A dating expert shares 3 tips for older daters looking for love like the 'The Golden Bachelor'

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A dating expert shares 3 tips for older daters looking for love like the 'The Golden Bachelor'
Gerry Turner, a widower and the star of "The Golden Bachelor," with the 22 contestants who want to capture his heart.Craig Sjodin
  • Fans can't wait for the premiere of "The Golden Bachelor" on ABC, which features daters over 60.
  • A dating expert who mainly advises singles over 50 said that the much-anticipated show was due.
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ABC's much-anticipated show "The Golden Bachelor," which premieres Thursday, is set to make dating over 60 sexy.

In the show — the latest spinoff of the hugely popular franchise that began with "The Bachelor" in 2002 — the 71-year-old Gerry Turner looks for love among 22 women between 60 and 75.

Turner will be the first man over 45 in the franchise to utter the immortal words, "Will you accept this rose?"

The trailer introducing the women proved that the widower would be spoiled for choice. The diverse collection of prospective partners was feisty, adventurous, and accomplished.

Forget quilt making; some of their interests included Pilates, travel, kayaking, and dancing. No fewer than six of them said they were fans of pickleball.

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"Age is just a number and not a limitation," Natascha, a 60-year-old contestant, said in the trailer. Sandra, 75, the eldest contestant, said: "I'm ready to find love now — well, hell, I've been ready to find love for a long time, people."

Heather Dugan, a relationship expert, told Insider that the go-getters turned the cliché that older people aren't "dating material" on its head. She said that the concept for the new show was due.

An expert said 'plenty' of older people had told her that their sex drive was still strong

She said that she hoped that the series would help many Gen Zers get over their "cringe" over older people — in many cases, their own parents or grandparents — wanting to find love.

"They should just deal with it," Dugan said. "They might be thinking, 'Dad, no,' or, 'Mom, no.' But times have changed, and there is a lot of chemistry available to people as they get into their later years."

She added: "I've had plenty of people in their 70s and 80s inform me — clearly and emphatically — that their sex drive has stayed strong."

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The author of the book "Date Like a Grownup" credited their enthusiasm to increased self-awareness, healthier lifestyles, and maintaining a positive outlook.

"Thankfully, over the last couple of years, there's been a realignment of values," Dugan said. "People have embraced the idea of no filters, gray hairs, and exercise at any age.

"It's emboldened them to be a little clearer about what it really means to be over 50 or 60 or beyond."

A dating expert shares 3 tips for older daters looking for love like the 'The Golden Bachelor'
"The Golden Bachelor" contestant called Edith, pictured with Turner, told viewers "I want to be in love again."Craig Sjodin

The 61-year-old, who said at least 60% of her clients were over 50, said that mature daters brought exciting things to the table.

"A lot of aging gracefully is about adaptability and flexibility," she said. "They've had breakups, disappointments in both their personal and professional lives, and watched loved ones die. You learn to do things in a different way if you need to — because it's better than sitting at home on the sofa."

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She shared three do's and don'ts with Insider for older daters.

Relax and don't feel daunted

The good thing, Dugan said, is that older people in our society are more likely to reject the stereotypical view that life is behind them.

"They remember what it looked like in previous generations," she said. "But when they get there themselves, they think, 'I don't have to live like that,' and, 'I've had to make a few adjustments, but maybe I can just keep being who I always have been.'"

It's important not to get caught up in doubts about your looks, she said, or whether your date will think you've physically still got it.

"A lot of times, we carry pictures of ourselves from way back when, and they're not accurate anymore," the expert added. "The view you might have had of yourself and others when you were young is going to be a little different now."

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She said: "It's really about fit. It's not about, 'Does he or she think I'm attractive or not?' It's about, 'Do we click, and are there things about us that overlap that make me want to know more about you?'"

Don't let your search for Mr. or Mrs. Right become all-consuming

According to Dugan, people should make sure they have more in their lives besides dating.

"If you want to date, make sure that you look at it as an add-on that could enrich your life in some areas," she said, adding, "Think of it as: 'It's not going to make or break my life.'"

She added that it was unhealthy to adopt the attitude that a partner would make you "complete."

"Dating, at one point, was maybe to fill a need, and now it's an addition," she said.

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While people "should not close the door" on romance, it's important to first be "grounded socially," she added.

Lighten up your profile — and don't lie about your age

It's "another myth," Dugan said, that older folks aren't savvy enough to understand the tech that goes with dating apps.

"Today's older people have curiosity and are keen to learn," she said.

She added that writing or refreshing your dating profile was challenging for anyone: "People talk a lot about not using bad pictures and whatnot, but the showing — not the telling — in your write-up is more important.

"If you are somebody that values outdoor activity and travel, for example, you might say something like, 'I never let my passport expire,' because it will sound more interesting."

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She said: "If you love to cook, you can word things differently by saying something like, 'My kitchen is the hub for dinner with friends.' Show the other person what your life is like."

Dugan said that a "little humor" could come in handy.

"Self-deprecation is never a bad thing," she said.

Referring to her own dating life, she added: "I have used, 'I still turn heads — especially in dim lighting.'"

She said there was no reason not to "have fun and use a light touch" to demonstrate your personality.

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As for lying about your age — whether in your profile or on an actual date — Dugan said it was a big no-no.

"A lie is certainly not the best way to start," she said, adding: "Be confident in who and where you are right now."

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