Successful co-parenting takes a lot of compromises, energy, and dedication to one main thing: giving your child (or children) a relationship with two happy, healthy parents. In a new interview with PEOPLE, Anderson Cooper opens up about how he co-parents with his ex, and honestly, his words will tug your heart.

Cooper and his ex, Benjamin Maisani, share 16-month-old Wyatt. Though the pair split up awhile back, they seem to have a wonderful partnership when it comes to parenting their son.


“It’s awesome,” Cooper tells PEOPLE. “It’s probably an unusual setup, but I knew he would be a great dad, and he is. We’re exes, but we’re family to each other, and we love each other as family and as co-parents.”

He says he and Maisani “bicker” about little things like schedules and clothes, but they’re just “silly, minor things.” And the fact that the two are no longer together in a romantic sense doesn’t mean the love they once shared totally disappeared.

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“I’ve always believed that if you’ve been with somebody and that ends, in terms of an intimate relationship, if you love somebody, there’s no reason why that love shouldn’t continue.”

Excuse me, is it a little dusty in here? No? Just me? Sorry not sorry, it’s so sweet to see someone be totally honest and heartfelt about their feelings. As a child of divorce myself, I can honestly say if my own parents had felt even a fraction as fond of one another as Cooper and Maisani, it would have meant the world to me.

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When asked how Cooper is different now that he’s a father (because let’s face it, kids just fundamentally change you in every way), Maisani thinks he’s calmer.

“Anderson has changed a lot since Wyatt arrived,” he said. “He’s happy and relaxed in a way he’s never been before. Wyatt has grounded him.”

It’s so great to see happy, healthy co-parenting examples, and it’s gracious of celebrities like Cooper—and Irina Shayk, Katy Perry, and Miranda Kerr—to open up about how they make it work. Keep on keeping on, y’all.