Southern Charm's Shep Rose Teases 'Turbulent' Season with Girlfriend Taylor Ann Green: 'I've Come a Long Way'
Ahead of Thursday's season 8 premiere, Rose exclusively chatted with PEOPLE about the apparent strife in his relationship teased in the trailer, insisting that "good things are on the horizon."
"It is difficult to curate a relationship on camera," Rose, 42, tells PEOPLE. "As much as you want to do and say the right thing, just add friends and alcohol, and things can be combustible."
It seems Rose wasn't doing much "curating" of his language when he called Green "a f---ing idiot" in the trailer, which also showed Green, 27, crying to cast mate Leva Bonaparte, "What is going on? I'm starting to question everything."
Looking back on the past few years since he and Green became official in 2020, Rose recognizes that he had some growing up to do — on camera and off. After all, the burgeoning relationship was a major development for the Southern Charm-er after he spent the first several seasons of the show as a happy bachelor.
"The way I describe it is all my years on the show, I was juggling one ball — that was me," he says. "Now I'm juggling me, I'm juggling my girlfriend and our relationship."
He adds, "Taylor has been a great help as far as pulling me by the collar when I need to be pulled by the collar," he says, acknowledging that he's "a boisterous, passionate, idiotic human being."
But with growth can come growing pains.
"Honestly, the show can be a real big microscope," Rose explains. "As much as it can be embarrassing or whatever you want to call it to do this step on national television, it also forces you to really look at yourself."
Rose previously admitted to "hiccups" in his relationship with Green, and the trailer revealed that she still sometimes "gets jealous."
Says Rose, "Sometimes when you try too hard, it comes off even worse. I think I suffered a little bit from that, trying too hard. I don't know. It was a turbulent season."
Still, he says, "I think I've come a long way. I'm basically an old man now, I guess. I'm coming to grips with that."
As for how he'll handle viewers' reactions in the weeks to come, he tells PEOPLE: "This season might agitate me."
"I'm so nervous," he admits. "I've been really upset and shocked at some [comments]. ... So I hope I'm not a pariah."
As for the guys in his life, Rose says he's still close to Bravo's resident "persona non grata" Austen Kroll, 35, and promises he and Craig Conover, 33, will "scream at each other and then 30 minutes later be laughing" in upcoming episodes.
Rose also singled one very good boy for helping him grow and change in recent years — his French bulldog Little Craig!
"But you know who else has helped?" he says. "I'll say this, and [Taylor will] agree, too, is little Craig, the dog."
He continues, "It's just changed my life. All of a sudden I was responsible for a little life. I couldn't stay out crazy nights and stuff like that because he was home waiting for me. That was the impetus for a lot of change. Then Taylor came about a year after little Craig."
And in a typically Shep-ian musing, he sums up, "I always think about fate and free will and stuff like that. I read a lot about it, philosophy, and I'm starting to think that everything happens just the way it was always supposed to, good and bad. It all just leads into this river that is your life. I think that I'm really happy floating down my river right now. It hasn't been a perfect landing or anything like that, but it's the way it was supposed to happen."
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Season 8 of Southern Charm premieres Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.
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