The Bachelor‘s Stephanie: Jason and I Were Just Friends

The Bachelor‘s Stephanie: Jason and I Were Just Friends

02/06/2009 AT 12:00 AM EST

Stephanie Hogan, 34, was the last single mom standing on The Bachelor and after spending a week in the Seattle hometown of Jason Mesnick, she was sent home to Huntsville, Ala., and her 4-year-old daughter Sophia. The medical marketing rep talked on the phone with reporters about her friendly connection with Jason, his emotional goodbye, possible playdates for Sophia and Jason's son Ty and whether she'd do The Bachelorette. -- Carrie Bell

As a widow, a single mom and someone who didn't watch The Bachelorette, you were a unique contestant in the show's history. How did you end up on the show? My sister and her friends watched The Bachelorette and thought Jason would be a match for me. He seemed a lot like my ex-husband. So, I wrote him a detailed letter ... but thought it might be too stalker-ish to send it directly to him, so I sent a letter and a classy four-leaf clover paperweight to his father ... I talked to his dad on the phone for 30 minutes and said, 'If you feel like we would be a match because you know him the best, just Fed Ex this to him and tell him to give this girl a shot.' Next thing I knew ... my phone rang and it was the producers asking me to audition for the show.

Did you see your elimination coming?I had my reservations because I felt like we connected on emotional levels and through our children and mentally. He saw the way I mother Sophia and I think he was attracted to that. But we were more friends. When he walked in the room, did he absolutely overwhelm me and do I think I did that for him? No. You have to have that.

Were you heartbroken? I am really okay. I trust that I will find someone and it'll be better than ever. You can't just lay in the bed and not keep living your life. Take some healing time but then you have to put yourself back out there.

What did you make of the incredible things Jason said about you at the final rose ceremony?That really overwhelmed me. I was very thankful. I had that feeling where you feel your heart beating out of your chest. I thought the girls liked me but I didn't realize that they would be so emotional when I left.

Do you think you and Jason will be friends? No doubt we will. I had such a bond with Jason. He is an incredible man. Even though we didn't have that physical connection or chemistry, I still think our friendship will remain strong. There are many avenues we could connect on like being single parents and having children the same age.

Maybe playdates for the kids?Dude, I think that would be so much fun.

Who are you rooting for now? I'm just going to have to watch the hometown dates and see how he connects with the families. He asked for one piece of advice off camera as he was putting me in the limo and I said, "You marry the family. See where you fit in."

Had you gotten to the hometown date week, what might yours have entailed? We would have probably just hung out around my home. We probably would have barbecued. We have a pool and hot tub out back. We probably would have cranked up the music, had margaritas and let the kids run around.

Does Sophia understand what you were doing with the show? She doesn't know she was on TV. She hardly watched -- she's very busy. During last week's episode where I made my exit, she was outside in the garage painting. I wasn't going to say, ‘You sit in here and watch this.' I want her to be a child. I want to be furthest from a stage mama.

At what point will you be ready to date again? Tomorrow. Yesterday.

Would you consider being The Bachelorette if they asked? Nobody has said anything about that to me. I would have to see where I am in my life. I hope some good fellas will come out of this and I could be dating somebody at that time. If it was serious, I would probably remain with him. If I were single, I'd probably say "yeah." ABC

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