Arie Luyendyk, Jr. Reflects on His ‘Bachelor’ Journey: ‘I Actually Fell in Love With Two People’

‘The Bachelor‘ star Arie Luyendyk Jr.
‘The Bachelor‘ star Arie Luyendyk Jr. Craig Sjodin via Getty Images

The final rose was a tough call. Bachelor-to-be Arie Luyendyk, Jr. opened up about his journey finding love as the franchise’s newest lead.

“The journey obviously was a great experience and I did fall in love,” the race car driver, 36, told Us Weekly and other reporters via a conference call on Thursday, December 14. “I actually fell in love with two people … The toughest part about being the Bachelor would probably be the end, making tough decisions toward the end. I mean, that’s the hardest decision of your life, really. It’s a forever decision, so it’s not taken lightly. I think that was probably the hardest thing.”

Emily Maynard’s season 8 Bachelorette runner-up also revealed his concerns before filming began. “I was so nervous that first night. I was scared there wouldn’t be somebody there for me,” he admitted. “I was worried about if the women were expecting me or expecting somebody else and how I was going to deal with that.”

As far as strategy goes, the ABC star said, “I think my game plan was not to lead with chemistry. I think in the past I’ve done that before and I think as a man it’s easy to do that. Also for me, I just really tried to envision how that person would fit into my regular life and if I could fit into their life.”

Luyendyk, who fans have dubbed the “Kissing Bandit” and “Not Peter,” told Us that he is well aware of his nicknames. “I wasn’t what everyone was expecting. I totally realize that and that’s something that I’m fine with,” he shared. “I’m really grateful for the opportunity to be the Bachelor and I was really nervous and excited that first night. Yeah, I did sort of have to get through that and se if the women there were there for me, but that’s just part of it and I was really thankful that I was in this position.”

The real estate agent also isn’t interested in any drama in the house — he’s there for the right reasons. “I really tried to concentrate on my time with said individual,” he affirmed. “I think that as the Bachelor, you really don’t see whats happening at the house, you really kind of only hear through the women telling you sort of what drama’s unfolding. So for me, I try to cast aside and really give the person in front of me the benefit of the doubt because it is a difficult experience. It’s not an experience everyone handles the same and just because they’re popular in the house, doesn’t really make them a good life partner.”

The Bachelor season 22 premieres on ABC Monday, January 1, 2018 at 8 p.m. ET.

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