The 'Southern Charm' star opens up about her new relationship and how she navigates hanging out with her ex, Craig Conover.
Naomie Olindo is enjoying life after Craig Conover.
The Southern Charm stars split more than a year ago, and Naomie says her life has made a "complete 180" since that relationship ended. Fans of the show know that Naomie and Craig’s dynamic could get explosive, routinely hurling insults at one another near the end of their romance. Now, the 26-year-old entrepreneur is in a nearly year-long relationship that she describes as “so normal, so stable and nice” with Dr. Metul Shah.
"It’s so weird," she jokes with ET. "He’s very, very supportive."
Naomie says Metul is "the one" for her, which she knows, in part, thanks to surviving their first season filming Southern Charm together.
"This is really not his thing," she admits. "He doesn’t even watch reality TV!"
"Putting your relationship on TV can be very toxic and it’s very scary, because it opens up criticism to other people, and people can just say whatever," she adds. "Metul and I had a really good understanding before of how things were going to be, and how we were going to take it if anything was criticized, but he’s got very thick skin, too."
ET spoke with Naomie and her Southern Charm co-star, Danni Baird, at Naomie’s family’s restaurant, NICO, in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, just before season six of the Bravo hit premiered. Naomie was bracing for how she and Metul would be received, and how Craig might take watching her new relationship play out on TV.
"I went into the season with Metul thinking everything was fine with Craig," she says. "We’re friends, we saw each other out all summer, he would shake Metul’s hand, everything was fine. And then, some things came out that Craig had said about me and about Metul that just didn’t add up to how he acted in front of us to our faces, and so that was kind of difficult to deal with."
"It’s not that there being an awkwardness between Craig and Metul, it’s like Craig realizing his feelings," Danni notes. "You’re watching Craig’s behavior and you’re like, 'Ohhh.'"
In the premiere, Craig reacted to Naomie and Metul’s relationship by saying, "I just hope she’s not willing to sacrifice her own happiness trying to prove being right about us."
"We all go to different points in our life and I just meant that, I hope -- and I am not thinking one way or the other -- that she really likes this guy," Craig tells ET, "and that she isn’t … moving into another relationship just to convince herself she wasn’t wrong about us. I hope she is doing it for the right reasons."
"You can’t just convince him of anything," Naomie laments. "So, I’m at a now where it doesn’t matter. What am I going to do? Tell him, ‘I am happy!’ No, I’m just going to go live my life."
"There’s a part of him that thought, since she had moved on, like their relationship didn’t matter and that’s not the case," Danni offers.
"There was a time when I was happy [with Craig]," Naomie says. "That time is over and I’m with somebody that makes me feel very balanced and just very good and, you know, everything just feels kind of right right now, and I think it might have been hard for Craig to see that, and I tried not to rub it in his face or anything like that."
As for where Naomie sees things going with Metul, she’s not putting any pressure on it.
"I don’t think [we’ll be engaged] anytime soon," she admits. "He’s still in his residency, and he still has things he wants to accomplish. I’m in no rush. I just know I want to be with him."
Southern Charm airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.