No one ever said breaking up is easy, but Andi Dorfman sees the silver lining in the failed relationships clouding her past.
“It’s true, I experienced heartbreak,” the former Bachelorette tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “But I learned a lot from it, and I think I’m a better person because of it.”
Now, the author of It’s Not Okay is opening up about the lessons she learned from each of her painful – and very public – breakups.
• For more from Andi Dorfman, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newstands Friday
“Breaking up with [former Bachelor] Juan Pablo [Galavis] was an empowering feminist moment for me,” says Dorfman. “He was disrespectful and he wasn’t valuing the time and energy everyone [on his season] was putting in. But women have equal footing. We can take power.”
When it comes to her season’s runner up, Nick Viall, “he gave me passion and that womanly experience,” says Dorfman. “He made me feel desired.” But after a cringe-worthy sexual encounter in the Fantasy Suite, detailed in her book, Dorfman has a key takeaway: “Try before you buy!”
As far as her doomed eight-month engagement to her season’s winner, Josh Murray, Dorfman says she’s no longer willing to look past relationship red flags. “I’ll listen to them more strongly now,” she says. “I know my deal breakers and my trigger points. And I know what won’t make me happy.”
It’s Not Okay is out now, and a new season of The Bachelorette begins Monday at 9 p.m. on ABC.