Much has been written about the fact that No Doubt bandmates Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal started out making more than just music together -- and that their breakup helped inspire some of the songs that turned their 'Tragic Kingdom' album into such a massive hit. But time heals all wounds, and these days, Stefani looks back on their split with gratitude.

"That first love you have is so huge and it was, like, so overwhelming and I remember defining myself by that," Stefani said during an interview published in the latest U.K. issue of ELLE. "Basically I was so inspired by this love there was just nothing else. I wanted to get married, I wanted to have babies. It was such a short dream, you know what I mean? I didn't realize at the time there is so much more out there."

Of course, now that she's a happily married mom -- and she and Kanal have been platonic bandmates for nearly 20 years -- Stefani has a far deeper understanding of life, relationships and the world. And, as she went on to discuss, she credits that turning point with helping define who she is as a person.

"It unlocked a whole other side of me I didn't even know I had," said Stefani. "Ever since then, I don't remember that little girl. She was different. I think that's the thing: discovering I had something I'm passionate about and I think I'm good at. That defines me now, more than just Young Love or whatever."