Charlize Theron has ''never wanted'' to get married, because she's happy by herself and ''innately'' living her ''truth''.

The 44-year-old actress admits she's been single for ''a very long time'' but insists she's never had any desire to settle down with one person.

Speaking to Glamour magazine for their Women of the Year issue, she said: ''I haven't been in a relationship for a very long time.

"I never wanted to get married. Those are things that are not hard for me, because they're innately my truth. I find people are somewhat perplexed by that, and also more with women, right?''

Theron announced her engagement to actor Sean Penn in December 2014, before splitting around six months later in 2015.

The Bombshell star, who adopted two children - August and Jackson - says she wishes she could ''fully protect'' her family from her status as a film star.

 ''I so wish that I could be the woman that I am and do the job I do and still fully, fully protect my children from all of that, and it's never going to happen.''

 ''I was raised by a mom who was just like, 'Don't take any s**t.'

''It was devastating to [not get praise], but I realised that when she said something was good, I could believe her. It was the same thing my whole life.

"She gave me the truth always - the good and the bad equally. I'm trying to do that with my kids.''

Bombshell is set to be released on December 20.