"I'm hopeful for love," Soules tells PEOPLE exclusively. "But when you go through a breakup, you get stung a little bit and you pull back. There are times I wonder if I'm meant to be single. But I'm hopeful I can eventually find that person."
For now, "I'm taking a break," says Soules. "I'm focusing on me, putting my head down and working really hard. I've been sort of neglecting things that are really important to me."
The Bachelor's Chris Harrison Is 'Sorry' to Hear about Chris Soules and Whitney Bischoff's Split
Still, Soules says he's "ready to start dating," and there are no hard feelings when it comes to Becca Tilley, Soules' runner-up pick who is currently competing for Bachelor Ben Higgins' heart.
"A lot of people asked about us getting back together," says Soules. "She's a great girl and I hope the best for her, but for me, that chapter in my life is closed. I think it's best for me to move on, have a fresh start and find love a different way. I'd like to date someone who doesn't know who I am!"
For more from Chris and all your other favorite Bachelors and Bachelorettes, tune into The Bachelor At 20: A Celebration of Love, which airs Sunday, Feb. 14 (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.