"Oh, gosh, I've lived a lot of Valentine's Days by myself and wanting someone like Ryan in my life," Sutter, 41, told PEOPLE on Thursday. "I can't remember one in particular that was horrible, but I do know that I had been alone a lot on Valentine's Day and not been happy a lot on Valentine's Day."
Now, a decade into her marriage with the man she met on ABC's hit show, Sutter says life is pure bliss.
"I'm happier than ever, actually," she gushed. "I think when you wake up in the morning, you know if you're complete. And I think when you lay your head down at night, if your mind isn't wandering and you're not on the verge of tears, then you have a smile inside, even if you aren't always smiling."
But even when she wasn't in the best place, romantically, Sutter – who teamed up with Viva Vantage paper towels to encourage consumers nationwide to break up for the better and move onto cleaner, happier relationships – tried to remind herself, "There can always be something around the corner even better for you."
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She explained: "I think if you keep your life open to possibilities, then crazy things can happen – like falling in love on television. When you're in that bubble, it's hard to focus on the positive and know that something is around the corner, but we can never give up hope and we can never settle. Don't let yourself be overtaken by the sadness or the frustration or the anger."
As for her own Valentine's Day plans on Friday, unfortunately they aren't too riveting.
"I wish it were something romantic and something fun, but Ryan's working, so he'll be at the fire station," she said. "I'm hoping to make something fun with the kids and take it to him. And then we're actually going to Disneyland."