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September 15, 2017

Every year, millions of viewers tune into The Bachelor and Bachelorette TV shows, watching with baited breath to see who gets a rose and who gets sent packing. After dozens of seasons, it's only natural that some loyal viewers might wonder how they can get in on the action firsthand, and who better to guide them than Bachelor runner up-turned-Bachelorette, Jojo Fletcher?

InStyle caught up with Fletcher at an event honoring the NFL's new apparel collection for fans, which offers a refreshed take on game day fandom. As a diehard Texas football fan, Fletcher wore the Houston Texans' stylish gear proudly while giving the scoop about what life is like post-show with her fiancé Jordan Rodgers, how her mom reacted to being on TV, her advice for future contestants, and her killer dating tips.

Read InStyle's interview with Fletcher below, and check out her new NFL gear in the photos while you're at it (or shop some of your own here). 

InStyle: How has life been since you and Jordan got engaged on The Bachelorette?

Jojo Fletcher: Life is so good! Jordan’s in full football mode now [as a sports commentator for the SEC], so every TV in our house is on football.

I just finished flipping a house, so that has taken up the bulk of my time. I was in real estate development before the show, and it took me a little bit of time to get back into it after the show ended. I just bought another house, so I'm starting that next week. It's a lot of fun, but a lot of work. On HGTV, you see a flipped house before and after, but the middle part isn’t really shown. It's a lot of work and I try to do a lot of it myself to save money.

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IS: There’s something so satisfying about watching those HGTV before and afters, even knowing there’s way more work that goes into it. Do you think you'll ever have an HGTV show?

JF: [laughs] Oh I don't know! No matter what, this is something I love to do, and if people want to see it right now, they can follow my Instagram. But yes, it's so satisfying to see the before and after. The best part is seeing what it was before and getting to the last week. It’s unbelievable.

IS: Does Jordan help with the flipping?

JF: Oh my God, Jordan loves this type of stuff, but he’s never done it before, so he’ll come in and do the demo with me. He likes knocking walls down, ripping out a toilet, and then when he gets to the nitty gritty stuff, he’s like ‘I’m going to sit back and let you handle this.’ [laughs] But he definitely likes to get his hands dirty at the beginning.

IS: Has life settled down at all for you and Jordan since the show ended? 

JF:  Life is settling down—well, I wouldn’t say settling down. We’re settling down from the Bachelor high, I would say. We’re really hitting our normal. We both do things we’re really passionate about, and we love and support each other. It’s been a lot of fun to actually have a partner in doing those things. I’m so proud of him and can’t wait to catch some of these games that he’s doing now.

IS: Are there any wedding updates we should know about?

JF: Not yet, no wedding date set. We’re very happy with our situation right now. There’s no rush for us, and we’re just as committed as ever. That’s one of those things where when the timing is right, we’ll deal with that, but we don’t feel the pressure to rush into it. So not yet, but hopefully sometime soon!

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IS: You've mentioned before that you were a fan of The Bachelor before being on it. Do you have any advice for fans who are thinking of auditioning for the show like you did?

JF: Totally! Anyone that always asks me, 'Is the show real, should I do it?,' the answer is yes. It is a TV show, but at the end of the day, it's very real. Your feelings are real, and the things that you do are real, and no one tells you what to do as far as who to pick. It was one of the greatest things I’ve ever done in my life, and I’m forever grateful to have had that experience.

Anyone that wants to be on the show should go for it. I applied the normal way. I went to a casting, I sat in a room with a bunch of girls, and it was one of those things where you've just got to put yourself out there. I think the scariest thing is putting yourself out there and being told no, but if you don’t try, you’re always going to have a no. Definitely try it if you’re interested.

IS: Is there anything you wish you would’ve known before going through the whole process?

JF: I think not really caring about the ins and out of what was going to happen helped. I didn’t really ask for a lot of advice. I was just went in there and was myself, and that helped me enjoy the process and the experience. I would just prepare for not getting a lot of sleep, though. You don’t sleep that much.

IS: What are your best dating tips? 

JF: I've had a very weird way of dating the last two years, to say the least. I think in dating, confidence is very important. Knowing that you don’t need somebody, but that you want somebody, having confidence, and letting that come through is key.

I used to be the girl that was like, 'Oh I need a guy to be happy,' or 'I need to be in a relationship because all my friends are in a relationship,' but you can’t rush these things. It's going to happen naturally.

IS: How did you learn to have that confidence?

Learning to have that confidence is harder than people think, and it just takes you believing in yourself. It's a mental thing. It’s learning to love who you are, and owning it. I think dating’s so tough because the whole, 'Do I text him? Do I wait a couple days to reach back out?' I hate that whole game. My opinion is don’t seem desperate, but at the end of the day, if you want to talk to somebody, it's OK to be the first person to reach out. Send a text and say what’s up, be confident enough to do that. It all comes back to that confidence.

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IS: With social media, it's so easy for people to tell celebrities exactly what they think of them. How do you maintain your confidence as someone in the public eye? 

JF: As anyone who comes out of the show knows, we have such a loyal following and they’re so supportive. It makes my day when someone comes up to me and gives me a hug because they feel like they know me, I love that. So you’ve just got to remember that the negative things are going to happen, but don’t sweat it.

IS: Have you adjusted to having fans now?

JF: It’s totally different, but it’s fun. When I meet people that are really excited to meet me, I just sit there and wonder why sometimes. I’m so flattered, but I don’t know, it’s different. I love it, I find it very endearing.

IS: What does your family think of it?

JF: You know, I don’t think that they’ve had a ton of interactions where people bombard them, but I think it was an adjustment. In the beginning, people would recognize my mom and think she was an alcoholic because she was seen chugging a bottle of wine, and I’m like mom, people that say anything negative, you just laugh it off and own it, or make a joke about it. So they've adjusted, but I think that they’re done with [the spotlight] for a little bit.

This interview has been edited and condensed.