'RHOC' Star Kelly Dodd Says Ex-Husband Michael Will 'Always' Be Part of Her Heart

Kelly Dodd may have ended the romantic part of her relationship with ex-husband Michael Dodd, but the Real Housewives of Orange County stars are continuing their parenting partnership for the sake of their 12-year-old daughter.

In Monday's all-new episode of the Bravo series, Dodd had to conquer her anxiety about reuniting with Michael at their daughter's play, but soon after coming face-to-face with her ex, realized that the two will always have a family connection, regardless of how their marriage ended.

"Michael will always be part of my family," she admitted to the cameras. "He'll always be part of my heart, and I hope in the future we can always be on this track."

That doesn't mean the "cougar" of the OC is staying away from the dating scene. In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Dodd revealed that after splitting with Michael last year following 11 years of marriage, she has been keeping a "bench" of men in her rotation, one of whom RHOC fans will meet before the end of the season named Alex.

She's not dating anyone seriously, though, and always keeping Jolie sheltered from her dating life, she emphasized.

“I’m very single,” Dodd continued. “I want somebody that I'm best friends with ... like fun, that I can have a great time with, we can laugh and have fun. And then, you know, like, a buddy. And then second, we have to have good sex — very important— and then third, like, somebody very, very smart. Really, I want a smart guy, and somebody that, you know, is driven. So, those are the things I'm looking for in a guy… and nice! That treats me nice. There's a lot!”

Meeting someone she can be best friends with is also important for the reality personality, who admitted she had never felt that way about anyone, including Michael.

“He's socially inept, you know what I mean?” she said of her ex. “He always made people feel awkward or whatever, but he's a great dad, he's a great husband. I just couldn't go out with him, let loose and have a good time. So, for whatever reason, I've never had a best friend I've been romantically involved in. Looking back, that's what I want for myself. Maybe that's why all my relationships have failed.”

The two have been spending time together making sure they are the best parents they can be to their daughter, which Kelly said is working fantastically.

“You know, [Jolie] always says, 'Mom, I'm happy that you and Dad are divorced,’” Kelly revealed. “She's at peace, she has fun with me — it's like she gets one-on-one time with each parent. Our custody is one week on, one week off. So, we have, you know, we co-parent very well together.”

That doesn't mean she regrets their split.

“Listen, there's times where I wanna, like, smash Michael or talk bad about him, but ultimately I have a daughter and I have to think about her,” she said of their relationship. “So I really don't want to, you know, disparage Michael in any way in the press or anything like that, even though I want to.”

“Michael and I, there's good days and bad days,” Dodd continued. “But I try to be as positive as I can and not think of the negative, ‘cause thinking in the negative just puts me in a bad place and doesn't get me anywhere. I still have issues and problems, but I just don't like to tell people about them.”

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Real Housewives of Orange County airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.

Photo credit: David Livingston/Getty Images