The Bachelorette's Top 5 Secrets

The Bachelorette's Top 5 Secrets
Jen Schefft
BOB D'AMICO/ABC

updated 01/04/2005 at 03:00 PM EST

originally published 01/10/2005 04:30AM

Jen Schefft is putting her heart on the line a second time as ABC's newest Bachelorette, a year after her engagement to TV Bachelor Andrew Firestone ended. This time around, says the 29-year-old Chicago event planner, "I've gained some insight into the experience and I know when you get out into the real world that things can change." Take a peek at Schefft's strategies for finding love in primetime.

Know what you're seeking
"I want somebody who is down to earth and who doesn't take themselves too seriously," Schefft says. "I want somebody who thinks of, 'What if? What if this could work?' versus, 'Oh, cool, I am going on TV for six weeks.' " One desirable asset: sisters. "Men with sisters know women a little better," she says. But most important, "I want somebody who will make me feel good about myself."

Know your limits
"Every relationship teaches you what you want and don't want," says Schefft, who learned from her time with Firestone (for whom she moved to San Francisco and worked in his family's winery) that she wants a "traditional life." For her, that means a couple has to be "in it together instead of one person trying to adjust to someone else's way of life."

Be flexible
Schefft – who says, "I like to analyze everything" – had to shift out of her usual dating mindset for the show. On the set, where she started with 25 eligible men, there was no time for that, so Schefft turned to her girlfriends for help. Abby and Michelle, who worked with her behind the scenes, "would tell me what they thought about people," says Schefft. "It was so intimidating! There are 25 (pairs of) eyes on you and everyone is sort of checking you out."

Get advice from experienced women
"No. 1 is have fun," says Trista Rehn, the inaugural Bachelorette, who recently celebrated her first wedding anniversary with her chosen suitor, Ryan Sutter. But also make the most of your downtime, she says. "Don't get too caught up in the experience. ... I wrote in a journal and that helped me to stay organized and composed." Ultimately, though, "You've got be true to your heart, but you've got to use your head too," says Jen's mom, Diane Schefft. "You've got to be very honest."

Through it all, look good
"I want to carry myself in a classy manner instead of taking this as an opportunity to go crazy," Schefft says. Along with poise, a great wardrobe helps: Shooting in clothing provided by Henri Bendel, she felt "like Sarah Jessica Parker on Sex and the City. I love getting the glam treatment. Dressing up for the show was a very girly experience. I had a great time."

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