EXCLUSIVE: Bethenny Frankel Dishes on Dating After Breakup and Dealing With the World Judging Her Every Move
Bethenny Frankel is no longer “choosing to be single.”
The Real Housewives of New York City star used that phrase to explain her split from boyfriend Dennis Shields in a recent blog for Bravo.
“I think people always ask me about my love, or lack of love, life,” she tells ET. “I’ve been really focused on work so much and sometimes, something has to give and it was just that.”
“I have to be able to be focused and sleep,” Frankel adds. “I’m building my Skinnygirl business, I’ve created a charity, I have a daughter, so sometimes, dating seems like you’re really not going to be able to fit it in.”
Frankel and Shields split earlier this year, but he’s still featured on the current season of RHONY.
“If I do anything, I wanna do it well,” she says. “If I date, I wanna do it really well. So, I can’t be dating unless I’m ready to, like, go full monty. You know?”
“By the way, that’s turning now,” Frankel notes. “I ripped the Band-Aid off, like, two days ago. I did. Just lit the flame, lit the match, put the burners on and I’m off to the races.”
Frankel says she’s ready to date “as of yesterday,” now that her Skinnygirl Market Fresh Deli Meats have hit store shelves and her charity, B Strong, is off the ground.
“Open for business,” she says. “Summer’s coming. It’s time to put the Bethenny burners back on.”
Financier Shields was Frankel’s first major relationship since her split from ex-husband Jason Hoppy in 2012. Their divorce was not finalized until mid-2016, and headlines about the former couple’s tense relationship — and their co-parenting of 7-year-old daughter Bryn — get regular play in the tabloids.
“Sometimes it’s empowering,” the 46-year-old says of the constant media attention. “It’s fuel. I mean, if people are really spending time talking about you, you must be doing something so right that it’s just bothering them so badly that they have to try to say something negative.”
“I don’t really think about haters and things like that,” she continues. “I just don’t. I’m happy. Life is good. I have my good friends. I can be irreverent, and polarizing and opinionated, but that’s who I am. Not everyone has to like me.”
Frankel is also using what she’s been through with her ex as fuel. Her divorce was the inspiration behind B Strong, a partnership with Dress for Success designed to help “women in crisis.”
“The resonation of the words ‘women in crisis’ has been pretty impressive,” she shares. “When B Strong came out, and people just heard, ‘Oh, it’s a charity about women in crisis?’ Not even knowing that it’s about financial advice and life coaching and all of that. People just all of sudden clung to it.”
“Women try to hold on so tight, and then just crumble because we’re trying to be superwomen,” Frankel adds. “I had a rough spot, and I’m so blessed in so many ways that I couldn’t believe how debilitating it was for me. So, imagine people who don’t even have their electricity turned on, and you know, can’t pay their rent … it broke my heart and I just felt like, I can do this. And we’re doing it.”
Fans who want to get involved with B Strong can go to Raize.net/Bethenny-Frankel to enter for a chance to win a day in New York City with the star, which includes a trip to a taping of Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.
“I’m really excited,” Frankel gushes. ‘It’s a good thing to be giving back and in a way that’s really authentic to me and that I’m really feeling right now.”
Keep up with Frankel on The Real Housewives of New York City every Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo. For more on the current season of the show, check out the video below.