February 16, 2004 12:00 PM


Helene Eksterowicz knows heartbreak. She won Aaron Buerge’s rose on The Bachelor—then got dumped at a Starbucks. She (far right) and fellow Bachelor contestant Gwen Gioia give dating tips in Nobody’s Perfect:

WATCH FOR FAMILY TIES: Listen to what the guy says about his relatives. “We make fun of the Mama’s Boy in the book,” Eksterowicz tells PEOPLE. “But if a guy has a good connection with his mother, it says a lot.” Adds Gioia: “If there are problems (with his family), they’ll be problems for you,”

LOOK BEYOND LOOKS: “Looks have become less important for me,” says Eksterowicz. “I don’t care if he’s on the cover of GQ magazine, if he doesn’t treat me well, what’s that? Nothing.”

MAKE SURE HE’S SINGLE: Be wary of the separated but not divorced. “Somebody who’s already in a relationship and trying to start another one would be a deal breaker,” Gioia says.

PUMP YOUR OWN GAS: Gioia has had luck at the self-service island. Guys will “pump right next to me, and they’ll peer around and start talking. You’d be surprised how many people do that.”

DON’T GO ON THE BACHELOR… unless you enjoy strangers asking about your love life. “My heart’s been broken before but never in such a public way,” Eksterowicz says. “I hope [Buerge] finds somebody. And I hope he wishes the same for me.”

You May Like