It’s about damn time. After enduring rejection on The Bachelorette twice (thanks to Andi Dorfman and Kaitlyn Bristowe) and again on Bachelor in Paradise (Amanda Stanton dissed him before he hooked up with Jen Saviano), Nick Viall has good news. “I definitely found love,” the star of The Bachelor, who recently wrapped the 21st installment of the dating series, reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly. But his path to a happy ending was, yes, a thorny one. “I don’t think there was an easy decision I made throughout the entire process,” confesses the tech salesman from Waukesha, Wisconsin (now based in Los Angeles). Viall, 36, tells Us about his latest love hunt.
Q: Were you hesitant to risk rejection on TV again?
There were certainly some nerves and fears. But I’m not someone who tends to look back. And I’ve always been one to put myself out there and be vulnerable.
Q: Going in, how confident did you feel that you’d find love?
I think a lot of people go into The Bachelor assuming it’s going to work out, but I went in knowing there are no guarantees.
Q: Did you seek advice from Kaitlyn and Andi?
I didn’t. Andi did reach out — a simple text — to wish me luck. It was a very gracious text, but certainly no advice was given and none was asked. And I haven’t had any contact with Kaitlyn at all.
Q: What was the hardest part that first night?
I don’t know if there was one specific thing. I have a fair share of friends in Bachelor Nation, and they’ve all talked about how difficult this process can be. That night and throughout the season, I thought, Yep, they were right. It can be emotionally taxing.
Q: After two stints on The Bachelorette, did you enjoy being in the driver’s seat?
I suppose it’s better, but at the same time, it’s one of those “the grass is always greener” things. I’m a one-woman guy, so dating multiple women was hard. I wasn’t used to it and I don’t know if I’ll ever want to be used to it, but I suppose it was nice to change it up.
Q: What qualities are your must-haves in a partner?
I’ve always been attracted to women with strong personalities and confidence; women who are intelligent and willing to be my partner. I’m a big personality, and I push back a lot with people I respect and trust. I want someone to be comfortable enough with me to do that. I want to be with a woman who feels empowered.
Q: Did you play by your own rules — say, give out roses when you wanted to?
Me being the Bachelor was an unconventional choice, and I think relative to my peers in the past, I’m unconventional. I follow my heart and do what I think is best, regardless of the majority opinion.
Q: Jennifer Aniston said on Jimmy Kimmel Live she’s a fan of yours! Are you blown away?
That’s fascinating! I didn’t watch the show that night, but I was made aware of it the next morning. It’s pretty cool that Jennifer Aniston says you’re awesome and is rooting for you, so I have no complaints.
The Bachelor premieres on ABC, January 2 at 8 p.m. ET.