Everyone in Bachelor Nation loves Mike Johnson, right? (Well, except Cam…but that's not exactly the biggest loss.) The Air Force veteran was more than just a fan favorite on Hannah Brown's season of The Bachelorette—his fellow contestants respected him so much that he was called the leader of the group.
So when Johnson joined this season of Bachelor in Paradise, it was no surprise that he had his pick of dates. However, his early connection with Caelynn Miller-Keyes seems to have fizzled out—her loss—making it unclear where Johnson's journey will go from here. One possibility: his own season of The Bachelor, for which Johnson is said to be in contention.
Johnson is staying mum on that for now, but he was willing to dish with us about the drama in Paradise, what he's looking for in love, and so much more. Read on.
Glamour: So what was your mind-set going into Bachelor in Paradise?
Mike Johnson: My mind-set going into Paradise was to be open to the idea of love and try to avoid conflicts as much as possible. That's kind of hard to do, though, while in Paradise.
Once you got there, you asked Caelynn out on a date. What attracted you to her?
She was really bubbly, and she brings a lot of energy. I didn't know anything about her prior to Paradise—I didn't even know she was in pageantry. I literally knew nothing about her. I thought she was very bubbly, and I liked the way her lips coiled. I thought that was kind of cute.
But then she made a connection with Dean. How did you feel about that?
I think Dean is that type of guy that, at some point in time, everyone wants to be around. He just goes one day at a time, and I actually love that. I think that Caelynn did as well. I was like, "Damn! You're going on a date with this good-looking guy?" But at the same time, that's what Paradise is for….
What can you tease about tonight's episode?
There are some Jordan and Christian things that occur between the two of them—definitely have your popcorn ready. And we have a rose ceremony tonight.
You mentioned earlier you wanted to avoid conflict, but there was a ton of drama this season. So how did you stay out of the fray?
I'm not saying that I stayed all the way out of it. I wouldn't say I'm not in any drama. I definitely wanted to stay out going into it. But I would say, being the man that my mom taught me to be, just being a good human being, a good person helps to avoid a lot of conflict.
What's your take, then, on the drama surrounding Hannah and Blake?
Hannah is such a sweet woman that I was kind of feeling bad for her because she's growing and learning how to deal with, you know, letting someone down while on camera. You know, it's not the easiest thing to do, but she handled herself well. You've got to continue to watch. With Dylan and Blake, I'm completely biased because Dylan's my little brother. I love Dylan, and I tried to instill confidence in him and let him know that he has to speak things into existence and continue to go after Hannah.
I know you can't share any spoilers, but what was your mind-set leaving the show?
Great question. I'm happy that I went on Paradise. We'll see in the near future what my Facebook relationship status is...
Speaking of relationship status, a lot of people would like to see you as the next Bachelor. What can you say about that?
I can say that it's incredibly awesome and a great feeling that people even consider me or think I'll be a great Bachelor. Quite honestly, that warms my spirit. Like, straight up.
Let's just say for fun you're single when you leave Paradise. What are you looking for in a partner?
I like core values. I like loyalty, ambition, and women who are feisty. I find that a feisty woman, I'm attracted to for some reason. Even if they get on my nerves, I'm attracted to it still. I look for sexiness. And I look for someone who can teach me something. Say you're a dental hygienist or an astronaut, just teach me something.
Any deal breakers?
Oh, deal breakers. Yeah. I'm personally not into someone that smokes nicotine.
You talk a lot about how close you are to your mom and grandma. Who would they want to see you with?
I know this is clichéd, but they just want me to be happy. I mean, they think they know what I like, but they just want me to be happy. You know how parents are. They'll be like, "Oh, you'll like this person!" And I'm like, "No, Mom, I don't like them." [Laughs.]
Have they given you good relationship advice?
Just that men always get the last word in any relationship, and that last word is "Yes, ma'am."
You were such a fan favorite on The Bachelorette—how has your life changed since the show?
I've gotta make sure my haircut is on point because people [will see me and] want to take a picture. Or I don't have a ChapStick on me at the time and have to take a picture with chapped lips. That's the only thing that's happened to me, that people like to take a picture. I will say I've gotten a lot of DMs from people in regard to how they see me on TV. They say it literally makes them happier to see me, and they like that I speak about positivity and spreading self-love. That's really cool.
That's lovely. But I assume you get some weird DMs too?
I mean, yeah, we've all gotten some weird DMs.
So how do you keep a sense of normalcy with all that attention?
I don't have a TV, so I literally don't see a lot of this stuff that gets out into the air. Unless one of my aunts is like, "Mike, did you see this?" I'm like, "No, I did not see that. No, ma'am." My homeboys and my sister, they keep me in check too. They really, really do. I step out of bounds for half a step and they're like, "Nope! Get your butt back over here." [Laughs.]
Aside from being on The Bachelor short list, what's next for you?
What's next for me…. I really want to be in a space where I can make people feel good about themselves. I want to work in that space. I want to do something in that space. I want to do something positive. I want people to look in the mirror and be like, "Yo, Mike can smile through this. I can smile through this." And just love themselves more.
Anna Moeslein is a senior editor and Bachelor Nation recap writer at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @annamoeslein.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Originally Appeared on Glamour