When Andi Dorfman gave her final rose to the hunky jock Josh on season 10 of The Bachelorette, she thought her fairytale was just beginning. Instead, dude turned out to be a total jerk and the next year of her life was about enduring a doomed relationship and getting over a horrible split. In her new book, It’s Not Okay: Turning Heartbreak Into Happily Ever After—which hit shelves this week—Dorfman, 30, details her weeks of wine and track pants, what is was really like dating 26 men at once, and—oh yeah—quite possibly the world’s most cringe-worthy fantasy suite encounter.
You’ve described It’s Not Okay as “an anti-self help book”. What do you mean?
Well the book obviously is my story of how I overcame a breakup, but I describe it as being anti-self help because it’s kind of everything that we, especially we as women, do during breakups that we’re not supposed to. When I was going through it, I was looking at self help articles and books and I felt like, I don’t want to be strong right now, I don’t want to think about the positive. What I want to do is be negative and drown my sorrows in wine and have these moments that traditional self-help tells us we’re not supposed to have. This was my way of saying, go ahead and have those moments of vulnerability.
As well as lots wine, your prescription for getting over a bad breakup includes trashy TV and lots of junk food.
Yeah, I mean, we all want to do that, so why make ourselves feel worse about it?
You also advocate for sex with an ex as a form of vengeance, which seems a little bit ill-advised.
I think when you’re going through a breakup, you can get over the sadness, but most of us still want to get even. As I say in the book, I felt like I drew the short end of the heartbreak stick. For me, sex with the ex was about closure, taking control. It’s not for everyone, and you have to be in the right mindset. I’m a big believer in doing whatever you need to do to get that closure. Sometimes one last shebang is the way to go out.
You don’t actually name any of the guys in the book, you refer to them in the order you met them—Juan Pablo is Number One, Nick is Number 25, Josh is Number 26. Was that a liability decision?
It wasn’t about hiding their identities, since it was very obvious who I am talking about. It was more from a standpoint of empowerment. Like, treating each relationship equally and putting it in perspective. Sort of like a female thing where I felt like, I don’t need my exes’ names in my book. Why not just make them a number?
You pretty frank about your feelings for some of your famous exes. Have you heard anything from any of them since the details of the book started going public?
No. None of us speak to each other. We don’t ask permission to say whatever we want to say or be public about whatever we want to be public about. Everyone is doing their own thing.
Josh, or rather, Number 26 comes off really badly in the book. Not just like, what-a-douchebag-bad, but seriously horrible. He called you a whore among other verbally abusive behavior. Did you consider keeping some of the dark material out?
Definitely. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s true and I wanted to tell the truth of a breakup. There are things that are going to hurt, and that are hard to write and hard to read. It wasn’t easy and it’s not easy to know that people know that about me now.
Did you feel completely blindsided by Josh’s post-final rose personality, or were there things you could have picked up on?
Maybe I should have realized things earlier, but you know what they say about hindsight. I do think it can be cathartic to look back on the red flags. It makes you realize what you didn’t end up spending the rest of your life with.
Onto a lighter note, you share the details of your night with Nick—Number 25—in the fantasy suite, and the moment in which he asked you whether you wanted to “make love or f-ck.” First of all, ewwwww. Secondly, this really sheds new, ickier light on the famous After the Final Rose encounter when Nick asked you how you could “make love” if you weren’t “in love.”
That’s why I put that story in there. One of the things with the book is that every story I tell is in there for a reason, to make a point. It’s not gratuitous. That particular story was my answer to that moment on live television that I never got to answer because I was totally blindsided. This was my way of saying, really? That’s a bit unfair. Because you definitely didn’t call it “making love” when you were wanting to quote/unquote “f-ck.”
There are rumours that the show hires actors to play the most extreme/dramatic characters—the person who gets polluted drunk on the first night or has a total emotional breakdown. Care to comment?
So not true! None of it is scripted, nobody is telling you what to say. The reality is when you combine 30 people with different personalities in a house, you’re guaranteed to have conflict, drama—the crazy ones, the ones that drink too much. It’s always there.
During the last season of The Bachelor, Ben Higgins told two different women that he loved them. Unforgivable show of cowardice or understandable screw up?
I’m in the minority, but I was fully in support of what Ben did. He was feeling a certain way about two women at a certain time. He owned it, he never took it back. He was raw and honest and he just said where he was at. I loved that.
A new season of The Bachelorette kicks off next week. [Editor’s note: as do Sharleen Joynt’s always on-point recaps!] What advice would you offer to JoJo?
This is maybe a little general, but my advice is to have fun. It’s so easy to get caught up—there are all of these dudes and all of these things you have to be thinking about, so it’s easy to forget the position that you’re in—travelling the world, getting to do so many cool things that not a lot of people get to do.
Got anything that’s a little more practical?
Oh, comfortable shoes. I made a big mistake in France. I wore high heels to this mime date. We were walking around on coblestone streets for seven hours. It was horrible.
You recently moved from Atlanta to New York City. Have you noticed a difference between Manhattan men and the southern gentlemen you’re used to?
Oh for sure. There is much less chivalry here. It’s just a whole different mentality. In the south we get married young, where as here people are looking to date more. I joke that you’re not even ripe until you’re 30.
Speaking of dating, Bachelor Nation fans went pretty bonkers last year over a rumour that you and Chris Harrison were taking your relationship to the next level…
That made me laugh. Honestly I think people just want to see Chris Harrison fall in love. I’m working on it. I try to set him up all the time. My dream girl for him is Jennifer Lawrence, but that’s really just so that I can be friends with her.
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