Halle Berry’s Two-Year Break From Dating: “I Never Really Took Time Like This To Be With Myself”

Halle Berry is taking a much-needed break from the dating game. The 50-year-old finalized her third divorce in 2016, and since then, says she’s decided to focus more on her kids, Nahla, 9, and Maceo, 3, as well as herself. Prioritizing some “me time,” according to the Kidnap star, is something she never really stopped to do in between relationships.

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“Halle Berry is kind of taking a little break,” Berry said in a chat with PEOPLE editor-in-chief Jess Cagle recently. “I’ve been divorced for one year but separated for two. So there have been two years kind of on my own. I’ve been enjoying that. I’m just with my kids and I’m really taking time to think and reflect, and trying to figure out how to make different choices and just have a minute to be with myself. I think this is proving to be a really valuable time. I never really took time like this to be with myself.”

Berry said she dealt with a lot of fear while trying to figure out whether or not to leave her marriage to Martinez, but after taking that leap, she realized she’s stronger than she previously thought. Her biggest takeaway?

“That I can be alone,” Berry said. “And that’s been a big lesson for me. I’m learning that I’m fearless, because I had so many fears as I went through my third divorce, I was afraid to do that. But I was more afraid living unhappy, so I faced that fear. And what that does to my family, that was a fear. But I’m managing it. So I’m facing my fears and I’m learning that I can conquer them. That’s a big lesson for me. It’s teaching me to always live out loud, live your truth, don’t let fear stifle you. Don’t be afraid of what people will think about the choices you make. That we have to live for ourselves and live for our own individual happiness.”

Berry was married to Martinez from 2013 to 2015, and before that relationship, was married to Eric Benet from 2001 to 2005 and prior to him, David Justice, from 1993 to 1997. Her son, Maceo, is from her relationship with Martinez, while daughter Nahla is from her time with former model Gabriel Aubry.