The former Glee co-stars were dating for over a year before his death in 2013 and it was almost a year after the tragedy before the actress embarked on a romance with her current boyfriend Matthew Paetz, because she felt it was important to take time for herself after losing a loved one.

Michele explains she wanted to feel comfortable in her own skin before jumping into a new relationship, fearing it would feel incomplete.

She tells Flare magazine, "I wanted to make sure that I was OK with me, feeling strong and feeling happy on my own.

"I didn't want anybody to fill any holes for me... 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. I worked very, 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 and Paetz have been dating since last summer (14).