Jennifer Lopez has opened up about her love life, saying she had to learn to love herself before being happy in a relationship.

The singer and actress, who is currently dating Alex Rodriquez, has endured well-publicised splits from Ben Affleck, Marc Anthony, Sean "Diddy" Combs and Casper Smart in the past.

"For me, the relationship journey has been very up and down," she tells the February issue of Harper's Bazaar. "But it didn't have to do with anybody else but me - it was about me figuring out me."

She added: "Until you learn to love yourself, you can't completely love (someone else) in a way that is pure and true. Once you do that, you can have relationships that are based on love and respect, that are supportive and nourishing.

"There's an evolution there that had to happen for me, I feel like I'm in a better place now."

Lopez is ever-optimistic and can see the plus signs. "I've got two amazing kids and a great boyfriend," she said. 

"I don't have everything figured out, and everything isn't perfect. But I feel very proud that with all the things I've gone through in my personal life, I'm still optimistic and hopeful." 

She bristles when she sees her name in the tabloids. "You're trying to do your best and people are putting you down, or trying to make believe you're not a nice person, or you're a diva. I'm always like, 'Who are you talking about?'"