"I have to remind myself not to settle," The Boy Next Door star tells PEOPLE

By Elizabeth Leonard
Updated December 01, 2020 09:39 PM
Credit: John Russo

Single men, take note. While Jennifer Lopez is in no rush to date – much less marry – again, she’s learned a few things about what she wants in a partner.

“Honesty is really important,” The Boy Next Door star, 45, tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. “I’m looking for someone who is like-minded and respectful, conscious of someone else’s feelings and loves themselves enough to have a healthy relationship; someone who will allow me to be myself 100 percent completely and will love me for that person.”

Celebrity status, meanwhile, is not a pre-requisite.

“I don’t care [about that],” says Lopez, who split from dancer Beau “Casper” Smart last spring. “I think they should have their own life, because the world I have around me can be overwhelming.”

One deal-breaker quality? Someone who is a good fit for her kids, 6-year-old twins Emme and Max.

“Bringing someone into the kids’ lives is going to be a huge deal,” she says. “I think, ‘Are you good enough for my kids? Are you loving enough? Are you kind enough?’ ”

Although she has been married three times – her divorce from singer Marc Anthony was finalized in June 2014, three years after their split – Lopez remains optimistic.

“I believe in marriage,” she says. “I believe that two people can commit to each other and share a life together. But my main relationship is with myself, and when I’m happy on my own, it will allow for something great to happen. I have to remind myself not to settle.”

Lopez adds: “I know what I have to offer and what I have to give in a relationship. And if I’m going to share my amazing kids and my amazing life and my amazing love, then it has to be amazing in return.”

For more of our exclusive interview, and to see inside Lopez’s amazing L.A. home, pick up PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday