By Kari Arneson

Elizabeth Kitt and Jesse Kovacs are no strangers to finding love on reality television, as they both competed on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette series respectively – Elizabeth on season 14 with Jake Pavelka and Jesse on season 5 with Jillian Harris.  The two seemed to find love as they cozied up with one another during last summer’s reality hit spin-off series Bachelor Pad, but like the majority of The Bachelor franchise unions, their relationship didn’t last after the cameras stopped rolling.

Oftentimes, lack of communication in a relationship can lead partners down two totally different paths: Kovacs wanted something more casual while Kitt wanted to fall in love.  Nevertheless, the couple’s strong bond and competitive spirit led them into the final six, just a few steps away from winning the big pot of cash.

With another season of Bachelor Pad coming this summer, we asked Elizabeth and Jesse for their insight on dating, relationships and finding love on reality TV:

1. Did being on a reality dating show change your perceptions/expectations about dating?

Elizabeth: I think watching myself on the The Bachelor and The Bachelor Pad really helped point out some areas I can improve upon in terms of my approach to dating.  With Jake I could tell I was very guarded, and unable to open myself up to finding love with him.  On the Bachelor Pad, I was too open with falling for Jesse Kovacs.  I knew he didn’t have the same feelings for me, but I chose to ignore that and I hoped it would change.  I think the more I pushed for it, it pushed him away.  (Had the roles been reversed, it would have pushed me away as well!)

Jesse: Yes, being on a reality dating show did change my perceptions and expectations about dating. You have to make the most of your time.  If you’re not feeling it, then call it like it is and shut it down.  But if you like the person and see some potential, you have to let them know so it’s not a waste of time for both parties.

2. What has your dating experience been like since The Bachelor/ette and Bachelor Pad ended?

Elizabeth: I think my dating experiences are a little different since the shows.  I am definitely stronger in who I am, and what I’m looking for in a relationship.  I keep my heart open, but I’m a little more cautious about who I give it away to.  There is a balance.  It’s a bit more challenging as well, since I don’t typically like to date guys who recognize me from the show.  I can see why real celebrities have trouble dating.  The fame aspect can be tricky.

Jesse: It’s been strange.  I found someone now that had no clue I was ever on these shows, but before that I was going out with girls who already knew me and had their opinions.

3. Based on your personal experience as a Bachelor/Bachelorette contestant, do you believe that love can be found on reality TV?

Elizabeth: I think love can find us anywhere.  A lot of people are skeptical about the Bachelor process, but I’m a believer.  Does being on the show ultimately mean you’re going to fall for the Bachelor?  No.  I didn’t fall for Jake.  But I think it CAN happen if it’s meant to be.  There are some relationships that have formed after the fact at our Bachelor reunion parties too, so you just never know.  You have to have an open mind, and you can’t be afraid to take a chance.

Jesse: Absolutely.  There is no difference from meeting someone randomly at a Christmas party that you’re not invited to, or on a TV show.  Both are weird situations, but it could happen.

4. What piece of dating advice can you give to our single visitors?

Elizabeth: Keep an open mind when it comes to finding love.  I think we decide at a young age what our life is going to look like, and sometimes it doesn’t always turn out the way we thought.  But if we keep an open mind and an open heart, it can turn out to be even better than we ever dreamed!  Be optimistic.  Learn from past relationships.  Don’t be in a rush.  And most importantly, loves finds us, we don’t find it.  In the meantime, enjoy your single life!!  Every day should be a new adventure, whether you’re alone or with someone.  Life is precious, and life is short…so live it up!!

Jesse: Stop having dating rules.  “I only do this,” or “I only date this kind of guy,” is a bad way to start.  Having an open mind and taking the pressure off finding the perfect guy on paper will allow some you to meet some really great people.

Stay tuned tomorrow as we hear from Bachelor Pad power couple, Tenley Molzahn and Kiptyn Locke.

For more information on The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad, visit ABC.com.