Grammy-winning rapper Nelly has warmed up to the idea of putting a ring on long-time girlfriend and R&B singer Ashanti‘s finger after years of dating.

When recently asked about possible wedding bells, Nelly said he hoped to only get married once and revealed how close he remains to Ashanti.

“[Our relationship] is the same it’s always been,” Nelly said in an interview when asked about the singer. “We’re really good friends, you know? I think that’s the thing people don’t understand. I say that because you know it’s like society puts a pressure on you ’cause they want to see it turn into a certain relationship. You see what I’m saying? But if that relationship don’t work, then society doesn’t take the responsibility of when it don’t work. [laughs] You know what I’m saying? It’s kind of like, ‘Oh, oh, okay, we’ll move on to the next couple we want to see.’ I think what people don’t understand is I think you really have to be friends first. I think that’s the thing. It’s not about how long it takes because there’s no time limit on this. I’m not a person that wants to get married more than once. You see what I’m saying? … If I’ma do it, I’ma do it and that’s it. You’re dying if you leave me. Right now we’re friends, man, I’m married to my work, [my new album] 5.0. You see what I’m saying? I’m married to getting things in a certain situation right now and she’s married to getting things in a certain situation right now. So again, man, we enjoy each other’s company and love it.” (Rap-Up TV)

Earlier this year, Nelly called out past reports suggesting Ashanti was his girlfriend.

“I’ve never said I was in a relationship, she’s never said she’s in a relationship, so I don’t know where they do that at,” Nelly told host Swain. “But the thing is, we’ve always admitted we’re friends. We hang out. She’s a sweet girl, very pretty girl, very talented, but she does her thing as far as her career and I’m doing my thing as far as my career now. The end results are inconclusive.” (WCGI)

Last September, Nelly said he lives and enjoys the bachelor life.

“Oh man I’m dating something unbelievable. She is so sexy, she is a new girl, I’ve been dating her now for a couple of months… She’s called 5.0 and we get married on November 16. You’re all invited to the wedding! Anybody want to come? I’m single. I’m not married or anything like that. It’s more about making sure 5.0 is where it needs to be.” (Us Magazine)

Following Nelly’s simple denials, Ashanti also recently addressed her ties with the rapper.

“So one of the rumors that I would like to clear up, the whole Nelly-Ashanti, and Nelly’s denying and Nelly’s not claiming; let’s clear that up right now,” she told “Me and Nelly are good friends. I never said I was his girl, I never quote, unquote, ‘claimed him,’ I never said we were an item and neither has he, so there you have it. We’re good friends. The whole, ‘oh he’s denying and she’s denying,’ no claiming. Come on, son!” (BET)

Check out Nelly’s interview below: