I don't have to tell you that dating is hard, but no one can put it into words quite like Andi Dorfman in her new book Single State of Mind. The former Bachelorette has dated and broken up in the public eye, and, in her debut title It's Not Okay, she dished all about her famous exes — which caught the attention of said exes when they went on Bachelor in Paradise and couldn't stop talking about what Andi had written. But, Single State of Mind isn't just about The Bachelor, and it's not the hurt, angry, and confused journal entries of It's Not Okay, either. (Though, don't worry, you do still get some Bachelor Nation dirt in her new book.)
"The second book was a lot different," Dorfman tells Bustle of her writing process. "The first one had a certain tone to it ... being heartbroken, it was kind of more of a depressing book." But, for Single State of Mind, things are on the upswing for Dorfman. "You can tell that there’s just a lighter feel to it. My spirits are higher most of the time and it was just more fun to write," she says.
It's clear in her sophomore volume that Dorfman has grown, both personally and in her writing. She internalized some life lessons from her reality TV relationship days, and is ready to hit the New York City scene as a new woman — just with a very tiny, expensive apartment and some hilarious mishaps along the way. In chronicling her time trying to date in the "real world" after two stints on The Bachelor franchise left her heartbroken, it's remarkable how relatable her journey is. We've all had bad dates, and it feels better knowing that a former Bachelorette can have bad dates too. (Disastrous ones, really, according to the book.)
Dorfman has never been one to mince words, as those who read her first book know all too well. She's not afraid to tell her truth, even if that means things get awkward or people get called out. The same is certainly true for this book, in which she continues her tradition of giving her dates nicknames like Number Twenty-Six, Mr. Seattle, and Mr. Exotic. Single State of Mind reads almost like a Carrie Bradshaw column at times, with Dorfman reflecting on her life and her dates with remarkable insight.
"I think it’s crucial to use the book [to tell my story]," Dorfman says. "That’s my way of expressing ... I’m more guarded when it comes to social media. I think I let my guard down through my writing and that’s just kind of been my medium to share."
And, share she does — about love lost, love she's trying to find, mistakes and setbacks along the way and, yes, the reality show she's known for. Dorfman admits in the book that she is ready to move on from the franchise and be known for doing other things. (She laughs when I ask if she would ever go on Bachelor in Paradise and gives a very quick, "No.") But, she's also grateful that the show helped give her the platform she has today.
"Let me be clear," Dorfman says. "I love that I did the show, I am the first person to say that I would not be doing the things that I get to do had it not been for that show." She continues, "It’s just a natural part of life where, like, you’ve done something and as years go on, you want to reinvent yourself and make a name for yourself in something other than what you did three to five years ago." She's also grateful for the lessons learned, even if things didn't work out for her the way they have for other Bachelor couples. "I love that it’s going to be a part of me; I will never deny that. I actually appreciate that it will always be a part of me."
And, in knowing that fans will want the dirt, she does give it. Single State of Mind reveals what was going through her head when Josh Murray proposed to Amanda Stanton on Bachelor in Paradise, how she felt about Nick Viall becoming the Bachelor, and what she really thinks of those Chris Harrison dating rumors. But, to be honest, the book could stand on its own two feet even without her quippy reality TV anecdotes. At its heart, it's not a Bachelor tell-all. It's a book about dating and love and friendship and living in one of the most crushing yet oddly rewarding cities in America. Dorfman's journey is one away from the show and of coming into her own, and that's just as thrilling to be a part of as it was to watch her court 25+ men on TV. Only, this time, she gets a much happier ending.