Maynard says her suitors told her she's "nothing like they thought I'd be – and that it was a good thing"

By Carrie Bell
May 17, 2012 09:45 AM
DannyMahoney/XS Nightclub/Splash News Online

Emily Maynard would not reveal if she found a fiancé while filming The Bachelorette during a conference call with reporters Wednesday, but the Charlotte. N.C., sweetheart did tease that she “was happy before the show, but really happy now.”

“I had a million reservations and I said no to anybody who would listen. But time went on, we started talking again, and they were so accommodating that it was [too] great an opportunity to pass up,” the 26-year-old single mom explained.

“I had a great group of guys. I had the time of my life and learned so much about myself. It was the best experience getting to travel and to give Ricki the opportunity to see things she wouldn’t have otherwise.”

She also spoke about filming with daughter Ricki, 6, meeting the men on the first night and what she wants in a mate …

RELATED: Emily Maynard Blogs: The Men She Didn’t Want to See on The Bachelorette

The Real Emily: “The guys came in having an image of me in their head but as they got to know me better, they all said, [I was] nothing like they thought I’d be and that it was a good thing. I’m feisty and sassy. It takes a little bit for me to really feel comfortable but I’ve never been called ‘boring’ in my normal everyday life.”

What a Girl Wants: “I wanted somebody who was at a point in his life where he wanted to get married, have kids and step into my life and [accept] everything that I bring. I was scared they [wouldn’t want] to date a single mom and that was an issue at one point, but most guys were on board.”

Explaining the Cameras to Ricki: “I like to keep her sheltered. She’s not at an age where she can even begin to understand the reason for the cameras. I told her it was for a very elaborate home video that she could watch way down the road. … Ricki’s life was not really affected at all. She was very protected throughout the entire process. She didn’t see the guys. I got to spend a lot of time with her, take her to school and do all my mom stuff.”

How to Win Ricki Over: “Six-year-olds are pretty easy to figure out. You play a game with her 15 times and give her candy and she’s your best friend forever.”

Emily’s Dating Style: “If I was a single 26-year-old without a daughter back home, I’d be doing the same things the other Bachelorettes did. But Ricki is at the forefront of my mind with dating and everything. I wouldn’t get in a hot tub on a first date in my everyday life so I sure as hell am not going to do it on [TV].”

Which Guys Got Noticed Right Away: “I loved Ryan’s note. That was sweet and endearing. Jack rolling in on a skateboard was so cool. Even the cheesy ones were great icebreakers because you are so nervous. But Travis with the egg was a tough one even in the moment. And some of the guys who didn’t make the strongest first impression really surprised me.”

RELATED: Emily Is Worried About Meeting Guys as The Bachelorette

Helicopter Guy’s Entrance: “Honestly, it was [too flashy]. I would take a classic pickup truck over a brand new Ferrari any day. If [Kalon] was trying to impress me, he probably took the wrong approach. But he’s very unique.”

First Impression Rose: “[Doug]’s a great-looking guy and so sweet, but more than anything I know what it’s like to take a chance at love and have to leave the biggest piece of your heart back home. The fact that he had enough faith in me to leave his son really meant a lot and I wanted him to know it wasn’t something I took lightly.”

Having More Kids: “I would take any that I could be blessed with but ideally I would like four.”