Bethenny Frankel just assumed love was no longer in the cards for her. Following a dramatic, four-year divorce battle with ex Jason Hoppy, “I did try to date,” the Skinnygirl mogul confessed to Us in 2016. “At the beginning, you’re a little manic. You don’t know if anyone’s going to like you. You don’t know if you have game anymore.” She did. That year, she began dating business executive Dennis Shields, her pal of more than two decades. “He’s exceptionally brilliant and funny,” she had gushed to Us at the time. “I’m so happy.”
Today, she is in mourning. On August 10, Shields, just 51, died of an apparent prescription pill overdose in his NYC Trump Tower apartment. “Bethenny is absolutely devastated,” says a Frankel confidant. “She lost her best friend, her partner. He was her family.”
Still, for her 8-year-old daughter Bryn, the Real Housewives of New York City star, 47, is trying to put on a brave face. Adds the source, “The only thing she can do is pick herself up and live her life.”
Frankel had seen a forever with Shields. Throughout their on-off romance, “he proposed to her many times,” reveals the source. “But never with a ring.” That is, until April, when he, at long last, presented her with a sparkler. “She didn’t say yes, but she also didn’t say no,” adds the insider. “She told him they first had to overcome some issues.”
Including the rehab veteran’s battle with addiction. “Bethenny has a kid and she was not going to make that level of commitment given the situation,” says the Frankel pal. “Dennis needed to work on himself. She was being cautious.”
She had faith in him — and their future. Recently, “they were writing lists of what needed to change to improve their relationship,” reveals a second insider. “Bethenny was hopeful. She was so in love with Dennis and wanted to be with him.”
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