By Whitney Baker Johnson

Most women know Arie Luyendyk, Jr. from appearing on Season 8 of The Bachelorette with Emily Maynard, but this eligible Dutchman made headlines far before ABC’s popular reality competition show.

Growing up the son of a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and Indy speed record holder, Luyendyk initially made a name for himself in the car racing world. “I grew up at the track, so being a driver felt natural to me,” he says of his career choice.

Being a driver wasn’t enough, though. “Honestly, I needed a break from racing after Dan Wheldon’s tragic death, so when The Bachelorette producers called, I thought why not! I’ve always been a very open and optimistic person. I went into the show with that mentality and met an amazing person.”

Although he didn’t win Maynard’s heart, the handsome runner-up formed lifelong friendships with two of the men he strongly competed against: Sean Lowe from The Bachelor Season 17 and Jef Holm, Maynard’s final choice. “Sean and I still chat every now and then, and I’m really happy for him and Catherine. Jef and I have a blast hanging out — we kick it quite a bit.” He adds, “You definitely grow close to the other guys. I think it’s because being on the show is so crazy and hard to explain.”

Related Link: ‘Bachelor’ Sean Lowe Fires Back at Rumors Pointing to Troubled Relationship

When it comes to dating, he confesses that he definitely learned some important love lessons from being on the show. First, “love potions don’t work!,” he jokes, referring to his last date with Maynard in Curacao.

On a more serious note, his relationship advice to others would be “when you stop looking, you’ll find what you’re looking for.” It seems like he’s strongly committed to this motto because, simultaneous to our interview with him, he took to Twitter to share the same quote with his fans. 

Could these words of wisdom be a result of his short-lived relationships with Courtney Robertson, The Bachelor Season 16 winner, and Selma Alameri, one of Lowe’s eligible bachelorettes?

“Dating is more difficult now because there are some big expectations.” Still, he believes that he’ll find “the one” someday. “I think falling in love is rare and the way that you are with someone special is unique. Hopefully, I can meet someone who loves me and not the idea of who they think I might be.”

When it comes to the right woman, he says he wants someone who is “witty, amazing and has a good sense of humor.” And whenever she comes along, he’ll be ready. “When the time is right, I’ll know it, but you can’t plan a wedding if you don’t even have a girlfriend.

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So would he ever sign on to be The Bachelor? “I think I would if it didn’t conflict with racing and if I wasn’t dating anyone.”

For now, though, ladies, when it comes to dating, this man is taking to slow. It seems like he’s back to focusing on his career.

Earlier this month, Luyendyk returned to his racing roots, finishing fourth at the season-opening race in Phoenix. This coming Sunday, he’ll be driving at The Long Beach Grand Prix in Robby Gordon’s Stadium SUPER Truck Series and IndyCar’s 2-Seater. “I’m super excited for the weekend. This race is the only one we have on pavement, so I feel like I have the advantage going in,” he shares. “I hope the fans enjoy the race and come out to our stand-alone event at the LA Coliseum on Saturday, April 27th.”

Plus, he’s working towards a new show of his own, so we should be seeing the good-looking driver on the screen again soon. Cross your fingers!

For more information about Luyendyk, you can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.