Zoë Saldana's Relationship Advice: Don't Settle

07/14/2014 at 04:30 PM EDT

Zoe Saldana Talks About Her Marriage to Marco Perego
Zoë Saldana
Boe Marion/Marie Claire
Over the years, Zoë Saldana has learned a thing or two about relationships.

The Guardians of the Galaxy star tells Marie Claire for its August issue that the most important thing she's figured out is "not to settle. If you're not happy with a person, leave. And wait until you find that one person who makes you feel good about yourself every single day and is not expecting you to change, but to grow."

Saldana, 36, says she trusted in her relationship with husband Marco Perego from the get-go.

"I don't do the ABCs. I do what my heart says, what my heart feels. So from the moment I met my husband, we were together. We knew."



Saldana puts a premium on respect, and says her past relationships are ancient history.

"I have been in relationships where a man has disrespected me, and I don't need to be friends with that man anymore," she says.

Zoë Saldana's Relationship Advice: Don't Settle| Guardians of the Galaxy, Zoe Saldana

Zoë Saldana

Boe Marion / Marie Claire

"I don't want to be the one going, 'I'm cool, because I'm friends with all my exes.' There's a reason why you're called an ex. I crossed you off my list. Moving on. You cross a line, you need to know that you're going to walk this earth knowing that there's an individual who has no respect for you."

Saldana was previously engaged to entrepreneur Keith Britton. After 11 years together, the couple split in 2011. She then dated Bradley Cooper before calling things off early last year.



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