What The Golden Bachelor Has in Common with Snowbirds

Lake Kalamazoo , formed as part of the Kalamazoo River connects the twin towns of Saugatuck and Douglas
Lake Kalamazoo , formed as part of the Kalamazoo River connects the twin towns of Saugatuck and Douglas

What The Golden Bachelor and Snowbirds Have in Common

The Golden Bachelor and Snowbirds Have Another Chance at Finding Love

More than 7.7 million viewers to date have watched the first season of ABC's premier hit show "The Golden Bachelor" featuring America's favorite new senior, 72 year-old Gerry Turner [pronounced GAIR-ee] who happens to live in Northeast Indiana, just like I do. Not only did ABC capture the senior viewing audience, younger fans are also watching and taking notes of dating in your 60's and 70's. As a snowbird, I've personally witnessed my snowbird friends in various stages of relationships who found love again and it's really not that different from the hit show. 

ABC created spinoff, "The Golden Bachelor" to showcase seniors after 27 successful seasons of "The Bachelor/ Bachelorette," which features the lusty antics of twenty-somethings, typically in a gorgeous setting, including the latest incarnation, "Bachelor in Paradise." Many viewers are already familiar with the premise: An attractive, single young man or woman is featured on the reality show to select their potential lifelong mate from a dating pool of alluring types who aren't shy about sharing and showing it all for the cameras. No one will accuse the young people of being boring, they put it all "out there" in more ways than one. 

We all know 20-somethings and 70-somethings are not in the same dating universe, physically or mentally. However, there's a lot to be said about the differences as well as the similarities. The differences are fairly obvious with the enticing young people of "The Bachelor/Bachelorette" just starting out with their dreams, career, love life and future families. The seniors have been there, yes, but as seniors it's much more complicated. Not only do the senior singles have to cope with the loss of a spouse due to death or divorce, their life choices are much broader with the opinions and wishes of adult children and grandchildren to contend with, financial and retirement plans and the logistics of where to live when your new flame resides in another part of the nation. It's not so easy to pack up and move from the entanglements of loved ones when you've spent most of your life building on that core family unit.

Similarities with Bachelor/Bachelorette's highlighted on the first season of The Golden Bachelor is how active and attractive the seniors are. Not only are the single seniors very energetic, they are noticeably physically fit, fashionable and fun! A little more discreet than their younger counterparts, they speak in double-entendres to flirt and finesse their onscreen romance.

Audiences of The Golden Bachelor identified with the 22 beautiful and accomplished ladies featured on the show as well as the very easy-on-the-eyes, tall, tan and handsome leading man, Gerry Turner. Ladies dream of a man like Gerry because he made each woman feel he was personally connecting with her and her alone. He attentively listened to each woman, responded to her joys and concerns and showed appreciation, all while being very diplomatic and quite charming. What's not to like? Snowbirds are very familiar with this concept, whether dating or making new friends and it definitely works.

The viewers also appreciate the genuine sincerity of the friendships and support of the ladies who lived as a group in a gorgeous Southern California "fantasy mansion" when the show filmed in August and September of 2023. Not only did the ladies share guest rooms, they shared their hopes, dreams and heartaches. They prepared meals together, styled each other's clothes, hair and makeup to look their best, had leisure time fun in the pool and looked after not just themselves, but their families at home. Several of the women made tremendous sacrifices including one who chose to be absent from her daughter's wedding and two who removed themselves from the show to be there for loved ones they felt were in great need at home. All of the ladies truly seemed to want to find love again just as much as the leading man, Mr. Turner.

Many online and interview comments have noted the personal accomplishments of the cast of The Golden Bachelor. Not only are these seniors looking for true love, they have been at that point in their life where mistakes have been made resulting in self-growth. Having had months and years of reflection, they are ready to make the move, put it all out there and go for it! Snowbirds are like-minded. They are not snowbirds because they didn't take chances and risks throughout their lives. 

The final episode of The Golden Bachelor concludes tonight, November 30, but the fascination with seniors dating and marrying in their golden years has only just begun. It isn't about scoring the "prize" of winning the first Golden Bachelor's heart, the cast is well aware there are 22 ladies vying for the affection of just one man. However, the overwhelming consensus is that single seniors, whether snowbirds or not, can find renewed optimism that their own Golden Bachelor or Golden Bachelorette is out there and like Mr. Turner, that person does exist and inspires men and women to remain active, never give up hope and keep the dream of finding love again. 


"Because when I look at you, I can feel it. And I look at you and I'm home.”

-- Dory, "Finding Nemo," 2003 American animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures


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