Good things come to those who wait, as Olivia Wilde learned the hard way.
The House M.D. actress, 28, opened up about her eight-year marriage to Italian prince and filmmaker Tao Ruspoli, 36, during Lifetime's The Conversation With Amanda de Cadenet May 31. (The two wed when Wilde was just 19 years old.)
"I really had a sense that I had stunted my growth. I think that's one of the things that made me feel so uncomfortable in my marriage. It was really no fault of my husband. It was me realizing that I had sort of arrested development. I knew the only way I was going to grow the f-ck up was to learn to take care of myself."
Wilde and Ruspoli separated in February 2011, and the actress filed for divorce the following month, citing "irreconcilable differences." On September 29, 2011, their divorce was finalized.
"You go through this incredible roller coaster with your self-preservation -- initially you do whatever it takes to survive," Wilde said of life post-split. "I went through this period of being so high on having finally made this leap that I was almost in a manic phase. I lost a bunch of weight and I was never sleeping . . .Eventually, like everything does, it slows down."
Though she had brief romances with Bradley Cooper and Justin Timberlake, Wilde eventually found love again with Saturday Night Live comic Jason Sudeikis, 36.
"Dating was a lot more painful than I'd ever imagined. Learning to be by myself and be OK with it, and not need the validation of another human being, that has been the biggest challenge," Wilde admitted. "But I know coming out of that, I'll be a better person -- and a better partner -- eventually, for someone."
And Wilde is well on her way. "A lot of people say, 'Wow! I feel like I'm seeing an old friend who I haven't seen in years.' It's a good feeling. I do feel more connected to myself and I feel more relaxed because I'm very open and raw," she said. "I feel like I've let people see me and I'm not longer trying to pretend I'm perfect."
The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet airs Thursdays at 11 p.m. EST on Lifetime.