Ready to move on? Brooks Laich opened up about what he admires most in a partner just one month after he and Julianne Hough called it quits.
“I think kindness is so attractive,” the hockey player, 37, explained during the Monday, June 29, episode of his “How Men Think” podcast. “I think somebody with an open heart is so attractive. And conversely, I think somebody with a close heart that is really fighting hard — that, to me, is so off-putting. It’s very off-putting. I’m like, ‘What is the struggle? What are you fighting against? I’m here to open my heart to you and to be on your team and to be together in this and you’re fighting to keep me out.’”
Laich and the Dancing With the Stars alum, 31, confirmed they were going their separate ways in May after nearly three years of marriage. “We have lovingly and carefully taken the time we have needed to arrive at our decision to separate,” the pair wrote in a joint statement at the time. “We share an abundance of love and respect for one another and will continue to lead with our hearts from that place. We kindly request your compassion and respect for our privacy moving forward.”
News of the former couple’s split came after months of speculation about the state of their relationship. An insider told Us Weekly in January that the Canadian athlete and Hough were “having problems” after the Footloose actress was seen without her wedding band on multiple occasions. Laich later admitted to wanting to “stepping into a new chapter” in his life at the start of the new year, adding that he was looking forward “to releasing old identities.” A few months later, Us confirmed that the pair were quarantined in separate states amid the coronavirus pandemic, with Hough in Los Angeles and Laich in Idaho.
Before their breakup, the exes experienced another major heartbreak: the loss of their dogs, Lexi and Harley. The two pets passed away on the same day in September 2019 and the tragedy made a big impact on how the former NHL star expresses his emotions.
“When you open up, somebody is truly going to see you. And I’ve only really learned a lot about this since our dogs passed in September, because that broke my heart wide open where I couldn’t protect anything,” Laich said on Monday. “I’ve cried probably 500 times since our dogs passed. … I’m fully transparent.”
Despite stigma, Laich isn’t concerned if he starts to “cry in front of a bunch of dudes” if he’s overwhelmed by emotion in public. “It’s just real,” he said. “But that just recently came to me through a tragic event in my life but knowing that now, I love to see somebody’s heart. I love to see somebody’s heart, and that to me is extremely attractive.”
Though he’s open to finding love again, a source told Us that he “doesn’t have anyone new in his life right now, romantically speaking.”
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