updated 03/14/2012 AT 3:15 PM ET
•originally published 03/14/2012 AT 12:15 PM ET
Although she scored the first impression rose and remained drama-free throughout the season, Lindzi Cox, 27, was the runner-up in the race for Ben Flajnik’s heart. The Seattle-based business development manager spoke to PEOPLE Tuesday about how she bounced back from The Bachelor. “I’m so glad I did this show,” Lindzi told PEOPLE. “It was such an awesome experience.” And though she admits that she was in love with Ben, who “turned out to be a great guy,” she believes the show “ended the way it should have.” And now, she’s ready to date again. “I’m excited to see what else is out there,” she says, “The Bachelor was such a good experience for me to learn how to date that I realize in the past I wasn’t really good at it … I think I’m going to be a pretty good dater now.”
Watch the video above.
Later, Lindzi spoke to reporters about her “call me” comment in the finale and whether or not she would do The Bachelorette or Bachelor Pad:
You seemed to take the elimination really well.
I’m not much of a crier. In the moment, I really felt [in love]. But going in, if you think logically, there’s a chance his feelings are stronger for someone else. I was very protective of myself because of that, so [not winning] can only come as so big of a shock.
Were you really in love or caught up in the fairy tale moment?
I had really strong feelings for Ben. There were times when I got caught up in the moment. [When] I saw him go on other dates, I second-guessed myself.
Did you get closure in Switzerland or by watching the show?
I got closure that final day in Switzerland. He was really honest. He told me he had strong feelings for me, but ultimately loved someone else more. I respect that because no one wants to be with someone who doesn’t know without a doubt that they want to be with that person.
Many ladies came away from the season glad they lost. Are you among them?
Hindsight is a beautiful thing. I don’t feel like I dodged a bullet, but I do feel things worked out the way they were supposed to.
What did you learn about yourself, men or dating?
I learned that men like naked girls and skinny-dipping. Before Bachelor, if things were going well, I left it at that and figured we’ll see where this goes. I wasn’t a really good communicator. Going through this taught to be open with my feelings and how to let my guard down.
Do you still hope Ben calls if things don’t work out?
Ben made his decision and I completely respect that. That was one of the more awkward moments in my life. I’m kind of a joker and that was my way of breaking the silence. We laughed about it.
If Ben ever came groveling back, would you give him a second chance?
I’d cross that bridge when I got there. I feel like if he didn’t know for sure about me then, he wouldn’t change his mind now. There’s a friendship there.
Would you go on The Bachelorette? Or do Bachelor Pad?
Given the opportunity, I would strongly consider it. Obviously it would be at least a year away and it’s not something I’ve been talked to about yet. I’d be really interested in doing [Bachelor Pad].