12/11/2011 AT 9:50 AM ET
Whether it was Justin Bobby, Corey Bohan or one of Audrina Patridge’s other suitors, the former Hills star always seemed to have drama with the guys she dated in front of the cameras.
Several months after the finale of her own VH1 reality show Audrina – which did not get renewed for a second season – Patridge, 26, tells PEOPLE “now things are good” between her and on-again beau Bohan.
“Filming a reality show really takes a toll on relationships because your mindset is to create good TV,” she says. “It’s hard on relationships, so after the show, Corey and I really worked on what was going on with us. We spent time together.”
Even though she reunited with Bohan after she finished filming, her break from the spotlight lasted much longer.
“I took five to six months off to just relax,” Patridge said. “With seven straight years of filming, I didn’t really get time to organize my house or do things for myself, so I just took some time off. I moved to the beach.”
Patridge, whose last day as Bongo’s two-year spokesperson was on Tuesday, enjoyed her mini-hiatus, but she’s ready for her next assignment.
“I’m back again, refreshed and not burnt out,” she says. “I know I’ve been kind of laying low lately, but next year I’m really looking forward to working and getting back out there. I have some really great projects I’m working on.”
In the meantime, the reformed reality starlet, who also competed on Dancing with the Stars, has been planning for Bohan’s 30th birthday, which is in January.
“I haven’t picked out any holiday gifts for him yet, but I am throwing him a little birthday party before he leaves to go back to Australia,” she says. “It’ll be fun. He knows about it, but there are some surprises he doesn’t know about. I’m still going to get him a gift for Christmas, but I haven t even started shopping yet. It’s going to be last minute this year.”