Phaedra Parks and Medina Islam have been dating for six months, the Real Housewives of Atlanta alum tells PEOPLE exclusively

By Dave Quinn
September 24, 2019 03:55 PM
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Phaedra Parks can’t stop smiling about the new beau in her life, Medina Islam.

On Sunday, the Real Housewives of Atlanta alum, 45, went public with her romance to the 36-year-old actor, sharing a picture of the two to her Instagram page along with a sweet shout-out for her boyfriend’s birthday.

Islam, who previously starred in Tyler Perry’s The Haves and the Have Nots, took note of her kindness. In a comment on her post, he wrote “Thank u My Beautiful Queen.”

Those sweet words just a sampling of the love Islam has been showing Parks since the two started dating in the spring.

“He’s a really good guy,” Parks tells PEOPLE. “He’s very calming and soothing and mild-mannered. I always dealt with the bad boys, and he’s very opposite from any guy I’ve ever dated. So that’s refreshing.”

The two met on a dating app, though Parks says she “knew him from around town in Atlanta.”

“You know, he used to be on a show here so we have a lot of mutual friends,” she says. “One of my best friends is one of his best friends as well.”

“We’re right at six months now,” she added. “It”s the perfect time, we’re still in the bubble. … It’s awesome!”

Though they’re still “waking in the glow” of Islam’s birthday celebration, there has been one hiccup to their romance: the fact that Islam lives in Los Angeles and Parks in Atlanta.

Managing a long-distance relationship has come with some challenges, she admits.

“It’s hard doing the long distance, especially bi-costal because L.A. is a super long flight, outside of just the time difference,” Parks says. “But we’ve been making it work! He’s an actor so he’s New York quite a bit, and then he comes to Atlanta, and I get to L.A. to see him as well.”

To that end, Islam hasn’t met Parks’ two sons with ex-husband Apollo Nida: Ayden, 9, and Dylan, 6.

“He hasn’t met my kids yet,” Parks tells PEOPLE. “We’re just taking it slow with that.”

Phaedra Parks and her sons
| Credit: Phaedra Parks/Instagram

This is Parks’ second public relationship since divorcing Nida.

She was last linked to Dish Nation radio host Tone Kapone, though the romance fizzled shortly after they kicked off 2019 together.