12/15/2011 06:07 pm ET

George Clooney Opens Up About Marriage In 'Esquire'

What was on George Clooney's mind this year?

Marriage, surprisingly -- but not in the way that one might think.

In Esquire's upcoming January 2012 Meaning of Life issue, the star talks about what he's learned this year -- and while he does mention his recent writing, directing and acting role in The Ides Of March -- marriage was also a hot topic.

In the magazine's exclusive interview, Clooney opens up about his personal life and married past, telling Esquire, "People forget that I was married."

Indeed, the 50-year-old actor was briefly married to actress Talia Balsam from 1989 to 1993.

But despite his lesser-known 4-year-long marriage, Clooney has acquired the reputation of the "eternal bachelor" and Hollywood playboy -- and as a result, the actor has had to field constant questions from the media about his marital status.

"I love that, 'Will he get married?'" Clooney tells the magazine, in reference to the barrage of tabloid headlines. "I understand that it's a subject of interest for people. But sometimes it exists only because it came up years ago. It becomes this conversation piece that constantly resurfaces."

But does Clooney ever think about marriage? No, according to the tight-lipped actor. He told Esquire, "I don't talk about it because I don't think about it. I don't ever question other peoples' versions of how they live their lives or what they do."

Wedding rumors about Clooney surfaced in August 2010, while the actor was dating Italian model Elisabetta Canalis. Sources reported she was wearing an engagement ring, but Clooney's rep confirmed that it was just an elaborate napkin ring (oops!) -- not a diamond one. Clooney later cleared up the incident on "Piers Morgan Tonight," saying that he would never marry again. Clooney is now dating former WWE star Stacy Keibler.

Check out all the ladies that Clooney has dated in the past:

George Clooney's Exes