Bridget Marquardt Talks Love And Life After Hugh Hefner

Bridget Marquardt was not your average Girl Next Door. How could she be when her boyfriend was Hugh Hefner, she lived at the Playboy mansion and her life was the subject of a top rated E! reality series?

If there's one thing that is true, it's that Bridget is indeed as sweet as the girl next door. She just happens to have a slightly less than conventional story: Back in the day, she went to L.A. (even though she was married at the time) to visit the mansion in hopes of becoming a Playboy Playmate. The trip turned into a three-day stay, and made Bridget decide she needed to move for good... and divorce her husband. A few months later, she was invited to stay at Hef's place, where she would spend the next seven and a half years, eventually rising into the spotlight as one of Hef's main ladies on The Girls Next Door.

After her relationship with Hef ended, Bridget found love with director Nicholas Carpenter, whom she met, interestingly enough, at the mansion. On one of his infamous movie nights, Hef was showing the 1939 classic, Of Mice and Men, which was produced by Hal Roach, Nicholas's grandfather. The couple has been together since 2008.

Today, Bridget, 38, seems quite happy with her man and her life post-Playboy. She's currently launching several projects of her own, not to mention getting ready for her favorite holiday: Halloween (she's keeping mum on her costume for now!). Recently, I had the chance to catch up with her in the midst of her promoting Durex's new "Get A Room" campaign. She was super chatty and definitely willing to share a little love insight:

We all remember you as one of the lovable Girls Next Door. Since moving out of the mansion, what have you learned about yourself?
I've learned about how much I love my independence, making my own choices and my own schedule. Living at the mansion had a strict schedule so it was hard to do things on your own. Since leaving, I've also had a chance to work on my own costume line, designing higher end costumes, picking out every piece - it's all inspired by mansion parties, shows or other projects. It's great because they're all fun, stylish pieces. Next year I'll also continue to add to it.

OK, let's get into it. Give me a Relationship DO and a relationship DON'T!
Definitely let the person you're with know how attractive they are to you several times a day. People can't be told enough how sexy they are. Kissing, "I love you," and other compliments are big do's that keeps them happy. Don't take the other person for granted or not appreciate them. It goes back to the do, by needing to appreciate them.

What's the most important quality in a significant other?
Sincerity. Being truthful, acknowledging the other person and being super sincere is important. People can see right through you otherwise.

What's your favorite romantic movie?
I'm embarrassed to say it but… Titanic! (laughs) I've never cried so hard at movie. It's a good cry. You want them to be together so bad, it's so romantic.

Fill in the blank here: I'm a sucker for a man who is ___
Wearing a suit. When he puts one on, I'm like, "Gosh he's so hot!"

What three words would your boyfriend Nicholas use to describe you?
Beautiful, sincere and… I think he'd say I'm probably a little bratty.

What's the most valuable piece of relationship advice that you have ever received?
I've heard that people want to marry their best friends. I think that should be partially true. You want someone you can sit with in sweats, plus go out with. You want them to have a lot of best friend qualities, but you want to make sure that you have the spice and passion that you wouldn't have with your best friend. You want the relationship to be one step beyond that.

Written by Jenina Nunuz for YourTango.

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