'Southern Charm' 's Naomie Olindo Has a 'No-Contact Rule' with Ex Metul Shah Since They Split

"I don't think that it's healthy to keep talking with your ex," Naomie Olindo tells PEOPLE, adding that she's "getting out there" on the dating scene now that she's back in Charleston, South Carolina

Naomie Olindo Metul Shah
Photo: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty; Metul Shah/Instagram

Naomie Olindo hasn't looked back since her split from Metul Shah.

The reality star, who returns to Bravo's Southern Charm for a new season premiering this Thursday, tells PEOPLE that she and Shah haven't talked since their breakup in July 2021.

"We talked when we first broke up, but we have not spoken since and now it's been almost a year," Olindo says.

"It's so crazy, but I don't think that it's healthy to keep talking with your ex," she adds. "Once you discuss everything you need to discuss, there's really no need to revisit that. The no-contact rule, I think, is very important. So I just followed that."

Olindo, 29, and Shah, 31, dated for nearly three years before their breakup. The former pair had met in Charleston but moved to New York City together last summer, just 10 days before Olindo discovered via social media that Shah had been cheating on her.

Dealing with the split in the public eye had its advantages. "As hard as it was at the time, in a way it was almost helpful because it helped me kind of have to deal with what was going on head-on, instead of just putting it off," Olindo recalls. "It held me very accountable to the situation."

Southern Charm Season 8 - Naomi Olindo

But there were plenty of disadvantages. "It's hard enough dealing with something like that in private, but then when it's made public, it's just worsened that much more," she explains.

She also didn't like how fans went after Shah. "It was intense," Olindo says. "It made me feel bad for him. It was at the point people were throwing drinks on him in bars in New York and messaging me about it. It was like, 'I appreciate the support, but we don't have to do this.' "

"The internet's such a weird place. One day, everyone loves you, the next day everyone's mad at you, so it's really hard to put any weight on that," she notes.

In the end, the breakup brought Olindo back to Charleston and back to Southern Charm.

"It's really the best thing that could have happened, I just didn't know it at the time," Olindo says. "In hindsight I'm like, 'Oh, thank goodness' because I didn't realize that it wasn't a good relationship. I just thought everything was fine. But I'm really thankful because it really was the best thing that could have happened."

"I just learned so much from the experience, the biggest lesson being the importance of not losing myself by trying to please someone else," she continues. "That's definitely something in hindsight I think happened, but I wasn't even aware of it. So it's in the forefront of my mind now. It's helped me figure out what I did want and what I didn't want."

And between time with her friends and managing her booming clothing business L'ABEYE, Olindo has even found time to date.

"I'm getting out there," she says, teasing that viewers will see her slowly getting to that point this season on Southern Charm. "I hope people watching will see, you can sort of start over in life. And it may be embarrassing sometimes and not flattering and you may have to relearn some stuff, but in the end, you can take your life in a different direction."

Southern Charm Season 8

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Season 8 of Southern Charm premieres Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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