He's loved up with Italian model and actress Stella Turian, who's 16 years his junior. But friends of James "Arg" Argent have urged the ex-TOWIE star not to risk damaging his chances of future happiness by clinging on too closely to the past.
Last week, Arg was snapped enjoying a day out with his ex-girlfriend Lydia and her family at Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland, where the pair enjoyed taking her daughter Loretta - who she shares with ex Lee Cronin - on the fairground rides.
Meanwhile Stella, 18, was hundreds of miles away back in Italy. A pal says, "James and Lydia remain really good friends, which is obviously very unusual for ex-partners. But James has always wanted Lydia to remain part of his life. He's not just close to her, he speaks regularly to Lydia's mum and her brothers and sisters as well.
"It's no secret that James struggled after his split with Lydia and, for a long time. he wanted to win her back. But that's in the past and he's now very happy with Stella.
"Obviously, some of his friends have been left wondering how she truly feels about the fact he's so close to someone he had such strong affection for in the past. It's going to be important that James manages that situation and they've been warning him to be careful."
Arg, who split with Lydia in 2016 after an eight-year relationship, went public with Stella in September, with insiders saying the pair had "fallen for each other fast" despite only meeting in June.
He was pictured meeting her family in October, while Stella met Arg's family and friends in Essex a few weeks later. And recent reports have claimed the pair are keen on moving in together soon.
This is Arg's first serious relationship since he split with Gemma Collins in summer of 2021, after a 10 year on/off- and often toxic- relationship. Closer previously revelled how Arg's new relationship had left Gemma "jealous"- despite her being engaged to Rami Hawash.
Our insider adds, "Stella knows James is still friends Lydia. He's very open about it and also about the fact that he still speaks to Gemma too. She trusts James totally, and respects the fact that he is open about things. It may not be conventional, but right now, she has no reason to not trust him. As long as it remains friendship only and doesn't go any further, then there are no problems."
After years of struggling with drugs, drink and food addiction- and a near death experience in December 2019 where he was rushed to hospital after a cocaine binge- James has finally seemed to conquer his demons in the last two years, despite a short relapse in March this year. He has also lost 11st after having a gastric band fitted last year.
Speaking about his relationship with Stella last month, Arg said, "We've got an amazing connection. She's extremely supportive. And she knows everything there is to know about me. I've sat down with her and explained all the things I've gone through in my life, the ups and downs."
And the source says, "James has had his well-documented problems in the past, but Stella is the best thing that has happened to him in ages. That's why he's desperate for it to work out. It's not easy with them living in separate counties, but they are making things work and see each other as much as they can."