Sophia Bush is a romantic at heart.
Six months after Us Weekly broke the news that she and her on-and-off beau of six years, Austin Nichols, were no longer an item, the former One Tree Hill star, 30, opened up about her new life as a single woman at the Songbirds' Miss Me album release party (hosted by ELLE magazine and Modern Family's Sarah Hyland) in West Hollywood August 9.
"Being on my own has been amazing," Bush said. "I don't know if it's coming into my thirties or what it is, but I'm such a sucker for love and I believe in it and I always want it to win. By nature, I think as women we are nurturers, we're caretakers, and me in particular. . . I want to take care of everybody else. And to have spent so long now just taking care of myself and my girlfriends and enjoying that, it's so good. I think it's so important."
Being on her own made Bush realize what she values most in a relationship.
"I don't think you can really, truly be the partner you want to be until you know on an absolute level that you are a complete person on your own. I think that's something all women deserve to know," she explained. "So many fairytales we read as children -- and the love stories we watch on TV when we're older -- tell us that we're not enough unless we have man. And it's like, 'No, homie! You can be a bonus when I have time for you in my life.'"
Bush -- who was briefly married to her One Tree Hill costar Chad Michael Murray, 30, in 2005 -- said while she's not actively looking for a boyfriend, her ideal man will be "altruistic," "passionate about the world," "educated, creative and inspiring."
The actress was recently linked to actor Topher Grace, 34, though she previously debunked that romance rumor. "There's this weird assumption that any time that people who have opposite body parts are hanging out, they're having sex. It's like first of all, no! It takes an awful long time to get the keys to the castle, thank you very much!" she laughed. "And second of all, why can't I just have male friends?"
Bush doesn't have much time for romance, anyway, given that her new CBS series, Partners, is slated to premiere September 24 at 8:30 p.m. EST. "It's the dream! I wake up every day and pinch myself," Bush told Us of her new TV gig. "I can't believe this is my life!"