12/05/2006 at 08:10 AM EST
She's not married, but she is dating, and the prospects are high for everything – including children, says Hilary Swank.
"I am to the point that I'm so optimistic that most people tag me as naïve," the double Oscar winner said at a press gathering to promote her new movie Freedom Writers
Though she didn't talk about the new man in her life (she's been seeing her agent, John Campisi
), Swank did say that being single is "a big change" after her eight years of marriage to actor Chad Lowe
– and revealed that she'd like a family.
"I definitely would like kids someday," says Swank. "That's definitely something that I've always thought about as a very, very young girl."
She added, "I just love kids and that would be an important thing to happen for me someday … whenever the time is right."
In the new movie, Swank, 32, plays a schoolteacher whose career interferes with her marriage. Asked how this situation compared to her real-life relationship with Lowe, Swank said "From (my movie character) Erin's point of view … there's like a support that is missing, an enthusiasm that's missing."
She said that such a lack of support "kills you, because this person that is supposed to be in your life, sharing your life, who loves you supposedly more than anyone and is supposed to understand you more than anyone, is trying to bring you down when you already have enough of that out there in the world. … I think that people who are scared don't allow someone else to be fully realized."
For his part, Lowe has been a subject covered in Swank's interviews before, which hasn't always been happy about. In November he told PEOPLE
that he was upset when Swank, talked publicly about his substance-abuse problems
, but he'll always love her.