Bethenny Frankel is still feeling the aftershocks of her four-year divorce ordeal.
Though she and ex-husband Jason Hoppy, parents of 6-year-old Bryn, finalized their split in July, “there are still some bad parts that I definitely thought would be gone,” the Skinnygirl mogul, 45, reveals in an exclusive Us Weekly video. “But the hardest parts have been anything that seems negative for my daughter. Anything that is unnecessarily negative for my daughter is really challenging for me. You know, you kind of have to look inside, find your strength.”
One upside to the bitter split: Frankel, who is forbidden from discussing the terms of her divorce, has learned what qualities to look for in a man. “Integrity and kindness now are so much more important than I ever even realized, because I didn’t realize how many people don’t have it,” she continues. “I think I’ve been pretty sheltered in my emotional estimation of people. I’ve gotten pretty surprised.”
Her boyfriend of nearly a year embodies everything she wants. Since last fall, Frankel has dated NYC banker Dennis Shields — a friend of 27 years.
“He’s exceptionally brilliant and funny and a very major family person,” the Real Housewives of New York City star says of the single father, who is also currently going through a divorce.
Both Bryn and Cookie, Frankel’s 16-year-old Lhasa apso, give Shields, 48, the stamp of approval: “My dog and my daughter like the guy.”
Still, she’s unsure if she will wed again. “I finally got to the place where everything is settled. Why start to, like, throw it up in the air again?” the reality personality says. “I’m not looking for helicopters to fly over my house while I wear some big, white poufy dress. I don’t feel ready for that right now.”
For much more on how Frankel is moving on after her divorce, watch the video above and pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on stands now.