Julianne Hough Recalls Going Through Crucial 'Identity Shift' After Ryan Seacrest Split: 'I Got A Little Lost'

As Julianne Hough prepares to moves forward amid her divorce from Brooks Laich, the professional dancer is taking a moment to reflect on how she navigated another painful breakup from her past.

You’re likely aware, the Dancing with the Stars alum filed paperwork to end her marriage in Los Angeles on November 2, five months after the pair first announced their breakup and several failed attempts to reconcile with her estranged husband. A source spoke out about Hough’s decision to officially end things, noting she’s “happier having her freedom.”

And it sounds like Jules learned a similar lesson about standing on her own two feet after she enjoyed a different high-profile relationship years before marrying Brooks in 2017. During an Instagram Live chat with influencer Valeria Lipovetsky on Tuesday, she recalled:

“It was 2013 and I had just gotten out of a relationship that was very high profile. I was on private planes and yachts and living in a very, very well-off house and my life was pretty different from where I grew up. I had just gotten out of that relationship because I wanted to create that for myself because I kind of felt like I didn’t deserve it. Like, I didn’t earn that, so now I need to go and create that for myself.”

Though Hough didn’t specifically mention the name of her ex during the conversation, many will recall she was dating Ryan Seacrest around that time; the two broke up after just two years of dating. Seacrest went on to date his on-and-off longtime girlfriend Shayna Taylor for seven years before they called it quits earlier this year.

But during the former couple’s time together, the Footloose actress said she caught herself doing things “different than I had before” and falling away from “living in a state of perfection and image and doing everything the right way.”

She continued:

“I kind of just was like, ‘F**k it. I’m just going to do things where I’m not going to necessarily overthink them to make sure that I’m doing everything perfect and right.’ And that year, I kind of got a little lost… I was like, ‘I’m 24 and I don’t really know who Julianne is.’”

She’s not wrong. Your early 20s is usually the time when people learn the most about themselves as well as what they do and don’t want from life. As much as Jules might place blame on her old romance, it sounds like her revelations came right on time.

The Utah native had spent much of her life being “very focused on achieving” and admitted that after this particular breakup, she felt as though she was on her own. But after things ended, the star noticed a major “identity shift” and learned to find the right balance in her life:

“I realized that the pendulum swing went from one side to the extreme. I was like, ‘OK, there’s got to be something in the middle where I can find fulfillment without having to be so dynamic and extreme.’”

A wise assessment, indeed.

So, now that Hough finds herself at that crossroad again after another big separation, how will she bounce back? Hopefully, the same attitude about finding balance will serve her well once more.

As one insider relayed to Us Weekly, Jules and Brooks enjoyed “a lot of back-and-forth moments” over the last few months — and even “ended up hooking up a few times” amid their split. But a different source told People the two knew they “didn’t have the same vision for their future” and finally agreed that parting ways was the right thing to do.

We’re looking forward to whatever renewed version of herself this transformative time will bring. Hang in there, gurl!

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