Gerry Turner knows a thing or two about dating mature women.
Turner, who stars on “The Golden Bachelor,” is 72, and he lost his wife in 2017 to a bacterial infection.
Now, he has his own dating show with a number of women competing for his affection and, ideally, his hand in marriage. In a new interview, he explained what it’s like to search for love at an older age and how people in similar situations should navigate the dating scene.
Speaking to Jennifer Hudson on “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” he explained that dating in his 70s is “entirely different.”
“When you’re in your 20s and 30s,” he elaborated, “you’re thinking about a career, you’re thinking about how many children you might want to have with a partner. You’re asking superficial questions like, ‘What’s your favorite color?’ and so forth.”
He said when you’re older, “you cut through some of that, and you’re looking at what’s really important.
“You’re always looking for the person that’s going to make you whole, that you feel comfortable with. You no longer care about color, and you no longer care about career and the number of children. You care about how you spend your holidays. You know, ‘Do you go to church?’ Those kind of things.”
Hudson cut in to tell him she does go to church and that she spends her holidays with her child as he and the audience laughed.
“I’m just saying I may qualify,” she told him before moving asking about his dealbreakers in relationships.
“One of the obvious dealbreakers is distance,” Turner said. “When I was dating before I got on this show, I had the rule of 60 miles and the age of 60, so they had to be age appropriate, and they had to be close.”
In addition to those two stipulations, the star of the ABC dating show said another issue he would have with a potential love match is if the potential partner wanted to move a relationship forward too quickly.
“It’s fine to compress those steps and move along quickly, but you can’t skip them,” he explained.
Hudson asked for an example of what someone moving too fast would look like for him.
“If a person I’m dating, and we’ve had a few dates, and she starts talking about how I might want to change my will … it’s a pretty big red flag,” he explained.
Turner was also asked what advice he has for people looking for a partner.
“I had a very good friend in high school. … His wife passed away about six months before my wife did. His wife passed in December of 2016, and I heard from him yesterday,” he began. “And he goes, ‘Gerry, all these years I’ve not dated anyone, and I’ve watched you on the first two episodes of the show, and I’m inspired. And with your emoting hope and a little bit of luck, I’m now dating someone.'”
“You’re changing lives and perspectives,” Hudson told him as the audience applauded.
“That’s what this is for,” he said.
“You want to give people the confidence to not just hope, but to find heart, to find humor and enjoy their lives and find that person. … That’s what we really want to do with this show.”