The Chicago P.D. star wrote an intimate op-ed piece for Cosmopolitan’s February issue, where she takes a look back at her past relationships and reveals why she is no longer searching for “the one."
“In my 20s, when I was starting out my career as an actor, I wasn’t looking for a relationship, but one found me and became serious, even though I hadn’t planned to settle down until my 30s,” the 34-year-old explained. Bush married her One Tree Hill co-star, Chad Michael Murray in 2005, but their marriage only lasted five months. “But when the person you’re with asks you to marry him, you think: This must be happening because it’s supposed to.”
“But I refuse to let that one relationship define me,” she continued, “which is why I’ve done my best to avoid discussing it for 10 years. The reality is that, yes, it was a massive event in my life. And the trauma of it was amplified by how public it became, which was incredibly foreign and bizarre to a girl who’d been just another college kid 24 months before her life blew up.”
Shortly after her marriage to Murray ended, Bush reveals that one of her platonic relationships became romantic, and ultimately helped her find a deeper understanding of love.
“I came to appreciate that relationships often serve a specific purpose at a certain point in time, for myriad reasons,” she wrote. “Some are meant to heal you, some are meant to teach you how to build yourself up, and some are meant to show you how to trust your own intuition. You call in exactly whom and what you need over the course of your life, as you are learning life’s lessons. And learn them you will. Even if you try to avoid these teachings, they’re coming for you. This reality has taught me that the relationships that don’t lead to lifetime commitments are not failures. Not every love can last forever.”
Bush explains that it took her a while to begin defining success a different way, and that not everything is black-and-white.
“Often in between those two, you find the keys to what you need in partnership: what you’re willing to give, what you want to get, and what things are absolutes that you cannot compromise on," she explained. "A few months with the right person can be as great an experience as a decade-long union with someone else.”
“When you take the pressure of The One off, you’ll open yourself up to endless possibilities,” she continued. “You’ll learn to have a truly deep, knowing relationship with yourself first. Then the rest will fall into place. Reasons, seasons, and lifetimes. They’re all valid.”