"Oh, we're friends. The ring's off, but we're friends, so everything's good," Johnston told PEOPLE at Sunday's Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles, where he had Brittani Senser on his arm. He told PEOPLE his date was "just a friend. She’s a singer."
It was the second time in as many days the two were spotted together, and Johnston, 20, is actually set to appear opposite Senser in her upcoming music video for her R&B song "After Love." This is the video that Palin, 19, referred to Johnston's lying about in a recent PEOPLE interview: "He told me [his trip to L.A.] was to see some hunting show, but come to find out it was that music video mocking my family."
While not happy about the breakup with Palin, Johnston, 20, says he is dealing with it in his own way. "You know, it's tough," he says. "It's not something that I wanted, but life goes on, and I'll just take it one step at a time."
He adds that he's still going to spend time with his and Palin's 19-month-old son, Tripp. "Oh yeah, yeah. We're still co-parenting," he says.
Going forward, Palin says she wants to find someone "who's going to be completely honest with me and someone who loves me and Tripp and wants to be with him all the time."
Additional reporting by MICHELLE WARD