Dean, a 26-year-old startup recruiter from Venice Beach, CA, pretty definitively took himself out of the running for the Bachelor last month when he told E! News, "I just don't think I'm ready for it. From an emotional standpoint I need to figure out a lot more about myself before I'm ready to dive in and be the lead of anything... I still have a lot of personal growth to do."
However, Dean is now singing a different tune, telling Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti on their podcast that he would never say never.
"I would of course be flattered to be presented an opportunity like that," Dean said on The Ben and Ashley I: Almost Famous podcast. "I would never say no to an opportunity, especially of that magnitude, right away. I would definitely have to consider it quite a bit."
Dean was a fan-favorite bachelor on Rachel Lindsay's season of The Bachelorette, and he went on to appear on Bachelor in Paradise's fourth season, which just premiered on ABC earlier this week.
When asked whether he could really envision himself proposing to a woman if he became the next Bachelor, Dean said on the podcast, "I could see myself proposing to someone after eight or nine weeks. I don't think I would have gone on The Bachelorette had I not been able to see that within myself."
Dean told Ben and Ashley that he'd have no problem getting down on one knee at the end of the dating process, however, an engagement wouldn't be at the forefront of his mind all season.
"I would kind of go into it with the same mentality where it would be a a different season of sorts. It would be obviously, in my opinion, maybe a little bit more high energy, a little bit more fun," Dean explained.
"Just focus more on fun and the romance side of things instead of focusing so heavily on the engagement itself... [But] I think you put yourself through that process and at the end of it you're in a complete different position than you thought you were going to be in."
If Dean landed the leading role for 2018, he joked on the podcast that "people would get annoyed by [him] in a week" and the journey definitely wouldn't be easy.
"Could anybody ever be ready for that? It's basically nine weeks of heartache and hardships for one obviously grandiose celebration at the end. But I don't think anybody's really ready for it," Dean said.
Should he assume the position of Bachelor, Dean also confessed that he'd be worried about media and fan scrutiny. Dean said he handles criticism "well," but he still lets the opinions of others affect him "way more" than he should.
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"I think at the end of the day, that would be the biggest hurdle for me to overcome," noted the handsome suitor with a bright smile.
Rachel, for example, started out The Bachelorette season completely adored by America, and now she's viewed by many people as the woman who cared more about an engagement ring that choosing true love. Kaitlyn Bristowe was slut-shamed and cyber-bullied on herThe Bachelorette season, and Juan Pablo Galavis basically became the most hated man in the country when he starred on The Bachelor.
So starring on the franchise definitely is not all roses!
"To be perfectly honest with you, I have never really given it serious consideration," Dean said of being The Bachelor star.
"I don't know, my mind is swirling a million miles a second right now. I think it boils back down to... you're under a lot of scrutiny, and regardless of what you do -- whether you think it's right or wrong -- people are going to find the wrong in it."
Dean explained that he doesn't really have "an interest in pursuing 20 different women" on or off the show.
"I would like to find a relationship that would allow me to be with that person for the rest of my life," Dean explained on the podcast.
"I'm not interested in going out and playing a bunch of women and hooking up with as many people as possible. So be able to go on and find somebody I can spend the rest of my life with I think is obviously the purest joy that can come from that. That's not really an interest of mine, to play the field."