August 26, 2008 12:00 AM

As newly selected Bachelor Jason Mesnick prepares to choose a wife among 25 women all vying for his love, former Bachelor Jesse Palmer has some words of wisdom to share.

“Just be himself and enjoy the experience,” Palmer, who was the fifth-season Bachelor, told PEOPLE at the U.S. Open Heineken Premium Light players kick-off party in New York Friday. “The biggest thing is to be open minded and enjoy it as best he can and not put too much pressure on himself.”

Though he may not have found the love of his life with final contestant Jessica Bowlin in 2004, Palmer, 29, says he has no regrets doing the show. “I’m really excited and happy that I did it,” Palmer said. “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity so looking back I have great memories and met a lot of good .” Palmer is optimistic for Mesnick to find true love despite the show’s unlucky romance record and his failure to develop a lasting romantic relationship with Bowlin beyond the show. “Yes, I’m sure he can. It’s definitely an experience and the odds are on his side.”

As for the former NFL New York Giants quarterback own dating life? “I’m single right now,” he said. “It’s been good.” –Paul Chi


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