Avril Lavigne wasn't looking for love when she met her boyfriend, Mod Sun.
In the new issue of PEOPLE, the pop-punk princess, 37, reveals that after a particularly bad breakup, she swore off relationships in 2020.
"I was like, 'I need a break from men,'" the "Bite Me" singer says, adding with a laugh: "Then two days later that all went out the window!"
DTA RECORDS Avril Lavigne
The Grammy-nominated singer met rocker Mod (real name: Derek Smith) during a songwriting session, sparks flew, and they began dating "immediately," she says. "I just followed my heart."
Adds Lavigne: "I was getting out of a big relationship, and for the first time in my life, I thought I should probably be single. I got together with [Mod Sun] to write a song. We just clicked. I was like, 'Should you be doing this?' It was fun and exciting, and I decided, 'F--- it. Life's short.' I'm a Libra. I love love."
Since getting together, the pair — who first sparked dating rumors in February 2021 — have been frequent collaborative partners. Lavigne was featured on Mod's 2021 single "Flames," and he co-wrote and co-produced several tracks on her new album, Love Sux, which drops Friday.
Avril Lavigne, Love Sux
"We bonded over music," Lavigne says.
Indeed, she had set out to record a breakup album before falling for Mod. Her experience with heartache and her new romance inspired her seventh album, for which she teamed up with friends like Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker, who also happens to be her new label head on DTA Records.
Backgrid Mod Sun & Avril Lavigne
"He played on [my album] The Best Damn Thing. That was 15 years ago, so it was great to reconnect with him for this record," Lavigne says of working with Barker. "It's been good working with him because he's an artist — having the president of my label being an artist, it kind of makes it easier and more fun because he just understands. He gets it; it's chill. It's just been this wonderful party."
After taking a more contemplative turn on her last album, 2019's Head Above Water, Lavigne is rocking on with Love Sux, a return to the punk roots of her debut album Let Go, which was released 20 years ago in June.
Avril Lavigne/instagram Travis Barker, Avril Lavigne
"I can't believe it's been 20 years. My first album's so special to me. We're going to celebrate it all year. I'll probably play more songs from that album on tour," Lavigne says of the beloved LP.
Lavigne — and Let Go — had quite the impact on listeners and continues to this day. The next generation of pop-punk stars, including Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish and Willow Smith, have cited Lavigne as an inspiration for their careers.
Jeff Kravitz/MTV VMAs 2021/Getty Avril Lavigne and Mod Sun
"They're really talented songwriters, and it's been cool for me to meet these girls," Lavigne says. "The 17-year-old me could never have imagined I'd be in this position where people tell me that my music's had an influence on them."
For more on Avril Lavigne, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.