The This Is Us actor filed for divorce in November 2019 after two years of marriage, shocking the Selling Sunset star

By Jeff Nelson
September 30, 2020 03:00 PM
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Chrishell Stause is back on the market and ready to mingle.

Last November, the soap actress and reality star was left heartbroken when husband Justin Hartley suddenly filed for divorce, ending their marriage, she said, over a text message.

“I’ve had to start over so many times in my life,” Stause, 39, tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. “I always know how to look at the bright side because there’s been a lot of dark.”

For more on Chrishell Stause, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.

Tawni Bannister
Chrishell Stause Hartley and Justin Hartley
JC Olivera/WireImage

Stause's heartbreak — and the fallout from their split — was chronicled on season 3 of her hit Netflix series, Selling Sunset.

WATCH THIS: Chrishell Stause Reveals She Froze Her Eggs: ‘I Hope’ Motherhood ‘Is Still a Possibility’

While still processing her shattered marriage, Stause was dealt another devastating blow in July, when her mother, Ranae, died of lung cancer after her father, Jeff, succumbed to the same disease in April 2019. Those heartbreaking losses put her divorce in a new perspective.

“It’s almost an ungrievable loss,” she says of the deaths. “The other loss, you can slowly recover and get over. This one just feels like I’m adapting, as opposed to getting over it.”

Chrishell Stause/Instagram

Now the celebrity real estate agent and Dancing with the Stars contestant is ready to move on — as is her ex Hartley, 43, who is now dating his former The Young and the Restless co-star Sofia Pernas, 31.

“I feel like anybody would be heartbroken to see how quickly or easily you are replaced; of course that’s going to sting,” Stause says of how ″painful" it was to see the This Is Us actor moving on publicly.

For her part, Stause legally dropped the Hartley surname over the summer ("I'm not trying to be somewhere I'm not wanted"). She also recently froze her eggs in hopes of starting a family down the road. And her heart (and DMs!) are open.

Chrishell Stause
Tawni Bannister

“It’s been almost a year, so I'm excited to get back out there. I’m a hopeless romantic, so I think it can still happen,″ Stause says. ″It’s 2020, maybe you could meet your person through an Instagram DM. I don’t know. Crazier things have happened!″

Today, ″I'm very happy, I'm in such a great place and I'm so grateful for everything," Stause says.

It's taken some work (and therapy) to get there, but, she adds: "I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be."