12 Lessons My Time On 'The Bachelor' Taught Me About Love

12 Lessons My Time On 'The Bachelor' Taught Me About Love

Exclusive: Jenna Burke gets real with YourTango about her time on 'The Bachelor.'

Remember the well-dressed blogger from NYC that was constantly in hysterics on Ben Flajnik's season of The Bachelor? Well that bachelorette is Jenna Burke, and in real life, she's surprisingly composed and down-to-earth. We caught up with the girl who made a big impression in only a little time to find out how the show changed her outlook on love:

1. Complement vs. Complete. There is a difference.
A lot of people think that if they find "the one," the feeling of incompleteness they may have will go away. They are wrong. A man will not complete you. It's so important to have your own fulfillment. A man will only complement you.

2. Don't take yourself too seriously.
Dating and ultimately finding love should be fun. Just because a relationship was short-lived doesn't mean you didn't get anything out of it. Everyone is so hung up on finding "the one" that they're missing out on the "now." While on the show, I put SO much pressure on myself that I missed out on a lot of fun times that could be had. Learn to let things happen when they should.

3. Rise above the competition.
This is one of the BIG differences between dating on The Bachelor and dating in reality. With The Bachelor, you are able to watch the "other girl" get ready for a date with the guy you are dating, and it's downright weird. Urban Dictionary states that dating is "the modern day battlefield of romance where hearts are won and broken." Whether on The Bachelor or not, dating is indeed a battlefield, and you will need to accept competition and rise above it. Ultimately, this is about you finding your match. This isn't about winning.

4. Girlfriends can be better than boyfriends.
It may not work out with a guy, but it doesn't mean you can't be friends. Although I didn't find love on The Bachelor, I made some fabulous lifelong friends.

5. Put the magnum wine bottle down.
Save the boozy nights for time with friends. I learned this the hard way.

6. Pull the plug when you want to.
Love requires effort, but it should never seem too hard. I've stayed in a relationship longer than the expiration date. And even though my time on the show was short-lived, I stayed on longer than I should have. People stay in unsatisfying situations, because they're afraid of the unknown ... what to do next. You must have faith and trust your instincts.

7. When in doubt, ask questions.
There are many, many awkward moments when dating. But nothing beats an awkward moment on The Bachelor. I found myself so concerned with how I always came across, and that really got in the way of my potential relationship. Yes, the goal is to impress, but it's more important to get to know someone. Ask questions.

8. Save the drama for yo mama.
Not sure if it was obvious or not that I was carrying some heavy baggage when I went on the show. Yeah, that clearly was a joke. Being told you are "TV gold" is not always a compliment. You have to get over that emotional stage after a breakup before you move onto a new relationship. He doesn't want to hear your sob story.

9. Put a limit on the Google search.
I will admit it. I probably Googled "Ben Flajnik" 100+ times before I went on the show and it altered my perception of him. These days, you can find a ridiculous amount of info about anybody on the Internet. It's best to meet someone and make your own conclusions. Don't believe everything you read on the Internet.

10. Fall in love when you're ready, NOT when you're lonely.
There's that time after a breakup when you don't miss the person, you miss the idea of that person. I remember wanting to go on The Bachelor to fill that void and now looking back, I was not ready. You've heard it a million times: Timing is everything.

11. If it's really love, you will learn to let go of the past.
This lesson learned is plain and simple. Every single person has a past, and every single person comes with baggage. It's all about how you deal with that baggage, because realistically that baggage will not fully disappear. When that great love comes around, that baggage will slowly but surely start to disappear.

12. First impressions are everything.
As much as we don't want to admit it, we do make judgements on the first date. Did anyone see me butcher my line the first night? It ruined my confidence and made me look like an idiot. It's just so important to be yourself—you will give a better first impression when being yourself rather than pretending to be someone you're not.


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