As Bachelor Jake Pavelka looked into her eyes and told her he wasn’t in love with her, viewers might have expected fan favorite Tenley Molzahn, the sweet and fragile divorcee from Newberg, Or., to break down, get angry, or even ask for another chance.

Instead, Tenley held her head high and thanked Jake for showing her “what she could have,” saying that–even though her heart was breaking–it felt good to know she was capable of love again.

In a conference call with the media earlier this week, Tenley remained positive about her Bachelor experience, and has high hopes for her future–in life and in love.

And she’s not the only one. Former Bachelorette Jillian Harris said of Tenley’s heartbreaking exit this season, “Although I am sad for her, I don’t worry for her, because she is a class act. Someone that sweet, gentle and positive will only have good things coming her way.”

What was going through your mind at that final rose ceremony, and what made you end up handling it as well as you did?
From the very, very first moment that I saw Jake on that day, I kind of had this feeling that it wasn’t me because of the way he greeted me. It was just a different way of greeting than we usually had in – and he had a lot of concern on his face, and it kind of seemed very – it’s just like he didn’t know what he was doing. So, I just – I kind of had peace with knowing that if he was that concerned then I was probably best to be going home. The reason why I was able to handle it the way I did which it was still very emotional, but at the same time, I had so much peace because I really have been just praying, ‘I don’t want to be in another relationship that’s not going to be the one, you know, if I’m that far into it. Let me go if this is the way I’m supposed to be.’ So, I think it worked out for the best, since he seems to be very happy with Vienna.

Are you ready to jump back into the dating pool, or do you think you’ll take a break for a little bit?
Oh, my goodness, I’m really overwhelmed with this new dating scene. I haven’t really been a part of a dating scene for a while besides with Jake. So, I’m excited. I think I’m going to kind of take it very slow at first, and excited to see where it leads me. Probably, I think I’m going to start out with mutual friends for dating right now.

Why aren’t you on Dancing With The Stars? Is it because you’re a professional dancer?
I am trained in ballet and jazz but not to a great professional extent, but I have no training in ballroom dancing or Latin dancing or any partner dancing. So, no, I don’t know why they didn’t call me, but it’s OK. Jake will be fun to watch. But if they ever need a backup, they can call me. I think it would be a great little surprise for the season if they did add me to it so I can see Jake’s competition. So, if you’re up for that one, I totally am.

Do you think you’ll stay friends with Jake and Vienna?
Tenley :
Well, I really hope that Jake and I can have a friendship. It will be, you know, obviously, different. I want to respect him and his engagement to Vienna because they are engaged and happy together. I would never ever want to come in the way of that. So as long as Vienna is OK with it – I actually never got to know Vienna because we really didn’t interact much at all so – because she stayed on the different – the other side of the mansion, and we were in different RVs on the road trips. And the only time I really spent some time with her was in San Francisco, but we were all very busy. So, it would be kind of – I guess I wouldn’t mind getting to know her.

What are our thoughts on Ali as The Bachelorette?
I’m so excited for Ali to be The Bachelorette. I think she’s going to be excellent at it. And she’s going to have a blast. I think she’s going to be a bit overwhelmed and – but I think that she’s going to have fun with that. I just – you know, I wouldn’t even mind her if she wants to call me and ask me for some advice. And so, maybe me and some of the other girls could even come and scope out some of those guys for her. And maybe there’s one of those guys, you know, won’t be Ali’s type or maybe my type. Who knows?

You were very upfront with Jake and his family about the divorce that you went through, and it’s obviously a really personal and painful thing. Was that hard to talk about not just to them but on national television?
Well, honestly, I really wasn’t thinking about how I was going to be talking about it on national television. But it wasn’t really hard; it was definitely something that I needed to overcome and deal through, some pain I guess that hadn’t completely been dealt with. So I’m thankful for that time that I had. And because I was doing it on national television, you know, being vulnerable with all these people watching, I hope that it does something in a positive way and gives other people that have had similar experiences just kind of have hope for a great future.

Do you think that Jake got to see who you really are?
You know, I think that Jake has a great idea of who I am, but I think he missed out on some of the really goofy moments, because I don’t know if he would give some of the same reviews that some of the girls gave about me on the Women Tell All Special, how they kind of poked fun at me. I don’t know if Jake would even know that side of me, so I think there was still a lot to learn about one another, when I think back of how he didn’t really get to see my spontaneous side.

What’s next for you?
Well, now, I’m just back to work like normal at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, and I’m still happy there. They’re a great family to me. They’re so supportive of this whole journey. And I’m hoping to just – you know, this opportunity and this experience has definitely given me more of a voice than I’ve ever had before when nobody really knew who Tenley was.

So, hopefully, I can use it for some great things, and there’s actually an organization that I’m really excited to work with called Live Love. So – and it’s just showing people how to, you know, love by action, so, the way we should all be living. So, I’m really excited to work with that, and just positive things, I hope, and just back to my normal life, and maybe even some dating sometime in the near future.

Meghan Carlson

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Meghan hails from Walla Walla, WA, the proud home of the world’s best sweet onions and Adam West, the original Batman. An avid grammarian and over-analyzer, you can usually find her thinking too hard about plot devices in favorites like The OfficeIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and How I Met Your Mother. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys drawing, shopping, trying to be funny (and often failing), and not understanding the whole Twilight thing. She’s got a BA in English and Studio Art from Whitman College, which makes her a professional arguer, daydreamer, and doodler.