Vanessa Hudgens always thought she’d be married by the age of 25.

The 32-year-old actress – who split from Austin Butler in January 2020 after almost nine years together and is now dating Cole Tucker – assumed her own love life would follow a similar pattern to that of her mom’s when she was growing up, but she insisted her life has turned out “better” than she’d ever imagined.

Vanessa Hudgens and Cole Tucker. Picture: Instagram

She told Shape magazine: “Where I am now is better than I could have dreamed of. My relationship with myself is something I value deeply, even if things don’t always go the way I expected. For instance, my mom got married at 25, so I always thought I was going to be married at 25. That didn’t happen.

“I’m in such an amazing, healthy relationship, so it doesn’t matter. What I’ve discovered is that we all have these ideas—and if they don’t happen, then there’s a reason why. Learning that has been extremely helpful to my growth. I’m very grateful every day for where I am in this moment of my life.”

The ‘Princess Switch 3’ actress feels she has “really come into [her] own” over the last few years as she’s grown increasingly more confident and “fully accepting” of all the parts of herself.

She said: “When you’re fully accepting of who you are, and you stop trying to suppress pieces of yourself, you can conquer the world.

Vanessa Hudgens. Picture: Instagram

“I love how silly I am. I love how excitable I am. And I love that I’m finally at a place where I can access those things.

“Even the quirky stuff that might have been shut down by other people in the past, like being ridiculous with my friends.

“Those are things I’m now allowing to thrive. For some people, I’m way too much. But I love who I am, and there’s such power in that.”