updated 08/27/2012 AT 7:00 AM ET
•originally published 08/27/2012 AT 11:00 AM ET
After experiencing a fair amount of drama in the dating department, Twilight hunk Kellan Lutz has found the secret to winning a girl’s heart: honesty.
“I’ve become more mature when it comes to women and relationships,” Lutz, 27, told PEOPLE at Heineken’s U.S. Open Player Party in New York City on Friday. “My M.O. now is to be who I really am and not be fake in order for a girl to like me back.”
The actor, who previously dated 90210 actress AnnaLynne McCord, admits that in the past he would tell some lies or make exaggerations to impress a girl.
“I was in this one relationship where I told her things about myself that wasn’t really me,” Lutz says. “I said I liked this certain band only because she liked them. Then she bought me tickets to their concert and I was stuck in going. It’s not fair to her and to me.”
As a result, he said, “I’ve learned to be honest, because at the end of the day I have to be with somebody that loves me for who I really am.”
His new understanding of telling the truth has paid off. The Tarzan star – and former Calvin Klein model – is in a happy relationship with Australian actress Sharni Vinson, 29. The two have been dating for about a year.
“Sharni’s personality and mine very much complement each other, and we connect on every level,” he gushed. “She has a big personality so we have great conversations and laugh so much. I’m never fake with her, and it makes our relationship so easy. It’s all about being honest.”