September 05, 2018 06:00 AM

It’s been a few weeks since Tia Booth split from her on-and-off again love interest, Colton Underwood, and now the football player has a new status — as the next Bachelor star.

Still, Booth says she’s moved on from the man who left her heartbroken on Bachelor in Paradise.

“It’s a relief to close that chapter of my life,” Booth, 27, tells PEOPLE of Underwood, 26, before he was announced as Bachelor. “We’re in a good place. We’re in a solid friend zone. And it’s honestly nice to move forward instead of wanting something when it’s not there.”

And Booth admits it was difficult to push for a relationship with Underwood when she wasn’t sure if he was ready. “I was frustrated with Colton initially because I was thinking, If you don’t know what you want, why are you here?” she says.

Tia Booth and Colton Underwood
Noel Vasquez/Getty; Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

RELATED: Tia Booth Won’t Be a Contestant on Colton Underwood’s Season of The Bachelor: ‘Lord Bless’

Ultimately, “we had a lot of highs and lows but also some serious conversations that led us to this point.”

As far as Booth’s relationship with Kufrin, who dated Underwood on her season of The Bachelorette, it’s better than ever.

“She messages me during almost every episode saying, ‘I’m so proud of you,’ ” says Booth. “Even though I was the cause of her being upset and confused multiple times during her season, she’s still the one who checks on me. She’s amazing.”

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When it comes to dating now, Booth says she’s likely taking a break from dating on reality TV — or through social media.

“I have a feeling that if I meet somebody, it’s going to be through friends, not through a DM,” she says. “And I think if I’m looking for it it’s not going to happen, so maybe if I’m patient it will come to me. I am ready for something serious!”

Underwood’s season of The Bachelor is expected to premiere in 2019 on ABC.

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