Craig Conover is ready for new beginnings when this season of Southern Charm premieres Thursday, April 5 at 9/8c. When the season kicks off, we'll see him and Naomie Olindo adapt to being new exes after having decided to end their relationship last year.
Southern Charm fans witnessed the ups and downs of Craig and Naomie's relationship over the years, from falling madly in love in Season 3 to dealing with the stresses of living together in Season 4. At last season's reunion, the couple affirmed their commitment to working on their relationship and seemed to be in a much better place.
Craig opened up to The Daily Dish about what ultimately led to his breakup with Naomie during an interview in New York City Friday. "Naomie and I, we had the best of intentions. We were trying to work it out, but after a while we had to accept reality, and I wished things were different. I think we both did. But instead of banging your head against the wall every day, you really have to look in the mirror and be like, 'How long are we gonna keep lying to ourselves?'" Craig explained. "So fortunately, no one did anything bad. No one stepped out or cheated or anything, so there wasn't really any anger. It was just kind of disappointing and sad."
Ultimately, Craig said he and Naomie "were just too different." "I was always like, 'There's no way that two people can be so different that it doesn't work.' But we just were not compatible," he said. "The difference is at the very fundamental level, we're so far apart that, I don't know, it just wore on us and [dragged] us down to the point where we weren't happy."
After their breakup, Craig moved out of the house he shared with Naomie and into a home of his own with a friend he grew up with, while Naomie had some friends move in with her. "You know, it was pretty odd at first because I thought we would end up getting married and move into this house, but I wanted to start a life of our own. I wanted for us to buy a house together and do the normal thing. But we were just on different paths," Craig shared. "I think we're both a lot happier now, at least I am."
Craig said that he and his ex are now "both doing well," but they haven't exactly been able to move on as friends just yet. "We'll see where this road takes us, but it's very bizarre to see how different of a place we're in now than we were a year ago," Craig said. "You know, we don't even really speak any more, and not speaking with someone that you lived with for several years is pretty odd."
Living in the small world that is Charleston and traveling in the same social circles makes breaking up an especially hard thing to do, as we'll see this season of Southern Charm. "Usually when you break up with someone, the goal is to not see them anymore, the goal is to not constantly have to deal with them. But Charleston's such a small town, and Naomie and I are intertwined in the exact same friend groups, like all of them," Craig said. "And when you're breaking up with someone, it takes a while for you to see them and not get into an altercation. And so a lot of the conversations that probably should have been held in private — or were when we were together — now that we're broken up, kind of just happen in front of whoever is standing there. So it was tough for a while."
Still, Craig remains hopeful that he and Naomie can one day rebuild their relationship to the point where they can become friends again. "There's no reason we shouldn't be friends," he said. "I still love the girl to death. She's great."
Look back on the couple's relationship, below.