If you are a longtime fan of a certain reality TV dating show, you likely fell in love with Andi Dorfman on season 10 of The Bachelorette. Truth be told, if you’re a true fan, you were head over heels for her from the moment she took on controversial Bachelor Juan Pablo Galavis—after a disastrous night in the fantasy suite, no less. We have seen Andi through love and heartbreak, as her romances with former fiancé Josh Murray, the most-talked-about runner-up in franchise history, Nick Viall, and the aforementioned Galavis played out in front of a national audience.
Now, Dorfman is telling her unfiltered side of the story in It’s Not Okay—a book that is part tell-all memoir, part guide to dating and breakups. We sat down with Andi to chat about her book, her infamous relationships and the guilty pleasure series we just can’t get enough of.
Photo Credit: Peter Hurley
How did you decide to write a book?
Andi Dorfman: Well, actually this book was completely unintentional. When I was going through my breakup, I actually journaled each day, which is what you see at the start of each chapter in the book. I really didn’t know who to talk to, who to trust, what to say to people. So I just started writing—literally with a pen—down in a journal, and over time, I started to look back and one of my girlfriends was like, “You need to turn this into a book. This is hilarious. This is what every woman goes through during a breakup but nobody talks about.” And so next thing I knew, I was talking to some publishers and agents, and we had turned this thing into a book.
What were you most nervous about including in the book?
AD: There’s a lot of stuff obviously that I was reluctant to include in the book—there’s some of the fights, there’s some of the juicier revelations. But I don’t know—I guess I just kept reminding myself that I decided to do it when I decided to do this book, and it was like, “All right. You have to do this with 100 percent authenticity.” And then being honest with what happened, for better or worse, it really gives readers the transparency of a breakup—[to] not be that girl who sugarcoats it or who doesn’t really go there. I wanted to be the girl that people are like, “All right. I can relate to this. It wasn’t that easy for her; it’s not that easy for me.” “We’re on the same page” type of thing.
You have a reputation for being a very real, tell-it-like-it-is kind of person. How did you maintain that authenticity when you were writing the book?
AD: I think it goes back to just deciding to include everything, for better or worse. You know, obviously the journal entries came from a much more emotional, sometimes irrational standpoint. But there was no holding back, whether that was unflattering to myself or unflattering to others, whether that was points of, “Oh my God, did she just cross that line? Did she stay within the boundaries?” It really, it couldn’t matter if I was going to be that, like you said—the girl that’s kind of no nonsense, bares it all. So it was really just saying, “Everything goes in. Whether it’s good for me or bad for me.”
You refer to all the guys in the book as numbers instead of by their names. Can you explain why you did that and why you find that empowering?
AD: Obviously, everybody knows which number belongs to which person. You know, it’s not a secret. It wasn’t going to hide that by any means. But it was kind of empowering to instead of have all my exes’ names written in my story, it was like, “All right. They’re numbers. They kind of all get treated equally in a sense.” And I think the feminist in me kind of came out and just said, “You know what? It’s more empowering to have every guy listed as a number versus have to write their names every single time.” I mean, who wants to see their exes’ names written all in print in their story. So it came from this type of empowering [place]—just putting it all in perspective and treating them all equally in a sense.
How do you think that defining a guy as a number would help a college girl get over a breakup—can we apply that to our everyday lives?
AD: I think putting it as a number puts it in perspective to you. If you think about anything in terms of numbers, especially in college—so the first thing on my mind is, I think of all the hours I spent in class or all of the courses that I took. Let’s say you have six courses in a semester and you suck at one of the courses. Well, taking them at the totality of what they are, that’s [one out of] six. Or I’ve got 18 hours—I can make up, [do] better on the other hours. Just putting it in perspective. Life is not about one given person or one given thing. You’ve got to see everything in its entirety.
Though we may admire the relationships on The Bachelor from afar, most of us are not dating in front of a national audience. What can your book teach the everyday girl about dating and breakups?
AD: That’s a huge part of the book. Yes, I understand that not everyone is getting engaged on national television or sending out a press release when they go through a breakup. But we are all the same. We all feel that sense of embarrassment that we have to tell our friends or family or the people we know that we’re now single or update our relationship status on social media, deleting photos. I think we should first remember we are all in it together in a sense. There’s nothing that you have felt or done that some other woman going through a breakup hasn’t felt or done as well. So it’s kind of like this—not misery loves company, but we don’t all have to be perfect.
