Vanessa Hudgens: Zac Efron kept me grounded

“It was a good thing,” Hudgens says. “The relationship kept me grounded, and because I was with someone who knew me so well, I didn’t need to try to be someone I’m not.”

Their busy schedules, however, were the main reason for their split.

“Long-distance relationships are hard no matter what,” Hudgens tells the April issue of Shape, on newsstands March 21. “When you don’t have face-to-face time, it’s just different. Having an iPhone helped, but it wasn’t the same.”

The couple broke up in December. Vanessa spent almost five years together with her High School Musical co-star.

“We grew up together,” the 22-year-old star says. “It was nice to have someone to share all of those experiences with.”