Blake Horstmann is carefully wading back into the dating world.
Horstmann, 31, recently appeared on fellow Bachelor in Paradise star Taylor Nolan's podcast, Let's Talk About It, where he opened up about his budding new relationship.
"I am dating," he said. "Yeah, I'm kind of seeing somebody right now. We're going slow and everything. But yeah, we're keeping it private."
As viewers recall, Horstmann's escapades at Stagecoach 2019 became a focal point on Bachelor in Paradise last summer, when it was revealed that he had hooked up with Caelynn Miller-Keyes and Kristina Schulman, two of his fellow future contestants, on back-to-back nights.
Drama subsequently unfolded both on and off-screen, with Horstmann catching heat amongst viewers. On Nolan's podcast, he said he's finally in a place where he feels ready to start dating again.
"I'm in a good place right now in my life to where I have decided, 'You know what, I'm going to get back out there and see if I can find somebody,'" he explained, adding that he's gained newfound perspective.
"[Even] before The Bachelorette, I would jump into a relationship," he said. "I'd meet somebody and be like, 'Okay, here we go.' Like boom, I'm in a relationship."
"I do fall fast — I fall hard, I fall fast," he admitted. "So I'm trying to navigate this in a different way and do this differently instead of doing that, and maybe it'll be a different outcome. That's kind of where we're at right now. Because I do go in hard, and either I get scared or she gets scared. So I'm trying to do this one a little bit different."
That includes keeping their relationship largely out of the public eye.
"I would definitely wait [to start dating publicly again] until it's like, 'I am sure.' Because I wouldn't want to put her through it, either," he said. "I would not want to put somebody through dating in the public eye, because it is the hardest thing ever. To have everybody else's opinion in your relationship is not easy."
And while Horstmann didn't share too many details, he did confirm that she doesn't live in his home state of Colorado, which means "a lot of Zooms."
As for whether he'd ever consider returning to Paradise?
"Honestly, even if I was to entertain the idea, I don't know what I could get out of it," he said. "I don't think I could be myself. I don't think I could go down there and actually be myself and find somebody … I'd just be very guarded and have all my walls up all the time."
"That process doesn't work if your walls are up. It doesn't," he continued. "You have to allow yourself to be vulnerable and open, and I just don't know if I could do it again."
"And I don't know if they would want me!" he added with a laugh. "Because I have talked s— about the show a lot, so I don't think they're big fans of me."
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