It took a lot for former Bachelorette contestant turned season 16 Bachelor Ben Flajnik to overcome the pain and humiliation of Ashley Hebert's jilt, but after months of reflection, the 29-yr-old Sonoma winemaker says he's older, wiser, and ready to renew his widely-televised search for that special someone.
While Ben has opened his heart once again, he insists he won't necessarily be dropping down on one knee at the end of this season—unless it's for the right girl. "I don't know if my wife's in this room," he explained on the morning before meeting the women. "I kept it pretty real last season so I plan on doing it this time around too…I'm not going to propose to someone just to propose to someone. America's already seen me do it once so they know I'm fully capable of it."
Upon returning to his Northern California winery empty handed, Flajnick set aside some time to better understand what he's looking for in a mate, and after much introspection, he believes he's on the right track. "I know what I'm looking for and I'm ready to start again. I'm ready to find that person; I'm ready to find love. My life at home is wonderful and if I could find a woman come join me and share in that life, I would be ecstatic. "
This season Ben has an exceptional advantage in the dating game in that one; the 25 beautiful bachelorettes come into the competition knowing (and fully approving of) who they'll be vying for, and two, he has what he calls "insight" into the minds of this season's hopefuls, as he himself stood in their shoes last season. "I know what's going through these women's minds right now," he asserts.
The Bachelor premieres January 2, 2012 on ABC.