While promoting his new memoir, Let Love Have the Last Word, Chicago MC Common spoke with PEOPLE about the ups and downs of some of his very public relationships.

“Some of the hardest work I’ve done on myself has been after breakups,” said the Oscar-winner. The "GO!" rapper dated neo-soul songstress Erykah Badu in the early 2000s, who opened up a new world for the wordsmith.

“With Erykah Badu, that was my first love where you’re just open and floating,” he said of his "Love of My Life" collaborator. The pair reportedly dated for two years before their split in 2002. “When we split, I was 27 or 28. I was in a haze, just going through the motions. It was hard to eat. It wasn’t her fault, the relationship just didn’t go forward.” 

While together, Badu was featured as the leading lady in Common's 2000 video, The Light.

Without naming names, the author revealed that another breakup was so hard to move past that it opened his eyes to the idea of counseling.

“I was in another breakup after that was heavy," Common said. "That one, honestly, is what sent me to therapy.”

Common has also dated actresses Kerry Washington and Taraji P. Henson, tennis superstar Serena Williams and political analyst Angela Rye. Today, the Like Water for Chocolate artist is single and ready for the real thing.

“Talking about my intimacy avoidance and love addiction was an 'aha' moment for me,” he said of what he has learned about himself in therapy. “The more you talk, the more you see the patterns you created for yourself. I’m open to a relationship now. I know how to communicate like an adult now. I want to be the best partner I can be.”