07/31/2008 at 01:45 PM EDT
At the tender age of 22, Mischa Barton
has already been in love – twice. But she still hasn't found Mr. Right.
"I'm lucky to know you can have more than one soulmate in life," Barton says in the Sept., 20 anniversary issue of Marie Claire U.K.
"But, like a true actress, I'm always changing the way I feel about who I want to be. Nowadays, I feel I'm settling more into a woman and I'm understanding who I am."
In April, the former O.C.
actress pleaded no contest
to driving under the influence. She describes her December arrest
as an "awful low."
"The thing is, I hate drunk drivers. Living in L.A., I can't stand them, and that's why I was so disappointed in myself," she says. "I wanted to prove to the court that I would take it completely seriously, so I went to rehab to prove I was sober.
"It really helped in getting the more serious aspects of my case dropped because, you know, that's what they want to hear: you're not an alcoholic, and you don't have a problem."
Despite the distractions, the actress hasn't lost her focus.
"I don't look at the gossip Web sites – it's unhealthy, and I think it's a large part of what drives people in L.A. crazy," Barton says.
"I'm an actress, I'm in this to find the next great project and think about all the positive things I'm doing. The fact is, I'm having a real life with friends, and being a normal human being."