*Originally published on Huffington Post*
Like millions of others, I proudly consider myself a part of Bachelor Nation. I’m not in the crazy subset of Bachelor Nation where I make my small child wear a onesie on national television that says “Future Mrs. Higgins,” but I watch The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise (bless this ridiculous show) religiously, live tweet with the best of them, and follow all of my favorites on every form of social media (hey- take your judgment elsewhere!).
Naturally, I preordered Andi Dorman’s new book, It’s Not Okay, weeks ago. Andi, the 10th leading lady on ABC’s The Bachelorette, is unfortunately one of the many leads who got engaged on the show and broke up with her fiancé before a year had passed.
Like many of those who’ve gone before her, Andi turned this break up into an opportunity and wrote us a tell-all disguised as a break up advice book.
She says this book is meant either for people going through a break up or people who want to laugh at her, but some of us just came for the good gossip. I started reading it last night with an open mind (and an unhealthy desire for juicy secrets) when I started to get a little perplexed.
Throughout, Andi shares some breakup advice I would ask you to take a hard pass on. But to give her credit, she also has some pretty legitimate ideas as well.
Since all of us in Bachelor Nation love a good recap, let’s do one of It’s Not Okay.
The Best and Worst Advice from Andi Dorfman’s It’s Not Okay:
Worst: Make a list of the qualities you love in a partner and compare your ex to find shortcomings.
Oh no, please, I’m begging you: do not make any lists of qualities!
Checklist dating is the most disastrous dating. Of course there is value to knowing what you want and need in a relationship (hello, how would internet dating work without it?), but holding someone up to this idealized list is a recipe for disaster.
You are just never going to find a person who meets every expectation you have for a dream partner. People are people and so they’re not perfect. It’s more important that you know what type of relationship you want and what you’re willing to do for that relationship.
Best: Let yourself feel pain.
The most refreshing part of this book was Andi sharing how she wallowed in her pain for as long as possible. Wallowing is completely necessary.
Denying your feelings helps no one. Emotions are real and try as you might, you can’t control them. You will never heal properly if you gloss the hurt over.
Worst: “A broken heart is no excuse for a muffin top.”
I kid you not, this is an actual quote from this book. Those words were actually in a book and no it’s not written by Emily Post.
I get what she’s saying- feeling good about yourself is a great way to get over a breakup. But stop it right now saying a break up is not an excuse for a muffin top. Actually, I think it’s legitimately one of the best excuses for a muffin top! You know another good excuse? Being a human.
Girls, you can have a muffin top and it will still be okay. You still deserve love and you still will find it. Don’t let the teeny tiny woman calling herself fat get you down!
Worst: Burn mementos from your relationship.
Can you actually burn things in a house and not catch the house on fire? Burning basically anything just seems like a bad idea. Especially if you’re wine drunk enough to think burning things is a good idea.
Some day, I swear you’ll want some of those mementos. Break ups suck, but they are a part of your story! You’ll want to remember your story one day. And really, you don’t want to burn down your house.
Best: Write down every bad memory with your ex and burn the list.
There is a lot of burning going on in this book, but this is a brilliant idea. Andi talks about how easy it is to only think of the happy memories when you’re heartbroken, because that’s what you want back so desperately.
You’ve got to stop that and the best way to do that is to actively think of every bad memory you can and write it down. How satisfying is that?
Worst: Think about the upsides of being single, like not having to cook naked in stilettos for your man.
Do people actually cook naked for people? Doesn’t that seem scary and kind of gross and again, really scary?
Don’t put expectations like this on yourself in the first place! You shouldn’t just assume that as the woman, it’s your responsibility to be domestic and sexy at the same time. If you want to do things like cook naked, you’ve got more patience than I have, but take these irrational ideas of the perfect relationship and burn them (hey, I’m on theme).
Best: Never say the word “but” in an apology.
An apology means nothing if you follow it up with a “but” and bunch of excuses. If you want to apologize, then actually apologize. Don’t fake apologize and then get defensive.
Worst: Don’t read self help articles.
Does any one else see how contradictory this is? Andi, this is a break up self help book! Don’t hate on the self help!
Though plenty of the listicles have truly awful advice, don’t stop seeking comfort from others who’ve gone through the same thing. When we share our stories, we help each other, so don’t block others out.
There you have it, the best and worst advice from It’s Not Okay. Even though I really hope you don’t follow all of her advice, it was a fun read. I maybe teared up at the end? It’s okay.