"I go to prison next season," Bethenny Frankel joked in response to an unsolicited comment about boyfriend Paul Bernon's age

By Jen Juneau
July 15, 2019 10:50 AM
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Bethenny Frankel is happy and not afraid to show it.

The Real Housewives of New York City star, 48, cozied up to beau Paul Bernon in a sunny snapshot she shared to social media this past Friday.

Dressed in a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, Frankel posed with Bernon — who sported a pair of shades of his own, plus a tie-dye t-shirt — in front of a watery landscape for the summer selfie.

” ‘I like me better when I’m with you’ ✨❌❤️⭕️,” she captioned the sweet photo, quoting lyrics from the song "I Like Me Better" by Lauv.

Most of the comments on Frankel’s post were positive and supportive, but some questioned the pair’s relationship. One wrote, “How old is he” while a second said, “You should like yourself by yourself.”

To the latter unsolicited comment, Frankel replied, “You should like being positive vs negative” — and to the former, she joked, “He is 12. I go to prison next season. #watchwhathappens.”

Credit: Bethenny Frankel/Instagram
Bethenny Frankel’s Instagram comments
| Credit: Bethenny Frankel/Instagram
Paul Bernon (L) and Bethenny Frankel
| Credit: Bethenny Frankel/Instagram

Frankel’s heartfelt post came one day after she sat down for a RHONY reunion, during which she said she was “doing well” and continuing to heal almost a year after her former on-off boyfriend Dennis Shields’ sudden death last August.

“It comes in waves; there are delayed reactions. I really have moved away from it,” she said of the grief. “We had broken up many times. He was always in my life.”

WATCH: Dorinda Medley Thinks Bethenny Frankel is in Love with a Mystery Beau: ‘She Looks Very Happy’

“Truthfully, when you’re older, you don’t know if you’re going to get your big fairytale,” Frankel explained. “Because I had this security presence in Dennis, where if it was Thanksgiving and I was going to be alone I could always be with him, I wasn’t giving myself what I deserved in a relationship.”

She also said she never really considered them to be engaged, explaining, “He proposed and I was saying … ‘Okay, I’m accepting this ring and let’s see.’ ”

Dennis Shields and Bethenny Frankel in 2016
| Credit: Alessio Botticelli/GC

In an April conversation with PEOPLE, Frankel raved about her relationship with Bernon, a real estate developer and film producer, saying she was “a lucky gal” and that “things between us are really nice.”

Frankel and Bernon have been dating since last fall and went Instagram official with their romance in December while vacationing in the Dominican Republic.

Earlier in April, during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Frankel called her “incredible” boyfriend “a beautiful human being inside and out.”

“And yes, Bryn knows him and loves him,” she added of her 9-year-old daughter, Bryn Casey. “They’re very, very similar people.”