"I don’t think I’m going to be single forever," the 'Beverly Hills, 90210' actress tells PEOPLE in its latest cover story
At any given chance, Shannen Doherty finds a sense of hope and possibility.
"I was not ready at all before three weeks ago," she admits candidly. "And something happens. There's always a trigger, just a moment that you have, somebody says something to you, your ex says one thing to you and you're like, 'Okay, yeah, I'm good. I'm good.' I have closure and I can move on in a really healthy way."
Asked what that future relationship looks like, Doherty admits she doesn't know.
“I have a best friend, a male best friend who we joke that we're married," she added. "I don’t know if it’s that or if it’s stumbling upon somebody and just feeling an instant connection. I'm open, and I wasn't [before].”
She continues, “I don’t think I’m going to be single forever. I have to love myself and reckon with the past, really, before I can move forward, and now I’m pretty sure I’ll meet somebody — hopefully soon.”
After 11 years of marriage, Doherty split from her third husband Kurt Iswarienko in April. (The couple separated in January and cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason in their divorce filing.)
Although she says she spent a lot of "good years" with him, Doherty — who was previously married to Rick Salomon from 2002 to 2003 and Ashley Hamilton from 1993 to 1994 — is ready to move on from her past.
"Listen, Elizabeth Taylor still has me beat as far as husbands and divorces, so I'm good. I'm not there yet, so there's no reason to be negative about it. S--- happens," she says of her breakup.
The actress has spent the last few years undergoing treatment for Stage 4 breast cancer. She will be discussing her relationships — as well as her career and her cancer journey — in her upcoming live memoir-style podcast, Let's Be Clear with Shannen Doherty, premiering Dec. 6.
From the moment she was diagnosed in 2015, she admits it was terrifying for her. "It was definitely one of those moments where you wonder if you're going to make it at all, but it's also where you learn the most about yourself because you have to really dig deep and gather the strength to face it head on and keep marching forward," she says.
For her, that strength comes from her family and loved ones, and the star says she's also open to the idea of motherhood.
“I would love nothing more than to be a mom," she says. "I always wanted it, and I think if I did it with my best friend or a partner, then I don't know any amount of time..."
She pauses a moment, then continues. "I look at kids who don’t have parents at all — any amount of time [with a parent] is better than nothing. I vacillate. I’m biding my time, but in the meantime, I’ve got my brother’s seven kids and my best friend’s kids, who I kind of view as my children.”
Although Doherty acknowledges she's suffered some periods of feeling depressed, she remains hopeful for life and love.
"Things have not been exactly easy and smooth. They've been really challenging at times, and it's hard to find yourself suddenly single in your 50s, and with Stage 4 cancer. That's a hard one," she admits. "And that was super depressing for a while now, but eventually you turn a corner."
Now Doherty is welcoming what may come with open arms. "I didn't want to jump into anything and not have it all sorted in my head because then I'm no good to another person at that point," she says. "Now I'm ready."
For more on Shannen Doherty's cancer journey and how she's finding moments of joy amid her diagnosis, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
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