Neil, 38, and 24-year-old Luisa began dating in the summer, but have been dogged by rumours of a split with the dancer confirming they were living apart after ‘moving too quickly’ in their relationship.
A source has told The Sun that his friends were ‘pleased’ when they decided to cool things off as ‘being linked to her was the worst mistake he’s made’.
‘Neil is a decent bloke and is trying to distance himself as much as possible now’ they went on.
‘His focus is dancing and his career on Strictly which means a huge amount to him.’
The insider added that as far as Neil is concerned, their relationship is ‘in the past’.
A spokeswoman for the TV star said: ‘Neil is happy with his decision and is busy focussing on himself and some exciting work projects. He wishes Luisa all the best.’
Speaking to Hello! magazine about slowing down their whirlwind romance, the dancer said: ‘We need to take it back to the beginning where we can start to get to know each other and actually go on dates when lockdown allows.
‘That is something we haven’t been able to do.’
Neil was previously married to fellow Strictly star Katya Jones until they split in 2019.
The former couple started dating in 2008 before getting married five years later.
However their relationship went through a rough patch in 2018 after Katya kissed her then Strictly celebrity partner Seann Walsh on a night out.
They resolved to stay together and try to work out their issues, which lasted 10 months before they split for good.
Neil found romance with Luisa the following year.
Got a story?
If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us email@example.com, calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.