The Scream Queens star talked about how she moved on in a recent interview with FLARE magazine
Credit: Jonathan Leibson/WireImage

Lea Michele is opening up about how she found love again after losing Cory Monteith, her boyfriend of two years, in 2013.

“I wanted to make sure that I was okay with me, feeling strong and feeling happy on my own,” Michele told FLARE magazine in an interview for its October issue.

Monteith, who was also Michele’s on-screen boyfriend on the hit show Glee, died in July 2013 of a drug overdose at age 31. Michele commemorated what would have been the actor’s 33rd birthday in May.

Michele slowly began to pick up the pieces after the devastating tragedy and has been dating model and aspiring actor Matthew Paetz since April 2014, when they met on the set of Michele’s “On My Way” music video.

“I didn’t want anybody to fill any holes for me – that sounds sexual!” Michele told FLARE. “I wanted to make sure that I was a whole person again and that no one was coming into my life to put me back together.”

“I needed to do that on my own,” she added. “I worked very, very hard and I got back to that place where I was genuinely happy and strong and ready to live again and see the world, and you know, bring in more beautiful experiences. And that’s when someone miraculously came into my life.”

Michele, 28, celebrated that miraculous “someone” in May when she posted a sweet Instagram for Paetz’s 30th birthday, thanking him for making her “smile again and bringing such a bright joy” into her everyday life.

Glee took its final curtain call in March, and the actress has kept busy filming Ryan Murphy‘s upcoming Fox show Scream Queens.

“I think that the feminist message in Scream Queens is f—ing badass,” Michele told the magazine of the highly anticipated horror-comedy. “Ryan [Murphy] was saying the show is totally girl power. It’s mainly a female cast, all of whom are incredibly talented, strong and successful women. But also, think of any scary movie: It’s not the strong man that survives in the end, it’s the girl. Girls are so much stronger than they know, and especially more than society makes them believe they are.”

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“I’m proud of my success,” the actress added. “I’m really proud of the life I’ve built and created for myself. I’ve kept my head on my shoulders to get to where I am.”