06/18/2013 at 01:50 PM EDT
isn't big on kissing and telling – at least not now.
"Sometimes when someone [in the press] asks me about my dating status, I get really quiet about that because I want to protect it," the actress, who's been linked to Italian fashion executive Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo
, tells E! Online
Says Chastain, 36: "When I'm engaged someday – who knows to who – I'll probably be more open about it."
The actress, who earned back-to-back Oscar nominations
for her roles in The Help
and Zero Dark Thirty
, explains that she wants to make sure a relationship will go the distance before going public with it.
"Seeing all these interviews with actors talking about loves of their lives and then they break up in a year and you're thinking, 'What if something happens and they end up being a total jerk?' " says Chastain. "Then you forever have these pictures of you standing on the red carpets together."
The actress has been notoriously private about her love life over the years – but she did make a public appearance
with de Preposulo in February at the Women in Film 6th annual Pre-Oscar Cocktail Party, where they were spotted kissing and hugging.
Earlier, she revealed the relationship to Katie Couric on Katie
"I have a rule," Chastian told the talk-show host, "I don't date actors, so he's not in the business, at all. … He's in the fashion industry."