Michelle Williams on Boyfriend Jason Segel: I’m Smiling in a Way I Hadn’t in a Long Time

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Michelle Williams has a new spring in her step thanks to boyfriend Jason Segel, but she’s not going to change her footwear for him!

Over a year after the cute couple started dating, the single mom – who now lives with the “How I Met Your Mother” star in her adopted hometown of Brooklyn, New York – is in domestic bliss, she tells InStyle.

“The other day I was out there all bundled up and the sun was shining and I realized I was smiling in a way I hadn’t in a long time,” the 32-year-old former “Dawson’s Creek” actress says. “The roses in my cheeks weren’t from makeup for once. It was a perfect moment.”

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That certainly has something to do with Segel, whom she met at a party she attended with her best friend Busy Philipps. While Philipps has known Segel from her “Freaks and Geeks” days back in the late 1990s, Williams claims she had no idea who he was.

“I mean, I saw the ‘Muppets’ movie, and I thought, ‘Oh, that's cute,’ but the truth is I didn't realize he made a lot of very popular, funny movies or was on a TV show. But maybe more important, I didn't realize he was so tall,” Williams says of the 6-foot-4-inch actor, who is a full foot taller than she is. “I thought, ‘Hey, man, you're cramping my style!’ I tried wearing wedge heels for a while to compensate, but it wasn't me and I just gave up."

Because Williams suffered such a public heartbreak after the 2008 death of her ex-boyfriend Heath Ledger, who was the father of her 7-year-old daughter Matilda, people have been rooting for her to find love again – something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by the “Oz: The Great and Powerful” star.

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“If people are happy about it, that makes me feel good because in my head the opposite is often true – that people fault or blame you for things,” Williams shares. “That’s really painful. You wish they would just want you to be happy, for your kid to be happy, and for you to have a good life and do good work... [So] any kind sentiment that the world can feed back, well, I won’t turn it down.”

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Williams is enjoying nesting in her new digs – a cozy loft space in a converted warehouse with views of Manhattan.

“I cook and clean a lot these days. I’m in a very domestic cycle and I happen to love it,” Williams says. “I feel like this is a real expression of my love for my daughter. Not the only one, but an important one. As a parent, you want the kid to come back to a place where it seems like the walls are made of feather down.”

Though it must have a lot of storage, too.

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“I keep things for sentimental reasons,” she says. “I’ve kept all of Matilda’s baby clothes – even the ones with stains and rips.”

However, Matilda is no longer a baby and the little girl, who is the spitting image of her late dad, is growing up quickly despite her mother’s best efforts to shelter her from Hollywood.

“The other day I was with my daughter at a newsstand and she turned to me and said, ‘Mommy, why do all those ladies have their boobs out?’” Williams tells the magazine. “And I was going to talk about the power dynamic and society, but I just said, ‘Sweetie, I really just don’t know.’ She just wagged her little head.”

For more of Williams’ interview, pick up the March issue of InStyle, on newsstands February 8.

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