17: What do you think is the key to a good relationship?
ND: Make sure you're always smiling! I think people should be with the person who makes them smile. The minute you're not smiling anymore, you shouldn't be in the relationship. That's what you figure out by having good or bad experiences with your boyfriends and finding out what qualities you like and don't like in a person. It's part of growing up and learning. You should always be with the people who make you feel happiest.
17: How can a girl find that kind of relationship?
ND: The best relationships are the ones that are a continuation of a friendship. I think you have to have a solid friendship to have a good relationship. You know when you're going on a first date with someone, and you get all dolled up for like an hour, you put on your best dress, and then on the date you say all the best things about yourself that you think he wants to hear? In a way, you're not showing him the real you. If you're friends first, there is no pretending, no act.
17: You and Ian always look like you're having so much fun when you're together!
ND: You know what? The first time i was on the cover of Seventeen, the cover line said something like "Nina Dobrev: Why she won't date any of her costars." And then cut to two years later... It's funny that I said that, but it was honestly what i believed. You learn things about yourself and one thing I've learned is, "Never say never." but at that time i didn't want to be dating one of my costars- my goal on the show was to be professional. But sometimes you can't help who you have a connection with, and you can only fight it for so long- which I did for a really, really long time.
17: So was that connection there from the beginning?
ND: When we first started filming The Vampire Diaries, the whole cast was incredibly close and me, Ian, and Paul were inseparable- all three of us. We were friends first and foremost.
17: There's a lot of marriage rumors about you- is there any truth to them?
ND: There are so many rumors! Every couple of months i'll get e-mails from my parents, after they've read an article in the tabloids, like, "Just checking in to make sure you're not married.. Did he propose?!?" Even my friends send me Google Alerts. It's hilarious. My parents married young, but I personally don't think there's any rush. Let's say you get married tomorrow. You'll be married hopefully, for the rest of your life. So what is it going to change if you get married tomorrow or five years from now? Ten years from now?
17: Between your job and your boyfriend, you're always busy- why is your girlfriend getaway such a priority?
ND: Girls' weekend with the Vampire Diaries girls has become a big deal! The first year, all the boys made fun of us leading up to it, and the day we left, they were begging to come with. We were like "No!" It's our quality time. When we get away, we cook dinner together, watch movies, lie on the beach, and take tons of pictures. It's a road trip and girl talk- you can't imagine the things we say in the car! It's so much fun to unload and not feel guilty complaining or talking about your insecurities or bonding over things that you thought you were on your own about. Sometimes you don't have the time to do that when you're busy. And it's not the same unless you spend the whole weekend together. I don't have that many very close friends, so it's important to invest that time. We have a special bond.