The notoriously private actress opens up in a new interview with Net-a-Porter's The Edit, and explains why she's held off on marriage. Ryder, 44, was previously engaged to Johnny Depp in 1990, and also dated Matt Damon in 1998, before they split two years later.
"I'm a serial monogamist," Ryder says. "I was single for a while and dating and... I just didn't know how to do it! I've always been like that: when I was 15, there was a guy I liked, and we made out, and I thought that meant he was my boyfriend. My mom had to explain it to me."
"But marriage? I don't know," she muses. "I'd rather never have been married than been divorced a few times. Not that there’s anything wrong with divorce, but I don't think I could do it if that was a possibility. When your parents are madly in love for 45 years, your standards are really high. But I've been happily with someone for quite a while now."
Ryder is currently dating fashion designer Scott Mackinlay Hahn, whom she's reportedly been in a relationship with since 2011.
The beloved Beetlejuice star also talks about getting back into the spotlight with her new Netflix drama series, Stranger Things, after taking a lengthy break from Hollywood. Ryder has no regrets.
"I was working a lot [in the '90s] and I needed to slow down," she reflects. "It's so important to have a life outside the industry, to not look to it to validate you as a human being... I'd been listening to the people I was working with -- 'You should be doing this, you have to keep working or people will forget you and you won't be relevant...' -- but my heart wasn't in it."
Ryder calls her time off from Hollywood "an awakening." Now, she only takes on projects she is passionate about, and actually embraces aging.
"I love getting older," she stresses. "I think it has to do with always being the kid on set. It's interesting because, these days, [cosmetic surgery] is treated almost like hygiene. I've had people say to me, 'Oh, you should, you know...' and they point to my forehead. 'Get that seen to!' But I'm like, 'No! I've been waiting so long for that to happen!'"
"I know actresses have a tough time because of their age -- they're just not getting hired," she also acknowledges. "I know it exists. You're the girlfriend, then you're the mother. But I don't see it as a bad thing -- it can be just as interesting, if not more so, than the leading-lady, ingénue phase."
Despite the explosion of social media since Ryder's time away from Hollywood, the star remains just as private as ever, and says she doesn't go out much. Ryder admits she "can't even take selfies."
"I think [social media] is a bit dangerous, in terms of self-obsession," she explains. "It's so important to look outward."
When ET spoke with Ryder last October, she also talked about the surprise downside of looking ageless.
"It's such a double-edged sword, because, it's like, I want to be allowed to grow up," Ryder candidly said about being passed over for certain roles because of her youthful look. "How do you win? If I don’t look ageless, I look haggard. Or if I look normal or whatever, then they'll talk about how bad I look."
Still, don't count on her having any type of plastic surgery anytime soon.
"I don't judge, but I'm just terrified of needles," she told ET.
"I can only speak from my own experience, which was wildly different than what is being said," Ryder told Time. "He was never, never that way towards me. Never abusive at all towards me. I only know him as a really good, loving, caring guy who is very, very protective of the people that he loves."