Clare Crawley is not like other Bachelorettes.
She's the oldest woman to ever get the gig, she's had the job the longest without actually ever filming anything, and it's been five or six years since most of the public has really seen her. That means there's a lot to learn about the Bachelor franchise's newest leading lady, and she opened up about some of it during an interview on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast, which came out on Tuesday.
Clare revealed that after Juan Pablo's season, she met about becoming the next Bachelorette, but couldn't have been happier that the job went to Andi Dorfman, partially because Clare herself wasn't ready. Even before going on The Bachelor, she had been dealing with some personal stuff she's never really talked about before.
"Leading into this, there's so much more background that I have never even talked about, even on that season of The Bachelor, that I held inside, that I didn't share with the world. I didn't even share with my friends," she said. "I had just gone through a really, really abusive relationship going into Juan Pablo's season."
Clare became known for the way she told Juan Pablo off during his season, saying she had lost respect for him and would never want her children to have a father like him.
"I hear it in my voice the whole time of just trying to be strong, and trying to be empowered, but then at the very end, having enough in me to be like, you know what? No. That's not OK, you don't treat somebody like that, you don't disrespect somebody like that," she said. "I hadn't fully convinced myself of that yet, so it took me time right after that to sit and process that and go, what just happened? What do I need to work on? And why did that shake me? I'm glad it shook me, but I was just starting to do the work, I was just starting to crack myself open and find out all about me and why I had had that moment, but even more so, all the stuff leading up to it that I had to still process."
Later in the podcast, she revealed that at one point, she was living in her car and at her absolute lowest.
At first, Clare says she was initially not so thrilled with having to wait a few months to film her season, but now she says "everything happens for a reason."
"It has given me the time to sit and go, what is my message? What is it that I want to share with women my age, women our age, women of any age, anybody? What is it that I really want to share to let them know that yeah, this is one of those positions that is very hard to be in, and I'm so honored to be in it, but more importantly I want to be that woman for other people to see that we all go through pretty awful stuff sometimes, and sometimes other people, just what you see, whether it be on social media, whether it be what you hear publicly, is not always the case."
Clare says she only recently shared her past with producers and hopes to prove that anyone can go on this healing journey.
She says she didn't speak out because she felt a lot of shame and embarrassment and feared that people seeing her as a victim would be a reason not to like her, but now she's letting down her guard in an effort to find a guy who lets down his guard.
"I want the man of my dreams to see the worst of me, to know the worst of me, not to have maybe compassion or anything like that, but to maybe see it's not always easy and confident and strong and empowered. There's a lot that I went through. I want them to know the hard, ugly, embarrassing struggles of my life to appreciate the woman that I am today, and I want a man to love me for that, and not just for the easy makeup and hair. Anybody can love you for the easy fun times and the smiles and the laughs...I want somebody to love me for all the hard stuff that I've been through. It's been something that I've hidden for so many years, but until I've owned that part of my life and looked at the stuff I've been through as shame, but to look at it as my superpower, and these are the things that have made the woman that I am today."
Clare says she's looking for someone who's willing to stand right there next to her through any hard times, and who won't run away from confrontation, and her love language is acts of service and physical touch.
She says she's definitely been googling some of the men who were cast on her season and even shared some of her overall thoughts.
"There are some things where you can kind of tell people's lifestyles like from Instagram stories, and I see some that I'm like, that's not really my vibe, and others where I look at them and I'm like, that's hot. I can't wait to meet that guy."
She's very drawn to height and a really good smile, she says. And she also hopes that the men have taken this opportunity to do some real research on her. She'sdefinitely not interested in anyone looking to her to fix their problems.
"I'm not your mom and I'm not your therapist," she says. "I'm not gonna be the person that's gonna help you learn or teach you to do anything like that."
Clare only found out two hours before the podcast interview when exactly she'll get to leave to film her season, but she couldn't share the date. Previous reports have said that producers hope to film in July, so no premiere date is currently available, but The Bachelorette will come to ABC soon.