The 'Summer House' star responds to criticism from her co-stars, including Danielle Olivera, over her drinking and relationship.
"I've grown," she declares to ET, "and good, I should change. I am in mid-30s. Like, if I am not constantly evolving and growing up and trying to be an adult, then what am I doing? And there are some people who probably should do that, that live in this house, but they don't."
"I can understand if it's something that I did," she acknowledges. "Like, if I'm out there getting activated and being a b***h to people and just saying awful things. Like, if I said something awful to you then, yeah, you have every right to talk s**t about me and blame me like this and that, but they're tearing me apart because I'm in love? Are you kidding me?"
"I've tried it the other way," she says. "I've tried being the selfish one in a relationship, yelling and screaming about sandwiches, getting activated, you know? And it doesn’t work, but here I am, like, trying to compromise, trying to be respectful to my sober boyfriend and it's just wild to me that these girls can't see that."
Some of the women of the house -- namely Paige DeSorbo and Lindsay's now former friend, Danielle Olivera -- questioned Lindsay's new pulled-back approach to partying during a girls' night out, at which Lindsay actually intended to "get f**ked up."
"First, at Winter House, they're like, 'Good, she should stay sober!' Then, at Summer House, they're like, 'Oh my god, she's not drinking as much...' and it's like, well which one do you want me to do?" she asks. "Like, no matter what, I cannot win, and it's exhausting."
"By the way, I think people could take some notes on compromising for relationships," she adds. "I think that's what adults do. You search your entire life for the love of your life, for this type of love, and I was so blessed to be able to find it in my best friend. That's very rare. Some people never, to the end of time, they never find the kind of love that Carl and I have. Like, that should be celebrated."
Before the girls' night confrontation, a number of private conversations played out behind Lindsay's back, including one between Paige and Mya Allen, in which the duo surmised Lindsay would become "resentful" of Carl. This came the morning after Lindsay opted out of a night out on the other side of the Hamptons, in Montauk, because Carl preferred to stay in instead.
"Carl makes me better in certain ways, and I make him better in certain ways," she offers, shutting down any thought of resentment in her relationship. "Last year, taking a break from drinking, it changed my relationship with alcohol. Like, people need to stop putting this, 'Lindsay's changing for her relationship...' no, Lindsay's changing for herself."
"I'm 36 years old," she notes. "I'm going to get married this year. I'm going to, hopefully, have babies next year, you know? That is where my life is going. I no longer have myself to be responsible for; I have someone else. Again, that goes back to the conversation of being a little less selfish and more selfless in my relationship, and I don't think that that's a bad thing that I'm changing into a better person."
"I'm 'changing for my relationship?' No, I'm changing for myself and you're welcome," she adds. "I can go back to being activated and biting people's heads off, but guarantee you they will not like that. I think they should all appreciate this version of myself."
She also hits back at speculation she's not being honest about her decision to pull back on drinking; in an ultimately unaired moment teased in a promo for episode 7, Paige scoffed at Lindsay's assertion that her biggest annoyance about Carl is that he uses a fresh towel after every shower.
"I'm like, b***h, you don't like that he doesn't let you drink," Paige chided. "Why don't you tell the real s**t if we're actually talking?"
"She's trying to control the narrative of how I feel, and I'm pretty sure I know how I feel," Lindsay says. "Have we ever witnessed Lindsay not talk about how she feels? No. I'm very very direct with my emotions. There's no if, ands, or buts about it."
Lindsay admits she's "not surprised" about the "pile on" by the group, but she is surprised by "the amount" of it playing out in season 7, especially with Danielle. Lindsay called out Danielle for being "hard" on her at the dinner.
"She always prides herself on being tough love with Lindsay, like she's the one person who can really give it to me straight, but this is not that," she explains. "This is not tough love, this is you mishandling communication with me. This is not like, 'Oh tough love, you didn't come get wasted in Montauk with me at 4 a.m.' Tough love? Like, are you kidding me? Like no, no, no. Slap a different label on it, because that's not what this is."
Lindsay believes the season is "in the middle of the shift" when it comes to her and Danielle's falling out, with her refusal to go to Montauk as the initial tipping point. Lindsay explains that refusing to got to Montauk isn't just refusing to go out; it's turning down "a four-hour trip" as Montauk is an hour away from their share house in South Hampton.
"If she wants to go to Montauk on a Sunday, let's go to Montauk on a Sunday at, like, a reasonable hour," she says, "but I don't really need to go at 4 a.m."
When Danielle spoke with ET earlier in the season, she boiled down her issues with Lindsay to Lindsay being "self-absorbed" and not showing up as a friend to her in the way Danielle shows up as one to Lindsay.
"I don't," Lindsay says in agreement. "I am a good friend to Danielle, or at least I was, for very different reasons than she was a good friend to me. You can't really compare hypotheticals in this situation, like, 'Oh, would Lindsay defend you if you were being attacked, Danielle?'"
"No one attacks Danielle," she points out. "I don't have to defend her against all these other girls, so Danielle was a good friend to me in the sense that she defended me. I have always been a good friend to Danielle in very different ways, like emotional support... We had each other's backs, both of us, equally, but there are ways that she's a friend to me and some different ways and I'm a friend to her."
