As trouble brews for Ben Flajnik, who re-proposed to winner Courtney Robertson on Monday’s Bachelor: After The Final Rose reunion, former Bachelor Jake Pavelka chimes in with his wisdom.
No stranger to a rocky relationship, the reality star-turned-Chippendales host, 34, ended his engagement to winner Vienna Girardi in 2010.
“Courtney is interesting and edgy,” Jake tells me. “You can’t help who your heart falls for — you have to follow your heart. Pretty simple. Do what you need to do, don’t do what America wants you to do. Do what you need to do. You’re the one that’s going to have to live with the decision.”
If Ben needs to call it quits, he needs to be strong.
“Oh, keep your head up,” he says. “In the relationship afterwards, it’s all about what you want in life and going after it.”
After all, getting out of a bad situation is the first step to starting over on a path that leads to happiness. Jake has found his special someone in actress/model Ashley Vickers, whom he met on the Mario Lopez-created show H8R.
“She was cast based on her personality,” Jake says. “They wanted her to come on and friend my hater, and make her feel very comfortable and open up and be willing to talk about why she hated me so much.”
Winning Ashley over wasn’t so easy for Jake.
“I said, ‘You want to go have a drink?’ and she said ‘Not really. [laughs] I know everything about you now. This girl has filled me in.’ It took me a little while to get her to go out with me. I just knew that I wanted to get a date with her. It took me a lot of steps to get her to agree. Persistence. I had to stay after it. Coming off The Bachelor, you just put yourself out there and you’ve dated 25 women. It makes you look like a playboy, but for me, it’s not the case.”
These days, Ashley has done a 180-degree turnaround when it comes to Jake.
“She’s my biggest fan, my biggest cheerleader. She’s just awesome. Supports everything that I do, and definitely vice versa. She’s a real successful model in Los Angeles. She’s actually got a really great, electric personality. She has the ability, when she walks into a room, to make people very comfortable.”
Could Jake see himself settling down with her?
“You never know,” he teases.
Catch Jake hosting Chippendales at Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas through April 1. He's so good that his contract has been extended!