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How Old Is The Golden Bachelor And Why Is His Age Important?

After several years of putting out calls for "seniors looking for love," ABC is finally moving forward with the first season of "The Golden Bachelor." The inaugural lead is Gerry Turner, a grandfather from Indiana who lost his wife of 43 years in 2017. Turner is 71, which means his journey to find love will look different from that of the typical "Bachelor" in his late twenties who's settling down for the first time. Ultimately, Turner's journey will give audiences a glimpse into the world of senior dating, something that is rarely seen on television.

In an interview with NPR, "Finding Love After 50" columnist Tom Blake and "Love After 50" author Francine Russo shared some insight on the uniqueness of the senior dating scene. According to Blake, the pool of people looking for a significant other in their golden years is smaller than in younger generations. "You just don't have that many opportunities, so be assertive," he explained.

Russo added that the decision to date again after the death of, or divorce from, a loved one after many decades together isn't one that's made lightly. Therefore, there's no time for the games and drama often seen on "The Bachelor." Additionally, she said, rejection tends to sting a little less later in life, which might mean fewer tears from the ladies who don't get a rose. "Anybody your age who's been widowed or divorced a person you love, you've survived far worse than having somebody just dump you after two dates."

There are mixed responses among fans to Gerry Turner's age

When ABC announced the identity of its first "Golden Bachelor," many were astounded over — and impressed by — Gerry Turner's age. With his full head of blonde hair and lack of wrinkles, a number of fans found it hard to believe that he's 71. In response to the official reveal on Instagram, @addicbaddic said, "Instead of sexy shower scenes, can we please see his skin care routine??"

However, Turner's senior status hasn't been embraced by all "Bachelor" viewers just yet. Some expressed the belief that 71 is too old for a "Golden Bachelor." On Instagram, @clrrn10 said, "Why did we have to jump all the way to 60s?? Couldn't we help those of us that are single in our 40s??" @her_baby_chicks countered that, if they got a 40-year-old, the contestants would likely be in their 30s, which defeats the entire purpose of the show.

The hope of many fans is that, unlike on "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette," which often sees significantly younger prospects cast to date the lead, ABC gives Turner age-appropriate women who want what he wants: to find someone to enjoy the sunset years of life with.