Distance makes the heart grow fonder—especially in the case of Bethenny Frankel and Dennis Shields.
The Real Housewives of New York City star and Big Apple-based banker are dating again, multiple sources tell E! News exclusively. Dennis accompanied Bethenny to her most recent appearance on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live and they've recently been spotted enjoying the summer season in the Hamptons.
The Skinnygirl mogul and Shields first started dating back in late 2015, but called off their relationship sometime before May of this year. Frankel was last romantically linked to business owner Russ Theriot, though it seems fate (and undeniable chemistry) brought her back to Dennis once again.
A source explains, "They took some time apart because both were going through their divorces. They gave each other a little bit of space and now they're back together having fun."
Bethenny is currently in the midst of an ongoing legal battle with ex-husband Jason Hoppy over allegations of harassment and stalking. Shields also became involved in the dispute when he alleged that Hoppy had sent dozens of emails to him with "increasing frequency and hostility."
E! News has also learned that Frankel, 46, will confirm her and Shields' relationship status in part two of the RHONY reunion special airing Aug. 23, as well as address her dramatic split from Hoppy. A RHONY show source tells us Bethenny breaks down in tears during the episode, adding, "It's a very poignant, dramatic moment. No one was expecting it."
But for now, it appears the couple is looking forward to building a more positive future. "Bethenny says Dennis is the smartest person she ever met," the insider adds.
Additionally, Bethenny has founded B. Strong, a crisis intervention initiative for women in need of resources, support and financial aid.
Last season on the Bravo reality series, Bethenny described what she found most intriguing about Dennis. "It's nice to date someone really smart and passionate, and who's busy," she shared during her confessional. "I don't want him living my life in my apartment with my money. I want a partner."
And a partner she got!
(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)