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Reflections on The Golden Bachelor and Dating in Later Life

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

couple holding hands

If you tuned in to the debut of The Golden Bachelor late last month, what did you think about it? Did you know there is now a Golden Bachelor? Do you care?

When I read an article in the New York Times announcing the series debut, I had high hopes that this new entry into the reality show franchise would bring recognition to the fact that people over age 60 can and do have vital romantic lives. My single friends and I have often joked that maybe a senior version of Married at First Sight, where supposed “experts” would choose a match for us, would be better than those we attempted to match with on our own. And if nothing else it would be exciting! But are these dating/arranged marriage programs a bona fide method of finding a mate?

Sadly I found The Golden Bachelor to be a great disappointment. I’m going to admit right up front that I never watched The Bachelor because I thought the entire premise was degrading to women (and yes, to men too). As I understood it, producers choose an attractive, eligible young man and then get 20 fabulously beautiful young women and confine them all in a totally unrealistic Disneyland-like compound. Each of the women is expected to throw herself at the solitary man to compete for his “affections,” hopefully winning the grand prize of a marriage proposal. Any cat fights among the ladies appear to be encouraged. A reverse version, The Bachelorette, soon followed. Really!?!

I did watch a series called UnREAL, which takes place behind the scenes of a fictional version of The Bachelor. Created by a former producer for The Bachelor, UnREAL completely confirmed my opinion of the actual “reality” show.

Like its predecessor, the current “golden” entry sends the message that finding love is unlikely if one is not super-thin, perfectly-coifed, well-endowed, and yes, a bit on the outrageous side personality-wise! The diet and beauty industries must love these shows which tell us that most of us will never make the cut and we'd better hurry out to buy the latest wrinkle cream, diet pills, and surgeries to make us worthy. The lone less-than-physically perfect woman on the show was there strictly for comic relief. I had high hopes that this entry would be more realistic when the golden guy put on a hearing aid and listened to Cat Stevens as he dressed to meet his new harem. But those hopes were short-lived. Thirty minutes in a bachelorette hopeful was kissing frosting off of the bachelor's lips and I tuned out.

So what are the rest of us who are looking for love over age 60, but are not reality show contestants to do? There is hope out there! A companion article in the New York Times shared some far more realistic and encouraging stories about dating during our later years. So many of us Boomers find ourselves single and wondering how and if we can start dating at this age, often for the first time in decades. The answer is yes we can and yes we do!

Many people – even at our age – meet online these days. That’s how I met my own companion. I’ll admit I was terrified and met some frogs for sure, but I never kissed any of them! And of course there are plenty of other, more traditional ways to meet someone and go on a date. Want to give it a try?
couple enjoying a romantic dinner out

Coaching can help. I will help you gather up your courage, figure out who and what you really want in a new relationship at this time in your life, figure out how to meet someone, and start dating. It’s very different from when we were young, yet in some ways just the same as our teen years, and in other ways so much better! I’ll be right beside you as you start dating again! You’ll get the benefit of my dating mistakes and have some laughs with me too. You’re never too old to find love again – and you don’t have to be a contestant on a national TV show to do it!

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