Vanderpump Rules fans know that Stassi Schroeder's love life has been through the wringer. The reality star, podcast host, former waitress, and ranch dressing aficionado bounced back from breakups with Jax Taylor (who impregnated another girl in Las Vegas while they were still together) and Frank Herlihy (who tried to sell a sex tape of her) and is now happier than ever with her boyfriend Beau Clark. It turns out that Stassi Schroeder knew Beau Clark was "The One" for her because he embraced exactly who she is, rather than making her feel as if she had to pretend to be somebody else.
The fact that I can be myself with someone else that I’m in love with is so freeing.
"I realized that I could just totally be myself around him," Schroeder tells Elite Daily while promoting her new book, Next Level Basic: The Definitive Basic B*tch Handbook, out April 16. "In all of my relationships, I was trying to act more smart, or have an opinion that wasn’t actually my opinion, and I see that Beau loves everything that I say. When I do have my opinions, even if it’s different from his, I just see that he appreciates that about me. The fact that I can be myself with someone else that I’m in love with is so freeing."
Schroeder believes that she and Clark, who works in casting, were able to develop such an authentic foundation for their relationship because they took things slowly. "Beau and I casually dated for like six months because I had just gone through a breakup and he did, too," she says. "So, we really got to know each other. Because I was so fed up with ex-boyfriends and stuff like that, I really just didn’t give a sh*t what came out of my mouth. I really wasn’t on my best behavior. It was a slow, steady thing of me being able to be myself. And once we got serious, it just felt so right."
Schroeder and Clark were introduced in August 2017 by their mutual friends Katie Maloney-Schwartz and Kristen Doute. Us Weekly confirmed that the pair were an official item in February 2018.
These days, Schroeder's attitude toward her infamous exes takes a page out of Ariana Grande's book. "I’m thankful for all of my past relationships because it just made me realize what I want," she says. "With every breakup, you know, you get more specific about what you’re willing to put up with and what you’re not willing to put up with. And what I’ve learned from my past relationships is that now I’m just more appreciative of how Beau treats me. Because I didn’t really know that someone could just treat you well all the time. And that’s sad, but a lot of us don’t know that, and I have friends who still don’t know that."
In Next Level Basic — which is half memoir, half self-help, and one hundred percent delightful — Schroeder dives into dating lessons and the dealbreakers she's grown to value as a result of her past relationships. "I'm never going to tolerate shadiness ever again," she tells Elite Daily. "And I think every single one of my ex-boyfriends was shady, so."
Schroeder's approach to dating, relationships, and breakups is refreshingly honest, so I had to ask her — what's her advice to people struggling with a toxic relationship or a string of disappointing dates? What has the queen of SUR learned after all these years of dating in public?
"Just tell everyone to hang the f*ck in there," she offers. "It's rough out there."