'The Bachelorette' star Rachel Lindsay interview: A huge fear of mine was to pick a guy pushing his own agenda
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/22/2017
The Bachelorette starring Rachel Lindsay is only hours away from its debut, and according to the star herself, viewers are in for a treat -- and a lot of drama.
The Bachelorette's thirteenth season will premiere Monday, May 22 at 9PM ET/PT on ABC. (The show will return to its usual 8PM time the following week).
Rachel is a straight shooter and very open about what viewers can expect to see on her season. The 32-year-old Dallas attorney already revealed she found love on the show and is currently engaged! So what else is she willing to share with us?
During a recent conference call with reporters, Rachel talked about her The Bachelorette journey, teasing everything from qualities she's looking for in a partner to heartache she experienced along the way.
Ben Higgins got a lot of heat for telling more than one girl that he had fallen in love with them. Do you find yourself in a similar situation this season?
Rachel Lindsay: No. That's a good question. I definitely didn't do what Ben did. But I -- you will see that I have very strong connections with several of the men and you'll see that play out throughout the journey -- about the way that we felt about each other. But I didn't do what Ben did, no.
So you didn't tell multiple guys that you loved them, but did you feel like you loved more than one person?
Rachel Lindsay: I definitely had strong connections with several of the men. I'll say it that way.
You're beautiful and funny and successful. You're the total package. So why do you have to go on a TV show to find your own man? Is it really that hard out there?
Rachel Lindsay: Yes, it is hard out there. It's a question I actually get a lot. I actually was in a five-year relationship, off and on. And so, you know, after that ended, I realized what I wanted for myself, so I was open to dating. But it's very hard, you know? I find a lot of guys are either intimidated by me or like the idea of me.
But when it comes to dating me, in reality, they just can't handle it. And so, it has been a struggle for me. And I actually find that as common thing with a lot of professional women. I think a lot of women will be able to relate to that struggle when they hear me talk about that during this season.
How did you prepare for this process? You must have thought a lot about your journey before it actually started on the show. So besides the other Bachelorettes, whom did you seek advice from? And what was the best piece of advice that you got before you actually went on the show?
Rachel Lindsay: I actually talked to several people. I spoke with my family, of course. I spoke with my close friends. I spoke with the pastor of my church. I spoke with my close girlfriends from my season when I was on [Nick Viall]'s season. And I felt that their advice was invaluable.
Because not only do they know me -- we used to live together -- but they've been through a journey before, so they can give me a different perspective than other people can. And the main thing they told me to do was to be open, to let myself fall, to listen, and to not judge a book by its cover. I definitely took all of that in through my journey.
What did your pastor tell you, if it's okay to ask about that?
Rachel Lindsay: Yes. I mean, he just was telling me to, you know, he was like, "I've seen you grow up in the church. You have a good foundation." Basically, "Stay true to who you are and your morals. And when you feel lost or you feel in trouble, just don't forget to pray."
Last season, we actually didn't get a chance to meet your father, but I heard that Nick did meet him off-camera. Will we be seeing him this season?
Rachel Lindsay: That is something that you will have to watch and see if that plays out this season. But I'll just say my dad is very supportive in everything that I'm doing. You'll have to tune in and see how that plays out.
Did you at any point fear that people weren't on the show -- or weren't meeting you -- for the right reasons?
Rachel Lindsay: Yes. I mean, coming into this journey, that was one of my fears, that I would pick the wrong guy who's not here for me, who's trying to push his own agenda. That was a huge fear of mine, but my mom told me to follow my gut, and that's what I've done. And I really feel like I did a good job of filtering out those men.
Could you reflect a little bit on the last five or six months of your life in which you went from one extreme to the other, being a private citizen to being on a reality show and getting engaged? Can you just reflect on the last couple of months of your life?
Rachel Lindsay: Sure. I mean, every morning I wake up and pinch myself and I keep asking myself, "Is this really happening?" I don't believe this, it's crazy. I mean, just to have my co-workers have faith in me, sign me up, believe that I can find love during next season -- it didn't work out, and then here I am finishing out my own journey where it did work out for me.
It's just crazy. At times, I feel like I don't even deserve this because it's like I'm getting everything that I want. I am getting my happy ending. It's just such a surreal experience; that's the best way for me to describe it. I am totally humbled by it and I feel very blessed.
Are you nervous to relive your journey as it all plays out on TV? And what about criticism you may receive as the season airs?
Rachel Lindsay: I'm very nervous to re-watch it. I don't think -- I could be on TV every day and I don't think I would ever get used to watching myself and seeing how it all plays out. And then again, I wasn't living in the house with the men, so to see a different side of them, yes, I'm excited. I'm a little anxious about how it's going to play out, yes.
Am I worried about what people think? Not really. I mean, for me to agree to do this, I had to get over that. I'm sure there will be things here and there that will affect me, but I have to get used to that, that I cannot please everyone and everyone will have an opinion and it won't always be favorable.
On The Bachelor, you were the one fighting for the guy. So I'm wondering what it's like being in the driver's seat this time around? Because from the look at previews, it seems like you were loving it.
Rachel Lindsay: I mean, I can't complain about 31 men coming to see me about dating me. That's the positive side. Yes, it feels good to be in the driver's seat. It feels good to be wanted in that way and by that many men. But on the flip side, I'm dating 31 men, so that can be a negative at the same time.
But it really felt good to be in that role and to have that position. But at the same time, I really wanted to make sure that I didn't come off as intimidating or too powerful being in that position. I wanted to remain vulnerable and soft for the men and let them know that they could approach me in that way too.
What's the No. 1 thing you learned from Nick in terms of being a compassionate lead on the series?
Rachel Lindsay: Two things that I really took from Nick: No. 1, he was very direct. He didn't drag anyone along. When he knew, he knew, and he didn't waste anyone's time. I appreciated that.
I also like that he was so forthcoming with his emotions and his feelings. That's something that I struggle with at times. And I wanted to take that into my journey. I wanted to be open. If these men are going to be open with me, I wanted to give them that same respect.
A lot of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette stars described this period as sort of the toughest time, between filming wrapping and you going public with your relationship/engagement. How are you and your fiance coping with this?
Rachel Lindsay: It is hard. I'm used to a long-distance relationship where we can't see each other all the time, and we can't be public. I mean, I'm used to that. But it's hard when you're so excited about something and you can't share it with everyone. It's really hard. But we just make sure that we communicate with each other all the time. And, I mean, that's really all that you can do.
Chris Harrison teased that your season will be very dramatic. I was wondering, what three words would you use to best describe this season?