She's played a bride on TV, but in real life, Leighton Meester may never walk down the aisle.
After splitting with beau of two years Sebastian Stan in 2010, Meester hasn't dated much. "I never had a boyfriend until I was 18. It's nice, I guess -- when you like them," the actress tells the April issue of Marie Claire. "But it isn't the most important thing."
It's been five years since Meester first set foot on the Gossip Girl set, and she's much less naive about love and life. "I'm a totally different person than when I started. I'm growing into an adult," she says. "I feel more mature than most people my age. I’m having this weird growth spurt. I'm starting to see my future differently. I'm getting ready for it."
Meester has always been an optimist. Her mother, Constance, gave birth to her while serving federal prison time for drug trafficking; her father, Doug, also served time for drug-related offenses. Meester refused to let her parents' mistakes define her life.
"My family has a crazy history," the actress acknowledges. "Probably the craziest I've heard of."
"You can take what is handed to you and use it as an excuse to mess up. But I've always handled what was given to me by life," Meester tells Marie Claire. "I consider myself lucky. I was never lied to. And I was loved."