Zoe Saldana had never "loved without fear" until she met her husband.
The ‘Live by Night’ actress – who was previously in an 11-year relationship with entrepreneur Keith Britton and dated Bradley Cooper for over a year – always feared being rejected so couldn’t fully commit to her romances, but things changed when she met Marco Perego, who she married in June 2013 after just a few months of dating.
She said: "With Marco, it was the first time I had loved without fear. There had always been a sense of keeping my guard up and not wanting to be rejected or being the one to be left [in previous relationships], so I ended up only loving halfway. But one day I woke up and thought, ‘I don’t want to love this way – I feel so incomplete’, and then the right person came along while I was making that decision."
And the 38-year-old beauty – who has two-year-old twins Cy and Bowie with Marco – thinks some of her past relationships didn’t work out because she fell in love with "potential", rather than "reality".
She said: "I didn’t date a lot before – I was always with people for long periods of time. But even when I was unhappy I didn’t discuss it, maybe because I’m a wimp!
"But as a girl you hear the fairytales and learn to fall in love with potential as opposed to reality. I think, though, that had I accepted what the man was really like, I wouldn’t have dated half the people I did."
Zoe admits she can be "withdrawn and pragmatic" in her relationships, but artist Marco has helped her learn to relax and have more fun.
She told You magazine: "I can be withdrawn, pragmatic, and it’ll be my husband who says, ‘Relax, please. How was your day? How was my day? I love you. You love me. Fantastic!’
"I was so rigid before I met him and he compelled me to laugh. He would tell me, ‘Look, I’m not going to yell at you. I’m not going to cheat on you, hit you or take your money. Just relax.’
"Now I know how great it is to date a warm, cuddly person."