Have you gotten any feedback from Josh or Nick about the book yet?
AD: No, I mean none of us talk to each other. We all definitely live separate lives, whether it’s going on the next season of The Bachelorette or doing another TV show. So I think we’re all very much living separate lives.
Your relationship with Josh sounds pretty hostile. When did things really go sour for the two of you?
AD: I said in the book, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly—I think this is another thing, in any relationship, whether it’s televised or not. It is hard to pinpoint when things started to take a turn. In hindsight, I obviously see the revelation of the After the Final Rose, the live special. It started to play a huge role in our relationship. But it was really probably three or four or five months after the cameras had stopped rolling that the relationship started to take its course. Because it was great in the beginning after we stopped filming. There were definitely moments, and months really, of kind of that honeymoon bliss.
What would you say to a girlfriend if you found out her significant other was treating her the way Josh treated you?
AD: I would say something. It blows my mind because I definitely have friends that are in relationships that I don’t think are the best for them. So it’s hard to kind of stick your nose in that, and I think once you do there’s really no going back. Especially, you always have those girlfriends that are off and on and have these dramatic relationships with their boyfriends and they always get back together with them. And then you end up feeling like the idiot who was trying to make her see the light. So it’s a fine line. But I do think if somebody is treating another in a way that is just not right, I think you owe it to your friend to say something. But you’ve got to carefully craft it obviously.
How do you think your life would be different now if things had worked out between you and Josh?
AD: Obviously, my life would be completely different. I would be probably married, maybe with kids. Living in Atlanta, hopefully back at my old job. Who knows? Things would definitely be different, though.
The Bachelorette has had its fair share of controversial contestants but probably none more so than Nick. Does America have it wrong? Is he really this sweet, sensitive guy that he seems to be playing or is he bad news?
AD: Here’s my thing—for the most part, the type of person that comes across on your television screen is pretty accurate to the type of person that they are. It’s very, very hard to turn the nice guy into the villain or the sane girl into the crazy one or the sober one into the drunk. So I always say with people that what you see is somewhat accurate of what that person is. I’ll leave it at that.
You give us a sneak peek inside the fantasy suite in your book. Can you tell us more about the fantasy suites with Nick, Josh and Juan Pablo?
AD: Well, I will say there are definitely some juicy details about the fantasy suite in the book that you have not heard yet. Partially because part of it was talked about on the live After the Final Rose. And I think readers are going to actually see what really happened that night and what caused Nick to say what he did during the live show. I don’t want to give it away. It definitely gives the reader much more insight into why that moment played out the way it did on national television, live.
There’s a lot that goes on off-camera on The Bachelorette because obviously they can’t feature everything they film. What’s a funny, behind-the-scenes thing that fans would surprised by?
AD: First of all, the dates are about 12 hours long. You see four minutes of it. But there’s a lot of funny bloopers that happen off-camera. For me personally—so you’re eating, you’re drinking, you don’t have a lot of time to work out, especially as the lead. But by the time it was, like, six weeks in, I had busted at least two or three dresses, just like split down the back. I busted one on a date, and they ended up having to tape me in the dress with audio tape, which they use to mic us up. So yeah, I had an audio taped dress on one of my dates.
What’s your dating life like now?
AD: Dating in New York is so different than the south. It’s funny because in the south—I talk about this in the book a little bit—we get married young, and all my friends that still live there are married and starting [to have] kids and stuff like that. And I always joke that in New York you’re not even ripe until you’re like 30. So, New York I would say is more casual dating.
There have been so many people on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, and there’s such a huge group of alums that make up Bachelor Nation. Is there anyone who has been on the show that you have a crush on or that you would date if that opportunity came up?
AD: No. You know what? I get why people date each other within the franchise. To me, it’s a little bit incestual. But you are right—there are awesome connections that have come out of the show. I am such good friends with some of the former Bachelorettes; we all have a group chat that we always talk on. Even there’s a lot of girls that live in New York now, a lot of girls from my season that I keep in touch with. But I don’t think I’m going to date within the franchise.