6 Timeless Lessons on Aging from ‘The Golden Bachelor

6 Remarkable Lessons on Aging We Can Learn from 'The Golden Bachelor

Aging in Love: The Golden Bachelor’s Guide to Staying Golden

If you’ve ever watched any of the shows in the Bachelor franchise, you know it’s a whirlwind of drama, engagements that happen faster than a squirrel stealing a nut, and tactics that would make even the strongest-willed lead crumble like a poorly baked soufflé. Sure, the premise is finding love, but what we often witness is a group of lost souls realizing they’ve taken a wrong turn on the highway of life. Yet, here I am, eagerly lapping up every second of it. Enter The Golden Bachelor, a brand new twist that takes us on a journey with a slightly older age group.

In The Golden Bachelor, our charismatic lead is Gerry Turner, a sprightly 72-year-old who lost his high school sweetheart and wife of 43 years. And the contestants? Twenty-two women, ranging from 60 to 75, with a lifetime of experiences under their fashionable belts. While they may represent an idealized version of aging, they have shown me that it’s time we question and explore the notion of growing older. As a fashionista who frequently ponders the passing of time and the meaning of life and death (looking at you, Barbie), there’s a fountain of wisdom we can glean from The Golden Bachelor. Here’s what I’ve learned about aging so far this season:

Sneak Peek: This Season on “The Golden Bachelor”

Join the adventure! Stream on Hulu and witness love bloom like a perfectly nurtured rose.

1. Our story is constantly being rewritten.

The cast of The Golden Bachelor defiantly refuses to embrace the “old” label. They radiate vitality and prove that their stories are far from over. Let’s do the math for a minute: Gerry got hitched at the tender age of 23 and is now, 50 years later, in search of love once again. During a romantic date with Theresa, Gerry discovers that she too lost a spouse after 42 long, love-filled years. These two have lived through eras that we millennials only read about in dusty history books! As they dance in the streets to the tune of “Don’t Stop Believing,” my heart bursts with joy, and yes, a few tears may have delicately cascaded down my cheek. Witnessing these individuals rewrite their own stories in front of our eyes is a daring rebellion against age and the stereotypes that accompany it.

2. Vulnerability is strength.

Right from the start of the show, Gerry bares his soul, showcasing the deep grief he has carried since his beloved wife’s passing. His vulnerability sets the tone for the entire journey. We’re not dealing with a novice in love; we’re dealing with someone who has experienced love, heartache, and loss but is still bold enough to give it another shot. In our current culture, we’re often told to bury our emotions, but Gerry and the cast have lived through enough to know that doing so robs us of our strength. They fearlessly wear their hearts on their trendy sleeves, openly expressing their emotions (yes, Kathy, we’re looking at you!) even when conflicts arise.

3. Change, and getting older, is a constant.

Ah, milestones, those pesky reminders of time marching forward. They nudge us to confront uncomfortable truths about our lives, unfulfilled goals, and paths that took unexpected turns (cue Olivia Rodrigo’s empowering anthem, “Teenage Dream”). When Nancy, one of the cast members, dons a wedding dress during a poignant photoshoot date, the weight of her late husband’s absence hits her like a tsunami of emotions. Yet, in the midst of grief, Nancy tells Gerry, “There is joy in remembering, but I still have hope moving forward.” Her words, both vulnerable and fearless, serve as a guiding light for anyone grappling with life’s changes.

4. Rejection does not determine our worth or ability to be loved.

One aspect I adored about the first few rose ceremonies was witnessing the cast’s unfaltering confidence. They strutted out of that mansion with a vivacious aura, some even emitting a cool “meh” vibe that I deeply respected. These ladies have weathered life’s rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, and a mere rose isn’t going to knock them off their stylish heels. The perspective they’ve gained through years of life’s challenges shines through as they repeatedly express understanding and acceptance, even when disappointment stings. Acknowledgment and acceptance: two powerful weapons against the tumultuous emotional dance we all struggle with.

5. Older people can feel invisible.

As the years tick by, it’s an eye-opening experience to realize that a new generation is nipping at our stylish heels, learning from our triumphs and mistakes. In my humble 30s, I already feel the creeping tendrils of irrelevance, and I can only imagine how it intensifies with each generation trailing behind. Fear seeps in, fueled by the constant engagement demanded by our social platforms, making relevance seem crucial. But hold up! One cast member, the wise and wonderful Joan, aptly expresses how older people can start to feel invisible, sandwiched between the dominant presence of younger folks in the media. We must break this cycle and recognize the eternal relevance, relatability, and simply delightful presence of our elders. After all, they’re still here, flourishing like a vibrant bouquet.

6. Take risks and stay golden.

Let me quote our sage-like friend Gerry one more time: “Stop looking for the woman you can live with and start looking for the woman you can’t live without.” (Seriously, Gerry might have a future as a philosopher, scripted lines or not!) His profound words extend beyond romantic partners and dive straight into the essence of life itself. The Golden Bachelor teaches us that life thrives when we dare to take risks. And when those risks don’t pan out? Well, it’s time to adopt a “meh” attitude. Life is a delicate balance of caring deeply and mastering the art of “meh.” If we can find this golden equilibrium, we just might achieve the cool, time-transcending essence of those who have gracefully gone before us.

So, my fashionable friends, let us embark on this journey with The Golden Bachelor’s cast, journeying through the laughter, the tears, and the invaluable insights about aging gracefully. Join me in defying the limitations society places on us and embracing the radiant power of love at every stage of life. After all, age is just a number, but style is forever.

@audience: Have you ever felt a connection with a reality TV show? Share your thoughts and experiences below! Let’s dive into a fashionable conversation.