Stephen Colletti didn't expect a recent snap with his high school sweetheart, Kristin Cavallari, to break the internet.
Back in August, Cavallari, 34, shared a dim-lit selfie to Instagram of herself looking cozy with her arms wrapped around Colletti four months after her split from Jay Cutler.
The photo, which she captioned, "2004 or 2020?!" quickly went viral and sparked dating rumors about the pair.
Colletti, who previously dated Cavallari during the pair's run on MTV's Laguna Beach, told Page Six this week that he wasn't prepared to receive so much attention from the photo and that the reactions came as "a bit of a shock."
"It was nice to see that it was received in a positive way," he said. "People look back on a show that was out a long time ago and have some fond memories of watching it with their friends and maybe can relate to some high school relationships that they had."
Still, Colletti admitted he had to clear his mind of the responses.
"My phone had to be turned off for the day," he told the outlet.
Colletti and Cavallari's relationship — which briefly involved a love triangle with Laguna Beach co-star Lauren Conrad — began in high school and ended when Colletti went off to school at the University of Southern California.
Cavallari's outing with Colletti, 34, came after she and Cutler, 37, announced their divorce and the end of their 10-year relationship in April. In a joint statement on Instagram at the time, the former couple said it was just a situation "of two people growing apart" and that they had "nothing but love and respect for one another."
In September, Cavallari came clean about the photo with Colletti, telling PEOPLE that the two are just "really good friends."
"Stephen and I have remained really good friends over the years. I love him to death, but no we're not dating," she said at the time.
Now, the reality star is spending time with a new man. Cavallari was first linked to comedian Jeff Dye after they were pictured kissing at a Chicago bar in October.
Since then, the pair have continued to spend time together and enjoyed a trip to Mexico last month.
"Kristin had a great weekend in Cabo San Lucas. She was with friends and Jeff," a source previously told PEOPLE about the pair's December getaway. "Kristin and Jeff were very affectionate. She was beaming around him."
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