"I feel like I'm a much better person when I'm with him," says Grimaldi

Eight months after splitting from ex-fiancé Nick Viall, Bachelor alum Vanessa Grimaldi has a new man in her life.

The reality star, 30, gushed about her boyfriend in a new interview (previewed exclusively with PEOPLE) with Dean Unglert on his podcast Help! I Suck at Dating — but declined to share who exactly has stolen her heart.

“I always wanted to find someone … who’s gonna be a great father, someone who’s gonna be a great husband, someone who’s family-oriented,” she told Unglert in the chat, which airs Tuesday at 12 p.m. PST. “I wanted all those things, but the people that I was dating either had some of it but they didn’t have all of it.”

“I don’t care if you have a million followers,” she continued. “I don’t care. I’d rather you not have Instagram. I’d rather you not know I was ever on the show.”

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Vanessa Grimaldi
| Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty

Indeed, Grimaldi’s mystery man “is not related to Bachelor-world at all” and also isn’t involved in the entertainment or special education industries, she confirmed.

While the former special education teacher stayed tight-lipped on further details, the No Better You Foundation founder — who split from Viall, 37, last August, five months after his season finale aired — revealed they met through a friend.

“Again, like, I don’t know where this is going to lead, but I do know I appreciate all his qualities. I feel like I’m a much better person when I’m with him,” she said. “I’m just very lighthearted, and I’m focused on the right things and I’m not distracted by the fake world that we could be a part of.”

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Though she and hockey player Brendan Gallagher were previously linked, Grimaldi insisted the pair were just friends.

“If I were dating every guy I went out for coffee with, I’d have a lot of boyfriends. That’s not true,” she told Unglert. “It was a friend that I knew before the show. We were both in Montreal. We were like ‘Let’s catch up.’ ”

Nick Viall and Vanessa Grimaldi
| Credit: Source: Nick Viall Instagram

Weeks after they called off their engagement, Grimaldi opened up about her heartbreak to PEOPLE.

“Nick and I were always transparent about the challenges in a relationship,” she said at the time. “We certainly had ours. I fell for him hard, and when you fall in love that hard, your heart breaks even harder.”

“I’m trying to look forward now and remain positive,” she added. “It’s hard sometimes. Breakups aren’t easy, letting go of the idea of what could’ve been isn’t easy either, but I’m trying to stay optimistic about the future and that one day the person that I’m meant to be with and start a family with — when the timing is right — we will find our way to each other.”