Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel is slowing down her year-long romance with boyfriend Dennis Shield.
The not long ago divorced reality star told People that she more than likely would be spending Valentine’s Day alone and is now intent on taking a break.
“He’s still in my life,” she added. “I saw him last week for his birthday, but I’m not ready to settle down right now. The truth is, the world made it into something more than either of us have.”
Frankel’s decision to slow down the pace just a bit can be understood.
In the past, she has made her relationship struggles a primary part of her RHONY storyline, including much of her divorce and ongoing issues with ex-husband Jason Hoppy.
As for Shields, the 46-yer-old Frankel shared, “I care about him but the bottom line is he’s still married. And I don’t want to stop the music yet. I’m not ready to be linked to any one person. I’ve known him for 27 years and I care about him, but I’m keeping my options open.”
Shields is said to still be in the process of divorcing his wife of 20 years.
In the end, Frankel described what she and Shields are now dealing with as “not a heartbreak story,” but “a heart healing story.”
Her split from Hoppy could be described as anything but that. The two’s contentious, four-year divorce battle consumed more time than the pair was married. For awhile, as the court proceedings played out, the two were even forced to still live together as they legally fought over the home and other property they once collectively shared.
“In the past, I’ve made some choices that were questionable in my opinion, for myself, and I’m looking at that,” said Frankel. “Given the circumstances of my previous relationship and the torment and difficulties I’ve had the last five years, I need to balance and rest and reflect. It’s very easy to rush something or turn something into a solution, but right now I feel the solution is me spending time with myself and my daughter, trying to regroup and not hurry to find the answer.”
Several media outlet reported just a few weeks ago that Frankel filed a police report accusing Hoppy of stalking and threatening her, resulting in his arrest.
Although Hoppy denied all the allegations, a judge later issued Frankel an order of protection against her ex-husband spanning the next six months.
Recent reports also had Hoppy sending a flood of emails to both Frankel and Hoppy, ultimately prompting attorneys for Shields to also threaten to take legal action.
“I’ve been having a difficult time for a long time, and I’ve kept that in,” said Frankel. “I was walking on eggshells. I felt hopeless. But now I feel calmer. You don’t know how imbalanced you are until you feel a little balance. Sometimes I feel a little numb like someone who’s watching someone else’s life. It’s better now but still, it’s not party time.”
Meanwhile, Frankel finds solace in spending more time with the young daughter she shares with Hoppy.
“I really kind of have two different lives,” she recently shared. “The minute that my daughter’s at school or not with me, that’s when I go and do appearances and do work. And then the minute that she gets out of school it’s [playtime] and go see Santa, and go to bed at 8:30.”
Frankel also hinted that she’s now at her most confident when she’s around her 6-year-old daughter.
“When you do things with your kids, afterwards you feel the way that I think some people feel after they run or they workout,” She said. “You just feel good, you feel like, ‘I did something great.'”
[Featured Image by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images]