Last week, Karina Smirnoff stunned everyone by announcing that she and Mario Lopez had ended their nearly two-year relationship, telling OK! that "we are both focused on our careers right now."

Nearly a week later, OK! caught up with Karina’s former dance partner to get his side of the story. "I wouldn’t date me right now," Mario told OK! at the Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs For A Cause BBQ in NYC’s Times Square. "I don’t think it’d be much fun. I don’t have that much time."

And the 34-year-old hunk, who ranked #10 on OK!’s list of all-time Man Candy, seems to agree with his ex-gal-pal about the reason for their split. "I’ve been so focused on work and all this other stuff I got going on and flying back and forth for work," he explained. "I don’t think I have a day off until September something."

Actually, if Mario keeps working at his current pace, he’ll have enough jobs to keep him busy for a long time beyond this fall. He’s a correspondent on Extra, co-host of America’s Best Dance Crew, oh — he’s also starring in A Chorus Line on Broadway.

"I’m pretty happy with the way things are going," he said. "I just want to continue going. I never complain. I’m very grateful."

Currently, Mario calls NYC his home, but occasionally finds he has to go back to L.A. for his work. But this California-born star loves the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. "Everything’s open late. You don’t have to worry about drinking and driving. The people are great. I thought the people would be a lot more rude. They’re very cool and much more real. I like it. I didn’t think I was going to like it at all. I really like it," he said.

The bi-coastal guy admits that sometimes, it takes a lot out of him. "I just fly back once a week so it’s a bit of a toll," he said. "It’s not too good, but I got to do what I got to do. It’s a little tiring but I wouldn’t change it. I’m grateful I’m as busy as I am."

By Jocelyn Vena

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