Alexa Vega on Fiancé: How I Knew He Was the One
09/30/2013 AT 07:00 PM EDT
"I've been through a marriage and I'm still very fond of my ex-husband, but if I've learned anything it's that relationships are about compromise," Vega, 25, tells PEOPLE, whose two-year marriage to producer Sean Covel ended in 2012.
"But there are compromises like where you want to eat, what color you want to paint the wall ... but not who you are as a person," she adds. "Never compromise yourself."
The Machete Kills star revealed her engagement on Instagram by posting a shirtless photo of Pena, 24, with the caption "Hello fiancé."
"He's pretty incredible that one," she says. "I've never met anybody who is as driven and as motivated and inspires me as much as Carlos does."
Still, the actress jokes that on paper, Pena was completely wrong for her.
"When I met Carlos, I had never dated a Latin guy ... I don't know if it's because all of my family is like a Latin crazy family, but I've only dated tall, lanky white guys – everybody has been over 6-foot-3 and white," she says.
"Meanwhile, Carlos is 5-foot-7, very Latin and he's an actor and I always said no actors – so, he was everything I wasn't looking for, but everything I needed," she says. "He is truly incredible!"
Vega says she hasn't even begun to plan her wedding.
"We haven't done anything," but she reveals that she and her new beau are "in the middle of moving into a new home" and "just trying to enjoy the engagement in between work."