Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev

One word of advice for Vampire Diaries viewers feeling sorry that Damon lost Rose: Don't.

Ian Somerhalder says Damon never actually felt for her. "Not to burst anyone's bubble, it's not that Damon actually gave a sh-- about Rose, it's really what it evoked in him and made him realize what is really important to him," Somerhalder tells TVGuide.com.

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In "The Descent," Rose, played by Lauren Cohan, finally succumbed to her werewolf bite. The usually sarcastic yet charmingly jerky Damon stood by her side and even shed a tear as he let her go. It didn't take long for Damon to find his next leading lady, Andie Starr (Dawn Olivieri), whom Somerhalder likes to call his "hot beard."

"Damon is this eligible bachelor in this town, and if he never has a girlfriend, people will start talking," the actor says. "It's kind of comical, but also sad that he ... can channel that energy that he has for Elena into someone else who doesn't even know what's going on. Project it right onto them."

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As we saw in last week's episode, Damon not only uses Andie for pleasure, but to get his emotionally conflicted feelings off his chest before compelling her to forget what he says. "It's like the people who can't express their feelings unless they're drinking; it's sad," Somerhalder says. "It's not something I would recommend, but it is one way to live."

Although Somerhalder doesn't believe that Damon will continue down his heartbreakingly vulnerable path too long, he does reveal it will become problematic.

"He's just struggling with this feeling thing and the whole thing is just foreign to him," he says.

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Whether it's Rose or "Miss Sexy Reporter Girl" with whom Damon is spending time, it always comes back to the very specific feelings he has for both Elena and her mean vampire doppelganger Katherine.

"There are two women that look identical and you're in love with both of them," he says. "That is the ultimate Damon challenge — that's his journey.

A new episode of The Vampire Diaries airs Thursday at 8/7c on the CW.

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