"That's how friendship works," Lindsay declares. As for Danielle labeling Lindsay "self-absorbed," she offers, "I think that you'll have to keep watching the season and decide that for yourself."
"Danielle -- you are going to see it -- my engagement to Carl, our engagement, Danielle was on a different level," she teases. "Like, I don't even know how to explain it. At no point did she say, 'I am really sorry,' like, 'I should not have acted that way...'"
Lindsay says, had Danielle offered any sort of apology for what's yet-to-be seen this season, then "that would have opened the door" for them to reconcile. Instead, they haven't spoken since cameras went down last September, even when Danielle split from longtime boyfriend Robert Sieber. Danielle confessed to ET, she was surprised to not even receive a text from Lindsay acknowledging the tough moment.
"I think it's a little unfair to not support your friend in her happiness, in her growth, and then expect her to support you in your breakup," Lindsay replies. "She did and said a lot last summer, and when her and Robert broke up ... I wasn't really sure. She was still liking his photos and commenting, so I just I was like, oh, maybe it's just a rumor..."
"I think it's a little unfair to expect me to show up for you after everything she did and said over summer," she continues. "To then put everything on me, and expect me to do all the heavy lifting when you are the one who messed up this friendship with me? Like, that is what? Like, that is a little crazy. That is crazy pants."
For Lindsay, it seems to be less about what Danielle had to say and more about how she went about saying it, like Danielle's choice to vent about Lindsay to their castmates, many of whom Lindsay historically does not get along with.
"I have never seen someone flip a switch that quickly, to calling you a best friend and then talking s**t about you to girls who you know publicly and infamously do not like me," she says. "Like, if you have an issue, call another best friend of mine; but if you're going to people you know hate me, what are you doing?"
Lindsay also finds it ironic how Danielle's formed friendships with these women because she says, "I know of Danielle's feelings and how she felt about these girls."
For her part, Lindsay attempted to repair, or at least improve, her relationships with some of the women, especially Amanda Batula. At the season 6 reunion, Amanda remarked how Lindsay had "tainted" Carl, a word she took back at an on-camera lunch meeting Lindsay called to squash whatever beef they had.
"I believe her when she says that, but I don't think she was fully taking responsibility for the actual issue," Lindsays says. "I think the actual issue in that situation was, look, you said something negative about me. It was very hurtful, and she is not taking responsibility or apologizing for that. She is just apologizing for the word 'tainted.' So I think it's a little bit of a cop out."
Lindsay and Amanda sat down after a game-night incident at their share house left Amanda in tears, as Danielle declared her the person she trusts the least in the group. Amanda's husband Kyle Cooke's reaction was to go after Lindsay, declaring her "a f**king evil, conniving b***h" and "a f**king pyscho."
"He actually said so many more things that they did not air," Lindsay claims. "He said a lot."
Lindsay says she did not hear from Kyle after the episode aired, and is disappointed in him for doing "a lot of public bashing in the media" about her and Carl, who parted ways with Kyle's company, Loverboy, after filming wrapped. Carl started questioning his future with the canned alcohol brand before filming began on season 7, which Kyle largely blamed on Lindsay being "in his ear."
"For starters, you should be able to communicate to your partner about work," Lindsay fires back. "If you don't, I think that's weird. Yeah, you could call it 'in his ear,' or you can call it normal conversations between partners to figure out a solution, because he was so unhappy."
"If he's really unhappy, let's try to figure out how to get you happy," she continues. "Like, I'm not the one who was working for Loverboy. Carl was the one who was frustrated. Carl was the one who wanted to leave and he just needed to figure out how to do that."
Lindsay doesn't appreciate how Kyle's POV paints "Carl as this weak mean who can't think for himself and also make decisions for himself."
"Kyle was saying I am a puppeteer and Carl's my puppet," she laments. "Like, what are you saying about your friend? You're saying that he's weak, and I think that's messed up -- and if you think that I'm the only one who talks to Carl in this whole wide world, like, let's think through things a little bit. Carl talks to his father, he talks to his guy friends, he talks to a business advisor -- he has a lot of people that he talks to beyond me and gets advice from, you know?"
While it doesn't look like it's headed this way, Lindsay is hopeful some "lightness" pokes through in the back half of season 7. Carl's proposal to Lindsay will play out in the final episodes, setting the stage for a wedding-themed (potential) season 8. The two plan to tie the knot this November in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
In between wedding planning, Lindsay and Carl are finding time to give back, partnering with Barry's Bootcamp for a series of fitness classes benefiting Chick Mission, a non-profit assisting women recently diagnosed with cancer find solutions to preserve their fertility.
"You guys have seen my fertility journey, started with a miscarriage and then me going to the fertility clinic to just check on everything," she shares, "and I wound up freezing my eggs last year, about a year ago actually on Mother's Day."
"Now that I know how this whole process works, I just I really wish that people talk about it more and I'm hoping to be that person," she says. "It needs to be talked about, especially for women who have cancer. You get diagnosed with cancer, that is heartbreaking news to receive, and then you have to immediately launch into, 'Oh my gosh, can I have kids? I don't know...' So, how do I at least preserve that fertility before I go through my cancer treatment."
Summer House airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.