The Bachelor SA’s Lee Thompson on heartbreak, romance, and his search for a soulmate

2019-02-14 11:49
The Bachelor SA, Lee Thompson.

Cape Town - This Valentine's Day there will be anguish, tears and disappointment but also hope, happiness, dazzling romance – and who knows, maybe even real love – when The Bachelor SA with Lee Thompson starts his journey seeking a possible soulmate.

Channel24 had a heart-to-heart with the guy who will bring roses and romance after he gets introduced to 24 single women from across the country in the local version of the TV dating reality series.

Lee talks about his biggest concern going into this, why he decided to be the bachelor, how he'll figure out who's there for the right reasons, what he's really hoping to get out of the experience, and how vulnerable he's willing to be.

The Bachelor SA Lee Thompson.

What is your biggest concern going into and doing The Bachelor SA?

My concern is going having to let some of the ladies go. It's never easy for me to hurt anyone, or disappoint someone.

And I know there can only potentially be one at the end and having to not offer everyone roses – that’s something that I am fearful of and concerned about. I don't enjoy hurting people, those are my main concerns.

Share a few your internal thought processes, why are you doing this and on TV. What do you think TV will add or subtract or bring to the experience of trying to find love?

Yeah, I've been in front of cameras before but that's more in terms of modelling and this is a totally different level.

M-Net and the production company, Rapid Blue, called me up and asked me if I potentially would like to be the bachelor of The Bachelor SA, if I could fly to Johannesburg and meet with them, to see if they want to work with me; and also if they're someone I wanted to work with.

I wasn't fully sure what the whole The Bachelor concept was about, so after the phone call I did research, and googled The Bachelor and I thought about it and I decided to go through with the meeting.

They flew me to Johannesburg and that went really well. And I thought, you know, it's quite a bizarre and unique way to do meet someone on TV on such a big stage and platform like The Bachelor. But it's an opportunity that I just couldn't turn down.

I've been so busy and focused on building my career and laying the platform for my businesses and my future that I have kind of pushed my love-life aside. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to fully focus and concentrate on finding the one - and that's the reason I decided to do this.

And I just think it's an opportunity that not many people will ever get to have and I think it will be a great story to tell one day to my children and my grandchildren. I trust that M-Net and Rapid Blue will have a great selection of ladies for me to choose from.

I'm just confident and trust the process and that's my mindset going into this whole journey.

The Bachelor SA Lee Thompson.

How do you think you will figure out who's there for love and for the right reasons and who's there for fame and just to be on TV, and for whom it might just become a competition that they don't want to lose or have to leave the mansion?

I think that's going to be the tricky part.

I like to think that I'm a very good judge of character, so I did think about that before accepting the offer to be the bachelor. If I wasn't a good judge of character, I wouldn't see those things coming.

Going into this journey I will be able to suss out who's there for the right reasons which is love and to find a soulmate and who's there for publicity. I know my intentions are to find real love and to start a family with that person.

What are your hopes from this experience? Are you looking for marriage - that's such a loaded word and a heavy "goal", or would it be an engagement or just the beginning of a relationship that can grow?

Well, all of the above.

I'm going into it with an open mind. I'm not sure if I'm going to find the one, or if I'm going to find someone I can commit to, or find my wife - that's the whole point, that's what I'm looking for!

And whether it happens, I'll have to see what opportunities present themselves and if I do find my soulmate. But I'm confident; I'm a very optimistic person, so I do think that I will find someone that I could spend my life with and start a family with. I mean, that's my core reason for being a part of The Bachelor SA.

I just want to go through this journey and give it my all. My biggest goal in life is to have a happy family one day and I see this as a step to that and I'm going to do my best to find the right person to be my partner.

How open and vulnerable do you think you will be? Because it not just you looking for love, it's the South African viewing public following and watching it all on M-Net. To what level do you think you will allow yourself to be vulnerable and exposed and to share your private life?

Well in the past the reason – one of the reasons – why I'm still single is because I've been shut-up and closed-off quite a bit because I've been through a bit of heartbreak in the past and then you tend to build this "wall".

I promised myself from day one that I accepted this role in The Bachelor SA that I will go into the show and be the bachelor and give it my all and lay my heart on the line. That's my mindset going into it.

Only once you can fully lay your heart on the line and give your all, will you be able to get that in return. That's maybe a mistake I've made in the past and I've learnt from that and being in the public eye – it’s something that I'll just manage and take it as it comes.

I think it's very important to be just yourself and through this journey I plan to be just myself from day one and just be Lee Thompson; that's who I am. 

The Bachelor SA.

What relationship lesson did you learn from previous romantic relationships that you will not repeat?

I've been through a couple of relationships in the past and it's never nice to go through a breakup but with each relationship, I've learnt something and taken something from it and I'd like to think that it's moulded me into the bachelor and who I am today.

I think the mistakes I've made in the past is not fully committing, maybe focusing my time and not managing my time well enough. I like to think that I've rectified that now through learning from past relationships.

I've also had distance be an issue in the past. With my international modelling career there were times where I had to travel and distance became a factor but not that I'm solidified in South Africa and Cape Town, I want to make sure that distance isn't a problem anymore. I want to make sure that the relationship I have is with someone I can see often because that's what a real relationship is about - interacting with that person, and seeing that person physically – that’s important.

So those are the two things that I'll be taking into this journey and what I've learnt from the past not to do and that has made me a better person today.

How romantic would you say you are and does that matter, or is that not really a thing for you?

I'm very romantic.

I think it's very important to show the person that you're with how much they mean to you. You can do that by being romantic through setting up awesome dates and in The Bachelor South Africa I plan to hopefully do some extreme adventure stuff and some very, very romantic dates that I plan to arrange and that will hopefully be the epitome of a romantic true love story.

The Bachelor South Africa starts on M-Net on Thursday, 14 February on M-Net (DStv 101) at 19:00. The first episode is a 90-minute special and will also be screened on YouTube.

WATCH: We get cozy with SA’s Bachelor Lee Thompson

READ NEXT: We reveal the first 3 women that will be on The Bachelor SA tonight!

(Photos supplied: M-Net)

Read more on:    lee thompson  |  the bachelor sa  |  tv

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.