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 a recent interview, Arie shared his desires, expectations and challenges on the show. He even addressed some juicy rumors out there.
Below is the concluding 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.
What was the toughest part of being the Bachelor for you?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: The toughest part about being the Bachelor would probably be the end. (Laughs) Making tough decisions toward the end, you know? That's the hardest decision of your life, really. It's a forever decision and it's not to be taken lightly. And I think that was probably the hardest thing for me.
It's been a while since you were on The Bachelorette, and maybe part of your personality wasn't shown due to editing. So what are you hoping fans will see or learn about you on The Bachelor?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: Probably that I'm a hopeless romantic and I'm very passionate, and I'm at a place in my life where I am really ready for marriage. And I want more than anything to start a family and settle down. I think people who watched Emily's season could tell I was very passionate and I was very romantic, and I'm still that same person.
How would you define love now vs. what it was the first time you did the franchise?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: I think it's fairly the same. It's feeling like you can't see yourself without that person. It's a feeling of having a best friend and a life partner, and the feeling of not wanting to be apart from them, and thinking about them before you go to bed. And they're the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning. That's love.
What kinds of things have ended relationships for you in the past? And are those pitfalls in the front of your mind?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: That's a good question. Let's see. A lot of times, personalities didn't fit or views on marriage didn't fit. I've been in a relationship where someone didn't want to have kids, and I really want to have kids... and I think the most important part is communication. And that's something that I think I've matured over the years, just talking things out and being open and honest.
Guys screw up all the time. What things have you screwed up in relationships and how do you plan to avoid those things?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: I just think I let my career get in the way a lot. If I've had conflict in the past, I haven't dealt with it in the right way, in the past. I think, you know, that's the biggest thing, that if you do have an argument, you need to communicate about it.
I think in the past, maybe I waited too long or I just went on another racing trip. I sort of rushed off and those problems grew and became problems that we couldn't get through. So, yeah, I think communication is the biggest thing for me. And I think I've really learned how to work through that.
Going into this journey, what were you looking for in a woman? What does your dream wife look like?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: For me, I just really wanted someone who, first and foremost, is ready for marriage and who had somewhat of a past and knew what they wanted in a partner so much as I did -- what I wanted in a partner.
[I wanted] to be a team with someone; that's a big thing with me. And to have someone who has her own independence, who doesn't just depend on me, but who I can also root for in their career and in their life, just as much as they root for me.
When did you move to Scottsdale, AZ?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: I moved to Scottsdale in 1990, so when I was nine, and we've been there ever since. We love it there. And we moved there because IndyCar used to do all their winter testing there, so my dad just fell in love with it. And we moved from Wisconsin. We used to live in Wausau.
What are some qualities you really like about your cast this season?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: They are all very different, and I don't have a type, so it was really interesting getting to know everyone and where they came from and their different personalities. I think I'm the type of person who can really conversate with anyone, and that's what was fun, was getting to know all these different personalities that first night.
What was your dynamic like with the show's production? Did you receive any "guy time?" Did you get the sense the staffers were jaded and just looking for hot stories?
Arie Luyendyk Jr.: We have a lot of producers who are male, so I had the opportunity to hang out with them between dates and after everything kind of winds down. So you do have the experience of hanging out with the guys and talking about new relationships and how things are going...
The great thing is, there's really a team of people there dedicated to really seeing if a relationship can work. Their goal is to see that you're happy, and at the end of this, hopefully engaged. So it makes you feel really good to know that you have so many people behind you, and it's really a great atmosphere.