It’s no secret that Bachelor Arie Luyendyk Jr. got his heart broken by Emily Maynard on the 8th season of The Bachelorette.
After the show ended in 2012, Luyendyk Jr. even flew to Maynard’s hometown of Charlotte, NC, to try to win her back. But after an unsuccessful attempt at a second chance and an epically uncomfortable After The Final Rose reunion, he finally decided it was time to move on—only it wasn’t as easy to let go as he’d hoped.
“I struggled for a while,” Luyendyk Jr. told InStyle when we caught up with him about the current season of The Bachelor. “There’s no easy way to get over someone, but what really helped me was to get out of the house and to dive back into traveling and my racing career.”
It was that time on the road that gave him the clarity he needed to get past his relationship with Maynard. “Time is what really helps because it gives you perspective—even though that’s not what you want to hear when you’re going through a breakup,” he said.
So what exactly happened in the five years since The Bachelorette that made him want to open up his heart again?
“My brother’s wedding was a big shift for me. He’s 24, so seeing him happy and ready to take that next step in his life made me want that for myself again,” he said. “A couple of my friends are having kids too, so just being around them made me think.”
Luyendyk Jr. also said that slowing down his racing career for a gig in real estate made all the difference in his day-to-day. “It has really enabled me to be home more. And since I’ve been home more, I’ve seen how that stability is really nice and having that was something that I’ve been missing.”
While Luyendyk Jr. wouldn’t yet say whether he's found that special someone on this season, he did reveal that he’s in a much better place these days. “I can say I’m happy. This has definitely been an emotional roller coaster, but it’s been an amazing experience too. I’m just really happy for everyone to go on that journey with me again.”
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The Bachelor is on Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.