The 29 women who will try to win over Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s heart when the new season of The Bachelor premieres on January 1, 2018, might not have an easy task on their hands. Though he fell in love through the franchise once before, the romance-seeking race car driver admitted in a new interview that he hasn’t felt as intensely about anyone since Emily Maynard chose Jef Holm over him on season eight of The Bachelorette.

Maynard has since gone on to marry Tyler Johnson, but Luyendyk hasn’t had the same kind of success when it comes to his own personal life. “Since the show, I really haven’t felt that same feeling that I had when I was on The Bachelorette,” he confessed to Entertainment Tonight.

But that’s not to say he’s still pining for his ex. In fact, he told ET that he hasn’t talked to Maynard in years. “If she calls, I’ll answer, but no, I haven’t talked to her. We sort of went our separate ways after the show, and that’s fine. She has a beautiful life, and I kind of kept up on social media a little bit,” he shared.

He’s more focused on his own life, though. And getting his heart broken by Maynard is actually the motivating factor behind his new gig. “It really drove me to kind of do this, because I knew that I could find love,” he told ET. “[The show] gave me the time to really put myself in front of somebody and shut everything [out] and not worry about work and all the other pressures of life. That’s what makes it so amazing. You can really solely concentrate on finding somebody.”

And while he’s not willing to say yet whether he has indeed found that special someone, he certainly hopes an engagement is the next chapter of his love story.

We’ll be able to see if Arie Luyendyk Jr. finds those lovin’ feelings again when the new season of The Bachelor hits ABC on January 1 at 8pm ET/PT.

Are you excited to watch Arie’s season? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Photo via ABC/Craig Sjodin)