What It’s Like To Date When You’re A Reality TV Star

Its's not all fun and games!

When I applied to go on last year’s season of The Bachelor, I never thought I’d actually get on the show.

I filled out the application as a bit of a joke with my girlfriends after too many wines. The next thing I knew the producers were calling me non-stop and I was on a TV show meeting Matty J at a cocktail party with 20 other women.

I found the experience quite confronting. I’m not the type of person who lets my guard down easily, so I just ran amok and tried to have fun. I expected to be portrayed as a bitch, but I never imagined it would be as severe as they made out.

I definitely played up to the villain role. I pulled pranks on the girls like putting caster sugar in their protein powder. Australia thought I was really savage, but that’s not what I’m like in real life.

Now when I meet someone who watched the show, they always say, “Oh my God, you’re not actually a bitch! You’re really nice.”

It’s a backhanded compliment in a way; people are shocked that I’m a decent human being and not a complete arsehole.

Because of that, dating has been a little bit harder since the show. To a bloke, I can be quite intimidating. Following the show, I’ve found that the men who approach me are athletes and footballers or contestants from other TV shows. I don’t know if it’s the events I’m going to, or just the calibre of people who are game enough to talk to me, but it’s a weird niche.

I’ve also had plenty of blokes slide into my DMs on Instagram. There are creepers who send 40 messages without a reply, but they keep trying. There’s this really nice guy from Sydney who’s been asking me out for the last month. He’s gorgeous and lovely, but I kind of figure there must be something wrong with him after I’ve rejected him so many times and he’s still trying.

When I’m out with my friends, people often stare at me. Once a guy literally chased me up the street and yelled, “Oh my God, it’s Jen from The Bachelor.” I don’t mind taking photos with fans, but I do tend to keep my dates low-key because of that. Like, I don’t hang out in Bondi.

I don’t want to be with someone who is interested in me because I was on TV or have 26,000 Instagram followers. I once had a guy who I was dating say, “Everyone wants to date someone famous.” For me, that was relationship over.

I need to be with someone who isn’t phased by that. I am an acquired taste, so I want someone who gets how weird I am and is OK with it. Basically, I just want a deadset legend. it would help if he also happens to be 6’2″ with a lot of tattoos and a great smile. I think he’s out there. Just not in my Instagram DMs…

This story originally appeared in the July issue of marie claire

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