Season 7 Bachelor Charlie O’Connell isn’t one to follow the herd. Perhaps the biggest way he strays from the pack is in his commitment to commitment. While a lot of Bachelors break up after mere months, Charlie actually had a long-term relationship with his chosen lady — five years, give or take. In fact, Charlie O’Connell and Sarah Brice are still the longest-lived couple in Bachelor history (which is not to say that Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici can’t someday beat that record!)

What was Charlie’s secret to making it last? Apparently, breaking the rules. Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with the actor on April 5 at the 2nd Annual Chris4Life Celebrity Auction Event in Los Angeles, where he shared a little bit about his Bachelor experience.

Wetpaint Entertainment: Who do you always look forward to seeing [at Bachelor events]?

Trista and Ryan are always my favorite. I think they're a great couple. When Jason Mesnick got married, we were there for the weekend, and we got to spend time with them. And they're great.

You and [Sarah Brice] were together five years. That's quite an accomplishment.

Well, I would say so. It was a great relationship that I'll always look fondly on. I mean, it really was.

What did you learn about dating from being in the limelight?

Or from the show, what did I learn about dating? I don't know. I always say, the show wouldn't have been the same if Sarah wasn't on it. The girl that I chose really made it worth it to be on and to go on and things like that. So it was a great time in my life. It was all because she was on the show. I got a great relationship out of it, and I owe that, I guess, to the Bachelor family.

But even the aftermath, well, first of all, there's that awkward period when you're not supposed to see each other, right, technically?

Technically. I'm not one to follow rules. I never have been.

So how do you guys go about that sort of thing? What happens after the show is over?

Well, our show had a live ending. It was the only one that had that. And when we stopped shooting to about four months before the live ending, then we did get to date and things like that, so we got to grow. At least talk on the phone and get to know each other more before the final ceremony.

That's kind of nice. Why do you think they don't do that anymore?

I don't know, because they'd rather edit it than let people stand there live. That's why.

However, you had a five-year relationship and the rest...

Well, maybe it's because some of them aren't going to work out or whatever it is. I don't know why.

And right now, relationships, updates from you? What's going on?

I'm single.

Single and mingling?

I'm single. I have a dog.