Shouhed also reacts to one of his costars saying he has a "wandering eye."
"Shahs of Sunset" viewers are going to see a different version of Mike Shouhed when Season 8 kicks off this weekend. "The best version," even, promises the reality star.
Shouhed was initially brought onto the Bravo series to fill the player role, something he had no problem doing those first years. He built up that bad boy reputation even more when his marriage to Jessica Parido fell apart after he confessed to cheating on her.
"I've done a few interviews today where they're like you're the bad boy. I can't shed that skin," Shouhed told TooFab when he joined us in studio. But now, he swears he's a changed man.
The new season will see Mike dating another woman, a single mother named Paulina Ben-Cohen. It's a relationship that not only accelerated quickly, but one he says has had a very positive impact on him.
"A good boyfriend/girlfriend will make you become the best version of yourself. Thats what Paulina did to me," he said. "I kind of mirror her amazingness and I pale in amazingness, but I'm trying."
Shouhed said the two had their first date at a Taco Bell -- Paulina's suggestion, not his -- and sat there "for hours" talking. "It got to the point where the security guard come over and was like, 'You guys are having a lot of fun,'" he recalled. "I was like, 'Oh f--k, we're in Taco Bell,' I forgot because the world around me didn't exist when I was with her. I knew from the second I met her, I was going to be with her for the rest of my life."
While there's almost no mention of her on Shouhed's Instagram page, he assured TooFab the two are still very much together IRL.
"She's private. I learned from my mistakes," he explained. "My past relationship, amazing girl, but we were all about, 'Let's take pictures of everything we do and post it' and unfortunately not a lot of people, they'll be happy for you, but they don't want you to be happier than they are. They'll troll and try to make you feel miserable and they'll do anything to destroy what you've built. I kinda wanted her out of the spotlight because she's so focused on being the best mom possible."
He said his costars were "very welcoming" to Paulina, who makes her debut in Sunday's premiere. "With Jessica, they gave her a hard time, the poor girl," he added, "but with Paulina, they were super friendly and they welcomed her with open arms."
That being said, Nema Vand does make a comment about Mike's "wandering eye" in the episode. While Shouhed said he loves "to look at people," he insists he's not checking anyone out. "I find beauty in women and men. That can be kind of mistaken for me having a wandering eye, but I don't," he said. "I'm just scatterbrained. I like to look at things!"
"Shahs of Sunset" premieres Sunday night on Bravo.