Just in Time for Valentine’s Day: 5 Love Lessons Learned From 'The Bachelor' Contestant

The former contestant dishes about love, dating and why she was censored on TV.

ByMOLLY MITCHELL
February 06, 2015, 1:00 PM

— -- Jillian Anderson was a cast member this year on "The Bachelor" season 19, competing for the attention of “Prince Farming,” a.k.a. Chris Soules. But alas, true love it wasn’t and Anderson didn’t receive the ultimate prize -- the rose.

The small-town Ohio native, come D.C. girl dishes in an interview with ABC News on the lessons in love and life she learned in the high stakes world of "The Bachelor" mansion.

Lesson #1 When It Comes to Love: No Forcing the Issue

Anderson, who is still single, said it was difficult getting dumped on national television.

"Oh, I am so very much single," she said. "I have never been someone who has been very into dating. It’s not something I’ve tried really hard to work at.”

While Anderson has friends who use Tinder or match-making sites, that’s simply not her style, she said. “It was kind of ironic that I went on 'The Bachelor.' My friends were like, 'You never date and you’re going on a dating show.' ... I’m all about meeting someone organically. But I think that’s me as a person. I kind of like my alone time and my independence. Something will happen when it happens.”

Lesson #2: Roll With the Work-Out Punches

Anderson, a former gymnast, has a reputation for being uber-healthy and having a ripped physique. She reveals that behind the scenes in the mansion she had to roll with what was available and make do. “There was no gym there so I think we all struggled with putting on a little bit of weight. So we just did what we could. ... There is a lot of sitting and waiting. So [working out together] helped us pass the time. But it was definitely a struggle to stay in shape. When I came home I had to readjust my lifestyle again.”

PHOTO: Jillian Anderson winning the mud run on "The Bachelor."
Jillian Anderson winning the mud run on "The Bachelor."
Craig Sjodin/ABC

Lesson #3: Own Your ‘Black Box’

One of the most memorable moments from Anderson was the black box that show producers were constantly putting over her bikini-clad behind. Her black box even landed its own Twitter handle. Initially, Anderson said she was “freaked out” when her dad saw the black box slapped on her rear end. “But ultimately I decided to roll with it. It’s my black box and it's part of me now. It’s become this joke and it’s how people know me. ... It’s my black box, and I’m owning it.”

Lesson #4: Pandas Are Great But Girlfriends Are Even Better

Anderson’s most memorable Valentine’s Day to date was a surprise trip to the National Zoo.

"I really like surprises. One year ... I went to the zoo, and I love going to the zoo! My boyfriend wasn’t so into animals like I am, but I got to see the baby panda Bao Bao. It was nice that he planned a day where we did something that I really enjoy -- that was very special! But this year I am going to do a ‘Galentine’s Day’ with my girlfriends so we’re planning a fun girls’ day out. We’re going to get dressed up, get our nails done, have some drinks and ... find a good time!”

Lesson #5: You Can Always Pack More Comfortable Shoes

Anderson’s advice to future 'Bachelor' stars is to just be yourself.

“I would say go in there with your guard down. Take advantage of the time that you get, because it will be little. Definitely take advantages of the friendships, because there will be many. Treasure every moment, do everything with zero regrets, have fun! And pack a lot more comfortable shoes!”

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