09/05/2013 at 06:00 PM EDT
Breakups are tough, but they can also be instructive. Just ask Darren Criss.
"When I was a junior in college, I'd broken up with a girl, but there were those residual months when I was still calling her all the time and wanting to spend time with her," the Glee
star, 26, tells Cosmopolitan
in their October issue, on newsstands Sept.10.
"Basically, she sat me down and said, 'Listen, you broke my heart. Accept responsibility for your actions, be a man, and leave me alone, because it's only going to make things worse.' I'll always remember that as a pivotal moment in my life. I hope she's reading this because I love her for it," Criss says.
And speaking of being a man, Criss – who plays the gay and proud Blaine Anderson on FOX's hit show – says he never feels the need to assert his heterosexuality in real life.
"I know who I am," he says. "I feel bad for guys who have to flex their muscles."
"But hey," he adds, "if that's the way to make yourself feel comfortable as a man – as long as it isn't antagonizing anybody – go for it. I'm okay with your getting a Miata to feel like a dude; just don't be a dick about it.”
So just how comfortable is he with his sexuality? "A guy licked my face – straight up grabbed my head and licked my face," Criss says matter-of-factly of an encounter with a diehard Glee
fan gone wild.