Arie's quest for love on The Bachelor's 22nd edition begins Monday, January 1 at 8PM ET/PT on ABC.
Shortly after ABC revealed Arie's 29 bachelorettes, the handsome 36-year-old pro racing driver turned real estate agent from Scottsdale, AZ, participated in a media call through which he opened up about his time handing out roses as the Bachelor after getting his heart broken by Emily Maynard on The Bachelorette's eighth season in 2012.
In the Thursday interview, Arie shared his desires, expectations and challenges on the show. He even addressed some juicy rumors out there.
Below is a portion of what Arie had to tell reporters about his journey on The Bachelor and whether the emotional yet exciting process ended happily for him. To read what he told Reality TV World specifically, click here.
You have described you're looking for a woman who is both strong and gentle. Beyond those characteristics, what role does women's age play for you as you look for a wife? Only six of your bachelorettes were in their thirties this season, with the oldest being 33 years old. Did you have a preference? And why or why not does age matter to you?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: I think it's more about the person and whether they're ready for marriage and how mature they are. Some women are far beyond their years and some women are very immature in their thirties.
So, I think it just depends on the person. And for me, I've dated younger and I've dated older, and so, yeah, that's something that definitely I think plays a theme throughout the season, but it's just more about being ready. That's the most important part -- being ready to get married.
Do you have a preference for the type of woman you were looking for or were you open to a variety?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: Yeah, I was open to a variety, and that's something that the producers knew.
It's been five years since you appeared on The Bachelorette. Given the amount of time that has elapsed and the fact you're the actual star of The Bachelor now, what surprised you or how have things changed?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: Yeah, I think it's totally different being the Bachelor. I think you just really realize the enormity of the production, and yeah, it was five years for me. So it was kind of hard to get back into the swing of things. At first, I think I was as nervous or maybe more nervous than the girls that first night.
After racing, you had become a real estate agent in Scottsdale, AZ. Now that you've gone through The Bachelor, are you planning on moving or switching careers or making other such major changes in your life?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: I think the great thing about real estate is you can do it anywhere. You can get licensed anywhere. It's just about growing your sphere and really knowing your area. I love Scottsdale, I love being in real estate. I did over $13 million in sales this year, and it's so much fun. But it is something I'm open to, as far as moving to another place and doing that same career.
Have you reached out to Nick Viall or did he reach out to you with pointers about being The Bachelor? Unfortunately his stint on the show turned out to be unsuccessful.
I actually did happen to meet Nick a couple of days ago. It happened in Los Angeles at a friend's book signing. So we met there and talked about his struggle post-show, but I think Sean has been a great example for me, and I really leaned on him and Catherine and their advice.
What was the one piece of advice you received from Sean and/or Catherine that was most relevant and helpful to your journey on The Bachelor?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: I think the best piece of advice was just to be present in every conversation and make the person, whom you're talking to in that moment, feel that they're the only one there. And I think that was really important to me, to make sure that I was a really good listener and I really was involved in every conversation and made them feel like they weren't just one of 29, you know?
You've been given two nicknames so far -- "The Kissing Bandit" and "Not Peter." How do those make you feel?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: (Laughs) Yeah. I wasn't what everyone was expecting. I totally realize that, and that's something that I'm fine with, you know? I'm really grateful for the opportunity to be the Bachelor, and I was really nervous and excited that first night.
And yeah, I did have to sort of get through that and see if the women really were there for me. But that's just part of it, and I was really thankful that I was put in this position.
It's no secret you had your heart broken years ago. Why come back and try to find love on TV again after that experience with Emily Maynard?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: I think I'm the type of person that I'm the same person before the show and I'm the same person after the show.
I just went back to my regular life and tried to date, and when I got approached to do this, I really realized the last time I was in love and really ready to get engaged was on the show. So for me, the timing of everything worked out really well, and I just felt like it was the perfect fit, so I decided to give it a shot.
Obviously first impressions mean everything in The Bachelor world. So what would you say is the secret to a good first impression?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: Be comfortable, be yourself and be confident. I think that's the biggest thing.
To read what Arie had to tell Reality TV World, click here. And be sure to check back with us soon for more from his The Bachelor mediacall.