06/15/2009 at 12:00 PM EDT
All you need is love – just ask love-struck actor Bruce Willis
The tough guy, Die Hard
bachelor once vowed to never marry again, but he admits he broke that decade-long promise immediately when he met his current wife, Emma Heming.
"I lasted one date," Willis, 54, says in the July issue of W magazine
. "I went from 'F--- love' to 'Love is truly the answer.'"
After separating from Demi Moore
in 1998, "I spent the last 10 years single and, for the most part, unhappy. In a dark place. I never thought that being with someone else was the answer," he says.
"I would say, 'I'm alone, but I'm not lonely.' But I was just kidding myself," he adds. "Then I started hanging around Emma, and on a day-to-day basis my life became much happier."
Since marrying Heming, 32, in March, Bruce admits, "We're sickening. We make out in public. I know there's some rule that you're not supposed to be doing – what is it? Public displays of affection?"
One of Willis's favorite things about his bride? Just like Demi's husband Ashton Kutcher
, she gets along great with the kids. Heming says she adores her new role as "a stepmommy" and her "individual relationships with each of the girls."
"We've become like a tribe," Willis says of his newly integrated family. "It's generated a lot of interest because everyone can understand resentment and envy in the breakup of a marriage, but they don't understand how I can get along with my ex like that.
"Demi and I made a choice to put the kids first, and we're really lucky that it turns out we all have fun together. I still love her, and I have a lot of respect for how she lives her life."