play tennis, badly, with Blake. Then we go to the gym. I like to do squats and lunges and light weights. I don’t go crazy like I used to. I do just enough to make my body feel good.”
Stefani said raising her three sons — Kingston, 13, Zuma, 11, and Apollo, 5 (whom she shares with Rossdale) — has also helped teach her a few things over the years.
“One thing the kids have taught me is how to be more organized,” she said. “I lived at home until I was 26, then I had a tour manager, then a manager, then an assistant. On tour, you even have somebody who has the key to your hotel room. But as a mom, you have to be the one in charge.”
Last week, Stefani celebrated her milestone 50th birthday with a family celebration and a trip to the woods with Shelton.
On her birthday, Shelton paid tribute to Stefani on Twitter with a sweet message that read, “Happy Birthday @gwenstefani!!!! I love you so much it’s actually stupid… And possibly illegal in the state of California.”
When asked about his and Stefani’s upcoming four-year anniversary of dating, Shelton told PEOPLE in June, “It’s actually shocking that it has already been that long.”
“It’s kind of a blur,” he said. “It still feels like it’s pretty new to me. I guess it is, relatively. Four years isn’t forever, but man, it seems like it just happened in no time.”
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