"Love isn't always happy because there are ups and downs," Hartsock says of her upcoming season

By Carrie Bell
Updated May 18, 2013 02:30 PM
Kevin Foley/ABC

After a hometown date from hell, The Bachelor‘s Sean Lowe withheld the rose from early frontrunner Desiree Hartsock.

The L.A.-based bridal stylist was devastated and the audience was stunned, but now the fan favorite will be the one handing out the flowers when The Bachelorette premieres May 27 on ABC.

Although she would not say if her TV journey ended in jewelry, Hartsock spoke to reporters this week about her suitors, strategies and surviving Sean.

What did you learn from your experience on The Bachelor? Did you steal any of Sean’s strategies?
I was able to put myself in the guys’ shoes to really understand what they were feeling. From Sean, I [learned] to take each and every day separately and really focused on each and every relationship.

You seemed heartbroken when Sean eliminated you. Why put yourself through this very public experience again?
I was upset when Sean sent me home but that just showed the emotions are real and you really can fall for someone. But before going on this show, I had already [moved] past that and knew Sean and I weren’t meant to be together. I figured why not give The Bachelorette a chance? I was honestly able to put my whole heart out there and just let it happen.

Any regrets now that you’ve finished filming?
I’m glad that I decided to do the show and am satisfied with my decisions throughout. I followed and trusted my heart the best I could. … There are going to be tears, but I wanted to show all my emotions so viewers can really see where I’m coming from. Overall, it’s a journey of love and love isn’t always happy because there are ups and downs as you’re guiding and gauging where the relationship should go.

Did someone put a ring on it?
I can’t comment on that at this time, but the journey was incredibly emotional and really surprising throughout.

Think back to the mansion on night one. What were you thinking?
It was overwhelming, but I knew that they were more nervous than I was because I had been in their shoes. The biggest surprise was how many amazing, good-looking men there were. They have different qualities than Sean. A lot of them are spontaneous and very creative.

A lot of folks blamed your brother’s treatment of Sean during your hometown date for your dismissal. Did you let him near your new batch of boys?
My brother was very supportive [of my] coming on to The Bachelorette and of me being able to choose what’s right for me. He will meet the men.

Tierra was full-time drama last season. Is there any drama like that this season?
There are a lot of strong, yet emotional men. They stand up for themselves and that creates a lot of drama.

What were you looking for in your last man standing?
My best friend. Someone who’s going to be spontaneous and adventurous while still being very supportive and caring and who ultimately understands me.

What was your strategy to narrow down the initial 25?
You have to ask really tough questions. I was straightforward. I would ask, “Are you ready for marriage, family? Do you want kids? Where do you see your future?” A key part is seeing what they were like in past relationships. In the beginning, it’s really gauging who’s there for the right reasons. If they continue, that’s where location and job and if you can see a future with that person [come into play].

If you did find love, would you want a televised wedding?
I want my wedding to be small and intimate so I would have to really think about it when the time comes.

Would you move for love?
Definitely. Home is where the heart is and I make love my priority.