Jennifer Lopez made some sweeping changes in her gold-plated life in the past year-plus.

She split with hubby and baby daddy Marc Anthony. She left the 'American Idol' judging panel after a two-year run. She took up with a dancer nearly 20 years her junior.

But when you look and feel as good as J. Lo, you have no regrets, and that's just what she says in her new PEOPLE cover, where she is youthfully yet glam thanks to stick straight hair, blunt bangs and a fuzzy blue cardigan.

La Lopez confessed that "I don't regret those things – that's who I am" about her public romances and very public lifestyle. She have lived and learned, saying, "But at least now I'm at a point where I have to recognize that these choices and things that happen are partly because of me and my decisions and I have to be more careful. So I am being more careful."

Lopez, 43, says that when she and Anthony decided to go their separate ways after seven years of marriage and twins, she was socked in the gut by that awful "whole world fell apart" feeling.

She quickly rebounded with Casper Smart, her choreographer, who is 25. He was the salve her heart needed to mend.

"I just got out of a big, heavy, devastating thing, and he's helped me heal," Lopez confessed. "He's been there for me."

Can we get an "Awww!!!?"

But make no mistake. The media savvy Lopez is acutely aware that the media raises its eyebrows over her romance. She even finds herself asking Smart why he doesn't get himself a girlfriend closer to his own age. But in the end, their love wins out.

"I ask him, 'Why don't you go find a young girlfriend and get out of here? What do you want with me?,'" she revealed. "And you think, 'How long is this gonna be?' You think, 'Okay, in 10 years I'm going to be like this and you're going to be like that' and men at that age are … I think all different things. The truth is we don't know what's going to happen. We're loving this moment right now. We make each other happy."

Can we get another "Awww!!!?"

In the accompanying video interview, Lopez, who rocks blunt bangs like the kind we recently saw on Beyonce, said that she left 'Idol' to get back to movies. She missed that part of her job. Even though she loved the show and the people who worked on it, it was time to move on.

"It was a hard decision," she said, acknowledging that people thought she was playing with the media as she flip-flopped when discussing her possible return. She insists she wasn't.

"It was not about money," she says, especially when it comes to your heart and art. "I always feel the money will come."

That's easy for her to say.

Watch the Jennifer Lopez 'Dance Again' Video