Q&A with Bethenny Frankel

Bethenny Frankel sucks at relationships so you don't have to. Literally. That's the title of her new book of dating advice. Why would the Real Housewife, who has been through many trials and tribulations in her romantic life, write a book of dating advice? "I have a lot of experience!" laughs Frankel. For Bethenny, dating is all about going with your gut, and there are plenty of times in her past where going with her head or heart has gotten in the way. That lesson and more can be found in her book. We talked with her about being successful in business and romance, and learned some of her favorite things in the process.

-Adam Downer

GGM: You’re very upfront about your failures in relationships. Why, then, did you decide to write a dating advice book?

BF: I have a lot of experience (laughs)! With dating, relationships, boyfriends, marriages, breakups, divorces, and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I learn in my personal life and business life from my mistakes as well as my successes. I don’t believe anybody’s an expert in relationships. Someone could be married for 30 years and miserable, and someone could be dating for two weeks and have never had a love like that in their life. The matchmakers, many aren’t married. People who’ve written books on dating have gotten divorced. I just know I have a lot of experience and I know what to do. It’s like, do as I say, not as I do. It’s not tongue-in-cheek either, because I actually give great advice.

GGM: What is the major difference between being successful in business and being successful in romance?

BF: That your heart and emotions get in the way of what you know in your gut in relationships. If you’re like me in business, you can be decisive and surgical about things, and not sit around torturing yourself about an email or text. I know exactly what to do and can keep moving to the next thing. In relationships, you can sit there and think too hard about something you did, or something you said, or someone you slept with. People end up going with their head instead of going with their gut in relationships.

GGM: Can you tell me what you consider your favorite story that helped inform this book?

BF: Women always want a kind of definition to things, and I’ve been in relationships where it’s awkward. This is a very common New York thing, because it’s a cost of living thing: there are two people who are about to move in together to a new home and it’s awkward because you’ve been together for like two years and now you’re talking about moving in when it may not be the right time to move in together. A woman may argue “Why aren’t we moving in together? What does this mean? Does it mean you don’t love me?” and push it, where a man might say “Why don’t we stay where we are, live separately, and keep it the way it is?” As a woman, I’ve understood that you’re not listening to your gut in that situation, and your heart and ego gets hurt. You feel not wanted and abandoned. That’s an example of not making the right decision because you’re not going with your gut.

GGM: You have Skinny Girl coffee about to launch this year, and you recently launched salad dressing. Why do you think this brand has been so successful?

BF: We’re launching so many things! We have the microwave popcorn, the snacks, the pretzel thins, the cucumbers, non-alcoholic beverages at Walmart and bars. It’s crazy! I feel very involved. I own the whole brand, grew up with the marketing, development, formulating, and it’s just an extension of me.

GGM: Many people know you from reality television. Are there reality shows you watch in your spare time?

BF: Uhm… you know, I’ll sit there and watch Real Housewives of Atlanta and Beverly Hills, but I don’t watch that much TV.

GGM: So there are no scripted shows you catch up on?

BF: Scripted shows, yes! I’m binging on Breaking Bad, about to catch up on Game of Thrones, and people keep telling me to jump on House of Cards. I’d like to jump on American Crime and Empire. Years ago, there was that writer’s strike where reality TV took off, but now that writers are back, there’s such an overflow of great shows!

GGM: Favorite movies?

BF: Wall Street, Shawshank Redemption, Love Actually, About Last Night, St. Elmo’s Fire. I liked American Beauty a lot and American Sniper.

GGM: Any music you’re jamming right now?

BF: “These Hoes Ain’t Loyal!” (laughs) I like hip hop, and I like that song, because they ain’t!

GGM: Favorite clothing brands?

BF: Helmut Lang, Victoria Beckham, Rag and Bone, Chloe, J Brand.

GGM: Favorite restaurant in New York City?

BF: I like Catch. I like Mr. Chow, Carbone, and Dirty French. I like Dos Caminos.

GGM: Can you tell me the last thing you splurged on?

BF: Sure thing! I bought a Sydney Evan necklace. I also brought a Kristen Farrell diamond necklace that I wore on TV, and I loved it so much, I purchased it!

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