Andie MacDowell is the first to admit that adjusting to an empty nest once her kids left home was not an easy transition.
“It was shocking to me because I was so dependent on them filling my home. At first it was hard,” the actress, 61, tells PEOPLE. “I have this conversation with a lot of mothers who are really tight with their children and have so much pleasure and joy from caretaking. I had to learn to be an independent woman.”
MacDowell, who is now starring in her first horror film Ready or Not, remains close to her children, with ex- husband model Paul Qualley: Justin, 33, a real estate agent; Rainey, 29, a singer and actress; and Margaret, 24, who stars with Brad Pitt in Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood.
But MacDowell says after about a year, she began to adjust to the new family dynamic and learned to enjoy it.
“I started liking it. So much so that I’m not really looking for anyone. I mean, if someone came into my life, I would be pleasantly surprised. I would be like, ‘Wow, isn’t this fantastic?’ But I’ve learned how to tap into friends, peace and quiet, and do whatever I want to do whenever I want to,” she says.