What Makes Vanessa Hudgens’ Romance With Austin Butler Work

Vanessa Hudgens, Women's Health

Dennis Leupold/Women’s Health

For the last seven years, Vanessa Hudgens has been happily dating Austin Butler.

It’s an impressive feat, given the frequency of Hollywood splits. So, what’s their secret? “We both respect, trust and admire each other,” the Second Act star says in the December issue of Women’s Health. “It’s so solid now because I feel strong as an independent woman. I am very self-reliant, but it’s nice to have a best friend you can share victories with as well as losses.”

Best of all, Hudgens says, “He inspires me more than anyone.”

With her 30th birthday approaching Dec. 1, Hudgens is thinking a lot about her future. “In my 20s, I was still trying to find my voice. I was afraid of confrontation. The biggest thing I’m trying to implement in my life now is valuing my words and letting them be known,” she tells the magazine. “It’s a constant learning process, but I feel like it should be.” Rest assured, Butler will be by her side. “I want to get married, travel, then have kids—probably in my late 30s,” says Hudgens, implying she’s not putting herself on a strict timeline. “Everyone’s clock is different.”

Vanessa Hudgens, Women's Health

Dennis Leupold/Women’s Health

For now, Hudgens is focused on self-care: “It feels like a form of self-love every time I put on some Billie Holiday, light a candle and apply my face mask and my serums and use my lights.”

At age 29, Hudgens has finally learned to love the skin she’s in. “If I ever get to the point that I’m not happy with my body, I’ll do something about it. You will always have the power to do something,” says Hudgens, who has experimented with intermittent fasting. “Sometimes it will take a little longer than you would like, and sometimes it may be a little more extreme. But if you honestly have a goal, you can do it. You just need to figure out the right way to get there.”

The goal, Hudgens says, isn’t to feel confident—just as you are.

“I see how women who are 5-foot-9 walk into a room, and I am so attracted to the space they take up. But then I started to realize that you can take up space without height—with your achievements, points of view and opinions,” the Princess Switch star tells the magazine. “Now that I’ve realized I can work through it, I’m like, ‘How do I make myself feel more confident?'”

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