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What It's Like to Go Through 'The Bachelor's' Deranged Emotional Gauntlet

Andi Dorfman opens up about the lessons she learned along her journey to find love on "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette."

Allison Duncan

Photo courtesy of Andi Dorfman

Just like The Hills forever branded Lauren Conrad as "the girl who didn't go to Paris," The Bachelor/Bachelorette will always remember Andi Dorfman as the rising-star Assistant District Attorney who gave it all up in the quest for love. And after a very public broken engagement, Dorfman told-all in her New York Times bestselling book It’s Not Okay, a revelatory look at why searching for love on television is no paradise.

What made It’s Not Okay a bestseller is Dorfman’s unflinching honesty and willingness to pull back the curtain on the life of a reality star that has returned to reality. And in her follow-up Single State of Mind, available January 9, Dorfman uses that same approach to share everything from her experience of falling in love with a mystery man known as Mr. Seattle to freezing her eggs.

Dorfman tells Broadly her thoughts on dating in her thirties and the current state of The Bachelor franchise.

BROADLY: What inspired you to write Single State of Mind?
ANDI DORFMAN: I was so nervous with It’s Not Okay because I didn’t know what the response would be, but so many people messaged me to say thank you and that the book had helped them so much. It’s the feedback that I was surprised about. People were asking me about New York and what happens now. As public as my life may be in certain aspects, I’ve been very private about my dating life. I don’t share one fling on Instagram and make it Instagram official. Now people can see what I’ve been up to.

Do you feel any differently about dating now that you’re in your thirties?
A little bit. As women, it’s a façade if we pretend we don’t have a biological clock. When you turn 30, you start to narrow down what you want. I think it’s easier to date the older you get because you’ve been through so many relationships and know more about yourself and what you want and need. You realize that infatuation you first feel is great, but there has to be more than that. Even though I’m up against a clock, dating in my thirties is good because I know if there’s something there more quickly.

What would you say to Mr. Seattle if he were reading right now?
I had to read the audio version of the book and reading through the email I sent him, I was just squirming in my seat. Why did I send that? I never heard from him again. I’ve always wondered what I would say if I saw him on the street or if I ever saw him again. I have no idea. Like when Charlotte plans to say, "I curse the day you were born!" to Mr. Big in Sex & the City but then sees him and can’t say anything. We all have one of those relationships where you read too much into it or did something dumb, like send the email, and you’re left with that wonder.

How’d you make the decision to freeze your eggs, and what made you want to share that experience in the book?
I decided I wanted to do it because I was turning 30 and had given myself a deadline. If I didn’t do it before I was 30, then I would have kept delaying it, like my friend does in the book. I wanted to share my experience because there’s a stigma attached to it, just like there is with being single and independent. Women feel a certain way about freezing their eggs. I wasn’t exactly excited that I’m at a point in my life where this is a reality, but I’m not getting any younger. And if I want the same things I’ve always wanted, like kids and a husband, then this is the smart thing to do. Some women feel empowered, but there are also women like me who don’t necessarily feel that, so I felt it was important to show both angles.

You talk about a Bachelor wedding you attended where recent contestants were behaving badly and vying for attention. Do you think the show has changed as social media has turned into a career path?
I do. It’s funny because I was just having this conversation with Kaitlyn Bristowe. When I did my first season on The Bachelor, there wasn’t really much of a social media thing. I remember we had to put our accounts on private. There was more off The Bachelorette. But it seems like it really started with Chris Soules’ season. For some reason, those girls were really into it. The show is very social media friendly, which is why it’s continuing to do so well. But there’s now this layer where you have to question why people are going on. Do they want hundreds of thousands of followers afterward, or are they going on to find love and have the experience? I definitely think there’s been a change and that there are some ulterior motives.

Do you think that’s why they picked someone like Arie, who is older and was on the show before the social media frenzy started?
It’s tough to say. Maybe they’re trying to reel back the social media fame and get back to their roots with a guy who you’ve seen before trying honestly to find love.

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You mention that all’s fair in love and reality television and that ultimately every contestant on the show is disposable. Do you have any regrets about doing the show?
No regrets, although I do regret some things I did on the show. Anyone who says they don’t would be lying. I mean, you’re exposing yourself on national television. But in terms of being disposable, it’s a good lesson to learn. That’s life, whether it’s your job or your relationships. People are disposable, people move on from things, and it’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s the reality. Despite feeling a bit disposed of, I don’t regret it. I traveled the world, I met people, and I wrote two books. That never would have happened without the show. It’s not to say I wasn’t content with my life before then, but I know what it looks like now, and I’m happy with it.

Would you ever do the show again?
No. I think once is good. Despite the fact I got engaged, obviously, and it didn’t work out and turn into a marriage, I still left the show feeling good. I would never want to tarnish that. I have great memories and feel like, in a weird way, I’m just going to go out on top.