From Kaitlyn Bristowe's controversial foray into Bachelor nation (that vote-in method was awful) to calling off her engagement with Shawn Booth last year and moving on with Jason Tartick, she's been through a lot. Going through everything so publicly probably didn't help, but if Kaitlyn had to describe how those experiences made her feel, "empowered" is the word that comes to mind.
In the foreword for Heidi Ganahl's just-published "female empowerment" book, SheFactor, Kaitlyn references the "roses and thorns" of her life. Here, she opens up to Cosmopolitan.com about dating after Shawn, what she'd change about her time on The Bachelor, and what she thought of Jason when he was competing on the show to win over Becca Kufrin's heart.
Cosmo: What made you want to get involved with SheFactor?
Everyone knows I had a controversial season. Coming out of that, I had two options: I could listen to all the backlash and all the mean comments, or I could channel it into a platform to empower other women and stay true to who I was. And I think SheFactor is all about those things.
In your foreword, you talk about how the book feels like a letter to a woman's younger self. If you had to go back and tell yourself one thing before you started The Bachelor, what would you say?
Just to do what I did and live my authentic life. You are who you are, and you will attract the right people in your life, you will have the career you want just by being who you truly are.
You and Shawn Booth called off your relationship and engagement last year. How did it feel to go through the split so publicly?
We were hanging onto that for quite a lot of time because we were both so anxious about it, knowing that it would be so public. It was really tough because there are so many people who believe in your relationship and who don't see the things that go on behind closed doors. But it becomes their business, because they're so invested in the show and you as a couple.
But we knew it would pass and that sharing it was the right thing to do, so I just stayed off social media after. It was really tough to go through that publicly.
Where do you draw the line between what you share and what you keep private?
I believe in being authentic and sharing ups and downs and success and struggles. I like to see people being open and honest about their struggle or if they have anxiety and have conversations around different topics, but I don't want to see someone crying and complaining about their relationship and talking about how someone hurt their feelings.
How did it feel when you first started dating after the breakup?
When I was with Shawn, I knew what I wanted, and I knew what I deserved. I also knew I was happy on my own. I think that's what made the transition out of the relationship into doing my own thing a little easier-I felt empowered. I was nervous to date again only because people follow me, and I didn't know when it was too soon to share something.
But I see a therapist and am constantly working on myself. I will actually give a lot of credit to the show for digging deep into who I was and what I've been through in relationships and what I want. You just learn a lot about yourself through that process.
What did you think of your now-boyfriend Jason Tartick when he was on Becca Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette?
I was really actually rooting for him to be The Bachelor because I thought he would make a really great Bachelor. I was like, "I want that guy to be happy." I think everyone did. He's just so open and genuine. He's very put together, he's very well-spoken and politically-correct, he's a good Buffalo guy. I remember thinking, ‘Whoever gets to be with that guy is really lucky.’ I wasn't even thinking that would be me.
When you watch the show now, is there anything you wish they would do differently?
I could probably think of a whole list of things I would do differently, but that show has lasted so long for a reason, and they always go back to the same format no matter what year it is. But yeah, there are things in this time-in 2019-that yeah, I wish they would do differently. But where's the line that you draw? At the end of the day, it's one woman dating 25 men or one man dating 25 women.
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