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Bachelor‘s Jillian Still Loves Jason (But She’s Not In Love)

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Craig Sjodin/ABC

Jillian Harris, 29, was a Bachelor front-runner from the first night, but ultimately Jason Mesnick decided they weren’t meant to be more than friends after a steamy soak in a New Zealand spa. The Canadian restaurant designer talked to reporters from her home in Vancouver about the moment she fell in love, her infamous hot dog theory, the possibility of appearing on The Bachelorette and who she hopes will get the final rose. — Carrie Bell

Fans of the show were surprised when Jason did not give you a rose. Were you? I was surprised. It is a unique situation. No matter how hard you’re falling for somebody, you always wonder if it is for real and if he’s the one. You have questions in your mind and heart, but when he let me go, I was sincerely disappointed and surprised.

You said on the show that you had fallen in love with Jason. In hindsight, is that true? On a scale of one to ten, would he be a ten for what I’m looking for? Maybe not. But of all the men I have dated in my life, he possessed the most qualities that I was looking for. I still love him but I don’t think I am in love with him anymore. It’s like any other breakup. You have to heal yourself. You have to get over it and move on and hope the best for the person.

You had a hot date in New Zealand. Why do you think Jason didn’t think it would progress into more than friends? That’s the million-dollar question. We had so many different levels that our relationship had reached from being friends to being great partners and understanding each other. And then in New Zealand, I thought we reached that spark. I seemed to fit into his life and we had so many things in common. I felt like we had all those components to make it work.

What was the reaction of your family to your Jacuzzi antics? Apparently, my dad just stared at the screen with his jaw open. When I watched it, I had a good laugh.

Did you spend the whole night in the fantasy suite? I did. We had a great time in the hot tub and we had great conversation. It was great to have a lot of off camera time with him and be able to chat about the things we weren’t able to chat about on camera.

Who do you feel is a better fit for Jason, Molly or Melissa? I can see reasons why both girls would be great for him and why they both might not. I became very, very good friends with Melissa. We always talked about, if she did win, how fun it would be for us all to get together and have barbecues and laugh about it. Her and I would be friends and I would be part of their life.

Does your hot dog condiment theory need to be reworked after this experience? I stand by my theory. It is more complicated than I initially thought but Jason might be having some hot dog topping denial. He has a little bit of a ketchup/mustard and I need a little bit of a sauerkraut/mustard.

Has your dating life changed? Have you been flooded with offers since returning home? I have not been dating at all. It is overwhelming. I needed time to get back to my head screwed back on straight and figure out what happened back there.

Would you do The Bachelorette? I haven’t thought too seriously about it and I haven’t been approached … I don’t want to be famous. I don’t want to be an actress. Part of me wants to stop while I am ahead because I did a great job of presenting myself last time. But the other part of me really wants to find somebody and maybe my prince is just around the corner. I would have to think hard about it. Craig Sjodin/ABC